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Three Recent Books in Jewish Studies from France

Three Recent Books in Jewish Studies from France Review Essay Trinity University La renaissance du hassidisme: de 1945 à nos jours, by Jacques Gutwirth. Paris : Odile Jacob, 2004. La souffrance comme identité, by Esther Benbassa. Paris: Fayard, 2007. Les temps de la fin: Roth, Singer, Boulgakov, by Carole KsiazenicerMatheron. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2007. These three works from different disciplines--anthropology, history, comparative literature--attest to the variety and depth of French research in Jewish studies. Jacques Gutwirth, a founding figure of urban anthropology in France, is no doubt best known for his incredibly detailed and methodologically sophisticated ethnography of the Belzer Hasidim in Antwerp, Vie juive traditionnelle: ethnologie d'une communauté hassidique (Paris: Minuit, 1968). That study was remarkable in its focus on constancy and deviancy in that community. Gutwirth calibrated variation, for example, by assigning to the different actors involved numerical scores for their conformity to Hasidic custom, practice, and dress (which he described at length), and then correlated complexes of behaviors with such variables as origin (Hungarian or Polish) and socio-economic status (richer diamond brokers versus less well-off diamond cutters). In that work, Gutwirth proposed a veritable "sociology of Jewry" [sociologie de la judaïcité] that traced the success of postwar Hasidic settlement in Antwerp to the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

Three Recent Books in Jewish Studies from France

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Publisher
Purdue University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Purdue University
ISSN
1534-5165
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Abstract

Review Essay Trinity University La renaissance du hassidisme: de 1945 à nos jours, by Jacques Gutwirth. Paris : Odile Jacob, 2004. La souffrance comme identité, by Esther Benbassa. Paris: Fayard, 2007. Les temps de la fin: Roth, Singer, Boulgakov, by Carole KsiazenicerMatheron. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2007. These three works from different disciplines--anthropology, history, comparative literature--attest to the variety and depth of French research in Jewish studies. Jacques Gutwirth, a founding figure of urban anthropology in France, is no doubt best known for his incredibly detailed and methodologically sophisticated ethnography of the Belzer Hasidim in Antwerp, Vie juive traditionnelle: ethnologie d'une communauté hassidique (Paris: Minuit, 1968). That study was remarkable in its focus on constancy and deviancy in that community. Gutwirth calibrated variation, for example, by assigning to the different actors involved numerical scores for their conformity to Hasidic custom, practice, and dress (which he described at length), and then correlated complexes of behaviors with such variables as origin (Hungarian or Polish) and socio-economic status (richer diamond brokers versus less well-off diamond cutters). In that work, Gutwirth proposed a veritable "sociology of Jewry" [sociologie de la judaïcité] that traced the success of postwar Hasidic settlement in Antwerp to the

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Feb 13, 2009

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