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Jewish Martyrs in the Pagan and Christian Worlds

ISBN-10: 0521842816

ISBN-13: 9780521842815

Edition: 2005

Authors: Shmuel Shepkaru

List price: $124.00
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Description:

This book presents a linear history of Jewish martyrdom, from the Hellenistic period to the high Middle Ages. Following the chronology of sources, the study challenges the general consensus that martyrdom was an original Hellenisitc Jewish idea. Instead, Jews like Philo and Josephus internalized the idealized Roman concept of voluntary death and presented it as an old Jewish practice. The centrality of self-sacrifice in Christianity further stimulated the development of rabbinic martyrology and the talmudic guidelines for passive martyrdom. However, when forced to choosed between death and conversion in medieval Christendom, Ashkenazic Jews went beyond these guidelines, sacrificing themselves and loved ones. Through death not only did they attempt to prove their religiosity, but also to disprove the religious legitimacy of their Christian persecutors. While martyrs and martyrologies intended to show how Judaisim differed from Christianity, they, in fact, reveal a common mindset. Although the medieval martyrological option was played down during the Holocaust, medieval martyrologies still feature in Ashkenazic prayers of today.
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Book details

List price: $124.00
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 9/19/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 428
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

Preface
Introduction
Mythic martyrs
Between God and Caesar
'It is written in the law'
Byzantine burnt offerings
Zarfat
Ve Ashkenaz: traditional manifestations
Ve Ashkenaz: manifestations of a milieu
Singing in the fire
Fire from heaven
Shifting paradigms
Notes
Bibliography
Index