Languages of Community: The Jewish Experience in the Czech Lands

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University of California Press, 26.12.2000 - 322 Seiten
With a keen eye for revealing details, Hillel J. Kieval examines the contours and distinctive features of Jewish experience in the lands of Bohemia and Moravia (the present-day Czech Republic), from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century. In the Czech lands, Kieval writes, Jews have felt the need constantly to define and articulate the nature of group identity, cultural loyalty, memory, and social cohesiveness, and the period of "modernizing" absolutism, which began in 1780, brought changes of enormous significance. From that time forward, new relationships with Gentile society and with the culture of the state blurred the traditional outlines of community and individual identity. Kieval navigates skillfully among histories and myths as well as demography, biography, culture, and politics, illuminating the maze of allegiances and alliances that have molded the Jewish experience during these 200 years.
 

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Inhalt

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Seite 3 - experience" is what James called a doublebarrelled word. Like its congeners, life and history, it includes what men do and suffer, what they strive for, love, believe and endure, and also how men act and are acted upon, the ways in which they do and suffer, desire and enjoy, see, believe, imagine — in short, processes of experiencing. "Experience...
Seite 1 - ... a state: It is a culture or a fate. Its borders are imaginary and must be drawn and redrawn with each new historical situation. Central Europe therefore cannot be defined and determined by political frontiers (which are inauthentic, always imposed by invasions, conquests, and occupations), but by the great common situations that reassemble peoples, regroup them in ever new ways along the imaginary and ever-changing boundaries that mark a realm inhabited by the same memories, the same problems...

Über den Autor (2000)

Hillel J. Kieval is Gloria M. Goldstein Professor of Jewish History and Thought at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of The Making of Czech Jewry (1988) and Blood Inscriptions, a forthcoming study of the modern ritual murder trial.

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