Article

Sephardi and Middle Eastern Jewries since 1492

Sarah Abrevaya Stein

in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780199280322
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199280322.013.0013

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Sephardi and Middle Eastern Jewries since 1492

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Despite significant achievements, certain challenges still confront the student of Sephardi and Middle Eastern Jewries. This article delineates four such challenges. First, the conceptual language and categories still need to be rethought: what is to be gained and lost by grouping Sephardi and Middle Eastern Jewries into one historical category? Second, while recent scholarship has challenged the ‘Sephardic Mystique’ and the ‘neo-lachrymose view of Jewish-Arab History’, there are other influential teleologies that warrant reconsideration, among them the teleologies of Westernization, modernization, and Zionism, all of which assume a Eurocentric perspective. Third, there remain numerous important gaps in the knowledge of Sephardi and Mizrahi culture and history, including social history, women's and gender history, comparative and inter-ethnic history. Fourth, there is still the task of using the scholarship on non-Ashkenazim to reconsider pre-existing assumptions about Jewish culture.

Keywords: Sephardic Mystique; Jewish culture; Eurocentric perspective; Mizrahi culture; non-Ashkenazim; teleologies

Article.  16755 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Studies ; Interfaith Relations ; History of Religion

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