Understanding the Trajectory of Medieval Jewish Studies
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Scholarly article/ peer-reviewed
Much of the North American scholarship in medieval Jewish studies during the past four decades has not kept pace with this development. Israeli manuscript scholarship is at times so overwhelming that the ideas of history can get lost within the complex textual analyses that are being conducted. Nonetheless, it would have been beneficial if North American scholars, who typically remain focused on the development of these ideas, had been able as a group to sufficiently command the manuscript literature as well, so that the new texts and passages being discovered in manuscript could also find a home in the coherent narratives that North American scholars are often able to produce. Instead, there remains to this day something of a gap in this matter between the scholarly communities in the East and in the West, although perhaps the increased digitization of Hebrew manuscripts will help to narrow this gap. In any case, the absence of the Proceedings means that there is one less top-tier venue through which to survey and assess these trends in the study of medieval Jewish history. [from Conclusion]
Kanarfogel, Ephraim. “Understanding the Trajectory of Medieval Jewish Studies,” in David Sorkin, ed., A Commitment to Scholarship: The American Academy for Jewish Research, 1920-2020 (New York: American Academy for Jewish Research, 2020), 119-132
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