Chapter

Introduction

Yaacov Deutsch

in Judaism in Christian Eyes

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199756537
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950201 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756537.003.0001
Introduction

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At the beginning of the sixteenth century, a long line of texts first appeared in Western Europe and made up a full-fledged literary genre—ethnographies about the Jews. The crux of these works is systematic accounts of the customs and rituals of the period's Jews. By the later stages of the eighteenth century, over seventy-five of these works had been published. This introductory chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to provide a comprehensive survey of the genre's assorted works, with an emphasis on their general characteristics, the writing objectives they betray, the interconnections between the different works, and the ramifications of this entire enterprise. In so doing, it seeks to expose how Christian writers crafted the image of Judaism. The discussion then turns to ethnographic writing, Christian-Jewish relations, Christian Hebraism, and Jewish conversion to Christianity. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords: ethnographies; Judaism; Christian writers; Christian-Jewish relations; Christian Hebraism; Christianity; religious conversion

Chapter.  13803 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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