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The Image of the Black in Jewish Culture: A History of the Other (review)

The Image of the Black in Jewish Culture: A History of the Other (review) SHOFAR Winter 2005 Vol. 23, No. 2 those found in Moses ibn Ezra's Book of Conversation and Discussion (Kitab almuhadara wal-mudhakara), Judah Halevi's Kuzari: The Book of Refutation and Proof on the Despised Faith (Kitab al-radd wal-dalil fi l-din al-dhalil), Abraham ibn Daud's Sefer ha-Qabbalah, and the poems of Samuel ha-Nagid. In these works, Muslims are sometimes negatively portrayed, but not in terms of their religious identity. Why this reticence? In suggesting an explanation, Brann reiterates a point made in the earlier chapters, viz., that Muslim representations of Jews are tropes of Muslim culture, elucidating "conflicts of Muslim religion, culture, and identity" (p. 119). Similarly, Jewish representations of Muslims--or the lack thereof--are tropes of Andalusi Jewish culture. The reticence of the Jewish poets is explained by their "situational marginality" in Muslim Spain, their experience of "socio-cultural rupture" with the dominant Islamic culture at various junctures in the history of al-Andalus (p. 125). As a particularly illustrative example of this "silence of the Jews," Brann in Chapter 5 considers Judah alHarizi's corpus of maqamat (picaresque tales), especially the "maqama of the astrologer," in which Muslims are ambiguously depicted as both vilifying and defending the Jews. After Chapter 5, Brann's http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

The Image of the Black in Jewish Culture: A History of the Other (review)

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Purdue University Press
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Copyright © 2005 Purdue University.
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1534-5165
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Abstract

SHOFAR Winter 2005 Vol. 23, No. 2 those found in Moses ibn Ezra's Book of Conversation and Discussion (Kitab almuhadara wal-mudhakara), Judah Halevi's Kuzari: The Book of Refutation and Proof on the Despised Faith (Kitab al-radd wal-dalil fi l-din al-dhalil), Abraham ibn Daud's Sefer ha-Qabbalah, and the poems of Samuel ha-Nagid. In these works, Muslims are sometimes negatively portrayed, but not in terms of their religious identity. Why this reticence? In suggesting an explanation, Brann reiterates a point made in the earlier chapters, viz., that Muslim representations of Jews are tropes of Muslim culture, elucidating "conflicts of Muslim religion, culture, and identity" (p. 119). Similarly, Jewish representations of Muslims--or the lack thereof--are tropes of Andalusi Jewish culture. The reticence of the Jewish poets is explained by their "situational marginality" in Muslim Spain, their experience of "socio-cultural rupture" with the dominant Islamic culture at various junctures in the history of al-Andalus (p. 125). As a particularly illustrative example of this "silence of the Jews," Brann in Chapter 5 considers Judah alHarizi's corpus of maqamat (picaresque tales), especially the "maqama of the astrologer," in which Muslims are ambiguously depicted as both vilifying and defending the Jews. After Chapter 5, Brann's

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Feb 24, 2005

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