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5-09-2015, 20:38

Between Cross and Crescent: Jewish Civilization from Mohammed to Spinoza

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Between Cross and Crescent: Jewish Civilization from Mohammed to Spinoza

Between Cross and Crescent: Jewish Civilization from Mohammed to Spinoza
Audio CDs in MP3 / English: WMA, 128 kb/s (2 ch) | Duration: 12:06:45 | ISBN-10: 159803121X | 2005 | +2 PDF Guide | 687 MB
Genre: History

What is it like to practice your faith in an environment dominated by another? To evolve as a people when all of the world around you moves to religious and cultural rhythms very different from your own? To maintain your unity as a living community-and always to be aware of that sense of community-even when your numbers have been scattered across many lands, without a common government, a common country, or even a common language?
Moreover, how might these circumstances affect not only your own history, but also the history of those other cultures through which you move? What might you take from them? What might you give them?

For 10 formative centuries, the answers to questions like these helped define a developing Judaism, whose history was forever affected by its encounters with the surrounding social, economic, political, and intellectual environments of both medieval Islam and Christendom. As a result of those encounters, new pathways of philosophical inquiry and religious spirituality would be formed. The Hebrew language would find new ways of artistic expression. And the role of Jews in the life of the surrounding community would be changed forever, sometimes even increased, as was the paradoxical case in Italy, by the very ghettoization meant to keep them isolated.

Between Cross and Crescent: Jewish Civilization from Mohammed to Spinoza presents an overview of Jewish culture and society from its rabbinic foundations in late antiquity until the dawn of modernity in the 17th century.

In so doing, it places a special focus on Judaism's creative encounter with Christianity and Islam, giving us a unique perspective from which to examine the three major Western religions as they interact over time, and noting especially their ability or inability to tolerate and even appreciate the "other," as viewed from the vantage point of the Jewish minority.

The course is taught by Professor David Ruderman, a widely honored scholar and teacher whose extraordinary array of achievements in illuminating Jewish history includes coauthorship of the two-volume Heritage: Civilization and the Jews Study Guide and Source Reader, created to accompany the landmark Public Broadcasting System series, and whose last appearance for The Teaching Company was leading an exploration of Jewish Intellectual History: 16th to 20th Century.

Professor David B. Ruderman (Author)
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