Jewish Life in Renaissance Italy and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Jewish Life in Renaissance Italy on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Jewish Life in Renaissance Italy [Hardcover]

Robert Bonfil , Anthony Oldcorn
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 74.00
Price: CDN$ 68.88 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.12 (7%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Usually ships within 3 to 5 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition CDN $58.76  
Hardcover CDN $68.88  

Book Description

March 4 1994
With this heady exploration of time and space, rumors and silence, colors, tastes, and ideas, Robert Bonfil recreates the richness of Jewish life in Renaissance Italy. He also forces us to rethink conventional interpretations of the period, which feature terms like "assimilation" and "acculturation." Questioning the Italians' presumed capacity for tolerance and civility, he points out that Jews were frequently uprooted and persecuted, and where stable communities did grow up, it was because the hostility of the Christian population had somehow been overcome.

After the ghetto was imposed in Venice, Rome, and other Italian cities, Jewish settlement became more concentrated. Bonfil claims that the ghetto experience did more to intensify Jewish self-perception in early modern Europe than the supposed acculturation of the Renaissance. He shows how, paradoxically, ghetto living opened and transformed Jewish culture, hastening secularization and modernization.

Bonfil's detailed picture reveals in the Italian Jews a sensitivity and self-awareness that took into account every aspect of the larger society. His inside view of a culture flourishing under stress enables us to understand how identity is perceived through constant interplay—on whatever terms—with the Other.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

Review

"Draws on evidence from economics, population movements, education, literature, philosophy, and the patterns of daily life. [Bonfil's] erudition is apparent on every page. . . . Full of rich details about the life of Italian Jewry."--"Times Literary Supplement

From the Inside Flap

"The first fully developed and sophisticated statement of a position that goes against the main current of Jewish historiography for the past century. . . . The book will be of interest to scholars (beyond the specific field of Italian Jewish history) and to thoughtful general readers."—Marc Saperstein, Washington University

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE DEMOGRAPHIC distribution of the Jewish presence in Italy, from the close of the thirteenth century throughout practically the whole of the fifteenth, came about as the result of a process that can be reconstructed with a fair degree of accuracy. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

5 star
0
4 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars intriguing but ultimately unfulfilling Sept. 30 2003
Format:Hardcover
Robert Bonfil's Jewish Life in Renaissance Italy (originally published in Italian as Gli Ebrei in Italia nell'epoca del Rinascimento and translated into English by Anthony Oldcorn) seeks to establish a new approach to Italian Jewish history and, indeed, Jewish history in general. His account of the existing historiography on the subject describes two contrasting themes: one that describes the gradual, almost inevitable, assimilation of Jewish culture to mainstream Christian culture (and thus indicative of a willingness on the part of Christians to assimilate Jews to their dominant culture) and one that focuses on the persecution of Jews by Christians. Bonfil sums up his approach in the afterward as "seeking the definition of an identity in the context of a nascent awareness of the Jewish self as organically interrelated with the Christian Other, without for all that becoming confused with the Other and still less annihilated by it." In other words, Bonfil sees the assertion of Jewish identity 1) as necessarily relational 2) involving the same forms, themes, etc. as Christian culture. In some instances, it is difficult to reconcile these two aspects as self-assertion, as it is all too easy to view adoption of what Bonfil insists are "neutral" components of the broader Renaissance culture as assimilation to Christian norms rather than affirming Jewish identity. Bonfil succeeds in demonstrating this process in certain cases and in outlining a new methodology for others to pursue.
Bonfil is most convincing when discussing the how the cultural production of rabbis during the Italian Renaissance imported forms from the broader context of the Renaissance yet still forged a uniquely Jewish identity.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars intriguing but ultimately unfulfilling Sept. 30 2003
By Daniel Loss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Robert Bonfil's Jewish Life in Renaissance Italy (originally published in Italian as Gli Ebrei in Italia nell'epoca del Rinascimento and translated into English by Anthony Oldcorn) seeks to establish a new approach to Italian Jewish history and, indeed, Jewish history in general. His account of the existing historiography on the subject describes two contrasting themes: one that describes the gradual, almost inevitable, assimilation of Jewish culture to mainstream Christian culture (and thus indicative of a willingness on the part of Christians to assimilate Jews to their dominant culture) and one that focuses on the persecution of Jews by Christians. Bonfil sums up his approach in the afterward as "seeking the definition of an identity in the context of a nascent awareness of the Jewish self as organically interrelated with the Christian Other, without for all that becoming confused with the Other and still less annihilated by it." In other words, Bonfil sees the assertion of Jewish identity 1) as necessarily relational 2) involving the same forms, themes, etc. as Christian culture. In some instances, it is difficult to reconcile these two aspects as self-assertion, as it is all too easy to view adoption of what Bonfil insists are "neutral" components of the broader Renaissance culture as assimilation to Christian norms rather than affirming Jewish identity. Bonfil succeeds in demonstrating this process in certain cases and in outlining a new methodology for others to pursue.
Bonfil is most convincing when discussing the how the cultural production of rabbis during the Italian Renaissance imported forms from the broader context of the Renaissance yet still forged a uniquely Jewish identity. Unfortunately, he fails to demonstrate how this model of self-assertion held in other contexts of Jewish culture.
Taken as a whole, Bonfil's work is intriguing but ultimately unconvincing. His claim that assertion of Jewish identity took place in relation to Christians and importing aspects of Renaissance culture is a plausible one. Unfortunately, he only succeeds in demonstrating it in limited cases. One cannot help but ask, "What about the Jews who weren't rabbis? What about the average Jew?" In other words, Bonfil's hypothesis needs further exploration from below rather than from above.
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback