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Faithful NarrativesHistorians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity$
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Andrea Sterk and Nina Caputo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451829

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451829.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 17 September 2021

The People and the Book

The People and the Book

Print and the Transformation of Jewish Culture in Early Modern Europe

(p.83) Chapter 5 The People and the Book
Faithful Narratives

David B. Ruderman

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses how the study of Jewish culture in early modern Europe has flourished with an outburst of books and essays. Most of this scholarship, however, is exclusively focused on a particular locality, seemingly denying the possibility that a distinct early modern Jewish cultural experience can be described. The chapter argues that such a description is attainable without eliminating the specificities of the Jewish subcultures other historians have carefully described. Instead, it proposes a perspective that emphasizes connections, contacts, and conversations over time and across specific localities. A central theme in this description of a transregional Jewish culture is the knowledge explosion triggered by the printing of Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino books. The chapter maintains that the movement of books and the activities of their publishers played a key role in creating a connected history of early modern regional Jewish communities.

Keywords:   Jewish culture, early modern Europe, Jewish localities, Hebrew books, Yiddish books, Ladino books

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