The Jewish contribution to civilization: reassessing an idea

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Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2008 - History - 245 pages
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The biblical idea of a distinct Jewish contribution to civilization continues to engage Jews and non-Jews alike. This book seeks neither to document nor to discredit the notion, but rather to investigate the idea itself as it has been understood from the seventeenth century to the present. It explores the role that the concept has played in Jewish self-definition, how it has influenced the political, social, and cultural history of the Jews and of others, and whether discussion of the notion still has relevance in the world today. The book offers a broad spectrum of academic opinion: from tempered advocacy to reasoned disavowal, with many alternative variations on the theme in between. It attempts to illustrate the centrality of the question in modern Jewish culture in general, and its importance for modern Jewish studies in particular.

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Jewish Contribution to Civilizationand its Implications
The Shifting Course of a

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About the author (2008)

Jeremy Cohen, Professor of Medieval Jewish History at Tel Aviv University, has written two prize-winning books, "The Friars and the Jews" (1982), and ""Be Fertile and Increase, Fill the Earth and Master It"" (1989). He is the editor of"Essential Papers on Judaism and Christianity in Conflict" (1991), and "From Witness to Witchcraft: Jews and Judaism in Medieval Christian Thought" (1996).

Richard I. Cohen is Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His previous books include "Burden of Conscience: French-Jewish Leadership during the Holocaust" (1987).

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