Jewish Literary Cultures

Volume 2, The Medieval and Early Modern Periods

By (author) David Stern

Hardback - £79.95

Publication date:

07 November 2019

Length of book:

308 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271084831

In this second of three planned volumes of Jewish Literary Cultures, David Stern explores diverse texts and topics in medieval and early modern Jewish literature and book history.

Stern uses contemporary critical approaches to assess larger themes and currents in medieval and early modern Jewish civilization—opening new windows into cultural exchange, the impact of materiality upon reading practice and literary reception, and the nature of the Jewish imagination and literary creativity. The texts and topics examined in this volume include a remarkable story about a Jew who marries a demoness, a blasphemous rabbinic parody, and the material histories of four classic Jewish books: the Hebrew Bible in the manuscript age; the early printed rabbinic Bible, the Talmud, and the invention of its unusual page format; the medieval Jewish prayerbook and its unexpected illustrations; and the Passover Haggadah and its cartographic messianism.

Accessibly written and thoughtfully compiled, these essays are perfect for use in the classroom and for reference in personal and professional research. Scholars and specialists in medieval and early modern Judaism in particular will appreciate Stern’s work.

“This is a perceptive, deeply detailed, carefully crafted study. The essays collected here originated in a variety of settings over the course of Stern’s career. In bringing them together, Stern reveals the deep power and meaning for Jewish culture of literary forms and of the book as a cultural artifact.”

—A. J. Avery-Peck, Choice