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Antisemitism and Modernity: Innovation and Continuity (Routledge Jewish Studies Series) Hardcover – 18 Jan 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (18 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041531173X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415311731
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,522,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Hyam Maccoby was a Research Professor at he Centre for Jewish Studies, Univeristy of Leeds. He has published many books and articles and they include The Philosophy of the Talmud (RoutledgeCurzon, 2002) and Ritual and Morality: The Ritual Purity System and its Place in Judaism (Cambridge University Press, 1999).  His research interests are Jewish-Christian relations in ancient and medieval times; The New Testament in the light of the rabbinic writings; the philosophy of the Talmud and Jewish medieval philosophy.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Imroth on 16 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
With his usual brilliance, Hyam Maccoby traces the protean forms of modern political, racial and Islamic antisemitism to medieval Christianity (itself an innovation of Hellenistic antisemitism), showing how the Christian role of Jews as `sacred executioners', pariahs and rejected father-figures informs the antisemitism even of those, such as Voltaire, Nietzsche, Marx and Hitler, who rejected Christianity, emerging also in the art of Marlow, Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant and insightful. 5 Mar 2010
By S. B. Volchan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant short book full of valuable insights. The main thesis is that the fundamental source of anti-semitism is the central role of Judaism in Christian mythology; in the ensuing rivarly, the demonization of the Jews, a populist theological tool to rally Christians in support of the supersessionist idea (and to assuage Christian insecurities) spread all over Europe as Christianity took hold of political power. Politico-ideological and racial anti-semitism are modifications and transmutations of the same medieval themes within the new secular age and while theological Christian anti-semitism barely avoided genocide (thanks to St. Augustine's theory of Jews as the despised "witness people"), secular-ideological antisemitism had no such constraints, which explains its lethality. Muslim antisemitism is different, as Jews don't play the same central mythical role in Islamism. However, when a previously second-class people, treated with contempt (the dhimmitude status) dared regain independence after defeating muslims, the contempt turned into ubriddled hatred, fed and stirred by all types of classical Western anti-semitic trash: from Christian blood libels, conspiratorial paranoias, racist nonsense, Nazi fantasies and, more recently, left-wing delusions.

It is a great reading, particularly the discussion of anti-semitsm in Shakespeare, Voltaire, Nietzche, Eliot and Pound. At some places the author relies a bit too seriously on psychoanalysis, an amusing pseudo-science, but pseudo-science nontheless, but fortunately this doesn't cause much harm overall.

Highly recommended.
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