Judaism and general culture in Medieval and Early Modern times.
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The attempt to provide an analytical overview of Jewish attitudes toward the pursuit of general culture in the millennium from the Geonic Middle East to the eve of the European Jewish Enlightenment is more than a daunting task: it flirts with the sin of hubris. The limitations of both space and the author required a narrowing and sharpening of the focus; consequently this essay will concentrate on high culture, on disciplines which many medieval and early modem Jews regarded as central to their intellectual profile and which they often saw as crucial or problematic (and sometimes both) for the understanding of Judaism itself. Such disciplines usually included philosophy and the sciences, sometimes extended to poetry, and on at least one occasion embraced history as well. The net remains very widely cast, but it does not take all of culture as its province. (from Introduction)
Berger, D. (2018). Judaism and general culture in Medieval and Early Modern times. In J. J. Schacter, (Ed.), Judaism’s encounter with other cultures – Rejection or integration? (pp. 71-175). Maggid Books.
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