In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Book Reviews 167 This is of course not a new theme, but it is fleshed' out nicely by Anita Bunyan in her essay analyzing the Kolnische Zeitung and its position on Emancipation in the Vormarz years. She concludes by asserting that religious conformity was no longer a prerequisite for citizenship, but cultural conformity was demanded ofJews if they wished to be assimilated into Prussian society (p. 51). The debate about Emancipation is carried further by Keith Pickus in his splendid essay on the Freie Wissenschaftliche Vereinigung. Despite the efforts of a student organization to promote Jewish emancipation and equality in a sea of antisemitism, Jews still found themselves forced to form their own student groups because of the social isolation extant at German universities. "The establishment of Jewish student associations," Pickus writes, "can be seen as an attempt by German-Jewish university students to reconcile the dialectical tension resulting from being a highly acculturated, but still socially segregated, segment of the student body" (p. SO). There is no question that the Jews kept their part of the bargain concerning emancipation, but unfortunately the same measure and standards for citizenship demanqed by the nineteenth-century nationalists were ignored by the racial requirements of the Nazis. This collection, which as always contains a comprehensive bibliography, is a poignant reminder that Jewish life in Germany was vibrant and varied, but to certain groups of people Jews could not hope to remain in Germany as Germans and as Jews. Glenn R. Sharfman Department of History Hiram College In the Shadow of History: Jews and Conversos at the Dawn of Modernity, byJose Faur. Albany: State University.ofNew York Press, 1992. 311 pp. $19.95 (P). Jose Faur's latest book is a philosophical history of Iberian Peninsula Sephardim and post-1492 Sephardi dispersion. The central theme of this work is the status and role of the conversos: the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula who converted to Christianity in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and confronted the challenges of spiritual controversies, readaptation , and re-integration. The book is divided into nine chapters and is based on important primary/secondary data that include religious and philosophical sources 168 SHOFAR Winter 1996 Vol. 14, No.2 such as R. Solomon 'ibn Verga's Sbebet Yebuda, Misbne Tora, Tesbubat baRisbba , the Kuzarl, and Baruch Spinoza' writings, as well as the major historiographical and philosophical works of F. W. Russell (1bougbt and Heresy in tbe Middle Ages), J. Freudenthal (Spinoza, sine Leben und seine Lebre), Eric Fromm (Escape from Freedom), and George Foot Moore (History ofReligion). Before delving into the definition and status of the conversos, the first chapter highlights the radical thesis that the anti-Maimonidean movement that swept the French and Iberian Jewish communities in the twelfth and thineenth centuries was the result ofChristian assimilation at a time when Christian society persecuted "disagreeable" minorities. The anti-Maimonidean movement (1180-1230) symbolized the clash between two modes of religious devotion: one developed in Andalusia, or Moorish Spain; the other in Catalonia and Gerona, the cradle of Christendom. Whereas the Maimonidean tradition developed in the pluralistic and the more religiously tolerant Andalusia under Muslim influence, the anti-Maimonidean movement emerged to the fore in the authoritarian societies of Christian Spain and France. In this respect Faur's analysis is vital, for it challenges the type of historiography that suggests that Iberian Jewry was Maimonidean. Faur is highly convincing in arguing that there were two parallel spiritual religious traditions-the Maimonidean/Andalusian rationalistic; and the Catalonian anti-Maimonidean tradition imbued with religious zeal and Christian influence, at times incorporating astrological and mystical ideas. The major conflict between the two modes of religious devotion stemmed from religious premises. For Andalusian Jewry it was the Law, whereas for the anti-Maimonideans it was religious fervor. The Maimonideans insisted upon God's worship according to the Sinaitic covenant, while the anti-Maimonideans resorted to ijtibad: the devotion to Judaism in terms of intellectual diligence and religious zeal rather than grappling with the precise legal definitions of the Law. So powerful were the anti-Maimonidean currents in Spain and other parts of Western Europe in the fourteenth century, that Maimonidean rationalism was weakened. The influence...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 167-170
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.