Chapter

Medieval Jewry in the Orbit of Islam

in Jews, Christians, and the Abode of Islam

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780226471075
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226471099 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226471099.003.0008
Medieval Jewry in the Orbit of Islam

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This chapter reports the medieval Jewry in the orbit of Islam, with particular reference to legal status and social and cultural interaction. Judah Halevy and Moses Maimonides were two of the most celebrated Jewish figures of the Middle Ages, emerging from the shadows of hagiography. During the age of the Geniza, Jews played a vital role in the overall economy, particularly in international trade. Tolerant attitudes that reflected the unusual heterogeneity of Islamic Spain submitted to sharp religious sensibilities. There was a growing polarization between the threatened Muslims and their subjects, the Jews. The declining of the Middle Ages and the concurrent breakdown of order in the world of Islam noted a watershed in Jewish-Muslim relations. As a group, Jews originating from Arab lands knew the Arabs much more intimately than they did any other elements of Israel's Jewish population.

Keywords: medieval Jewry; Islam; Judah Halevy; Moses Maimonides; Geniza; Jews; economy; Muslims; Middle Ages

Chapter.  10210 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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