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Crisis and Creativity in the Sephardic World 1391-1648 cover
  • ISBN: 9780231109239
  • ISBN10: 0231109237

Crisis and Creativity in the Sephardic World 1391-1648

by Benjamin R. Gampel

  • List Price: $36.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 06/01/1997
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On March 31, 1492, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand signed an edict banishing all Jews from the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. While Jewish communities had faced the dissolution of their age-old settlements throughout Iberia (a region of southwestern Europe that includes Spain and Portugal), it was the expulsion of Jews in Castile, Portugal, and Navarre after the reconquest of Islam in 1492 that would strike at the very soul of Jewish identity and echo across the centuries. Iberian (Sephardic) Jews, who had attained unprecedented heights of political, economic, and social integration, now had to confront their downfall, as they were dispersed and their culture was transformed.

Leading scholars in Jewish history, philosophy, literature, religion, and linguistics reflect on the traumatic expulsions and their aftermath in Jewish, European, and Mediterranean cultures. In fifteen essays the contributors bring into sharp relief three themes: the cultural vitality of the Sephardim in the waning years of their life on the Iberian Peninsula; the agonizing choice between religious conversion and exile; and the driving influence of cultural survival and change that permeated Sephardic intellectual and literary life. The result is a sweeping and instructive survey of Jewish catastrophe -- one that serves as a reference point to the tragic course of modern history.

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0231109237. B&W Illustrations; 8.98 X 5.99 X 0.88 inches; xvi, 413 pages;