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How Jewish is Jewish History?$
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Moshe Rosman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113348

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113348.001.0001

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Some a priori Issues in Jewish Historiography

Some a priori Issues in Jewish Historiography

(p.19) One Some a priori Issues in Jewish Historiography
How Jewish is Jewish History?

Moshe Rosman

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers five a priori issues: what Jews are, the status of the Exile (galut), how Jews fit into history, which metahistory to choose, and metahistory as destiny. Anyone who sets out to write about Jewish history — no matter what period or place — confronts these basic questions about the enterprise before actually undertaking the task. One's position on these fundamental problems creates a framework within which the research will be presented and by which the narrative will be significantly affected. Before the development of postmodern consciousness, the engagement of Jewish historians with these issues was usually oblique and tacit, their positions typically presented as part of the conclusions of their research. However, it is now apparent that these positions represented prior assumptions that, in part, guided that research, and influenced its interpretation and presentation.

Keywords:   a priori issues, metahistory, Exile, galut, Jewish history, research framework, Jewish historians, prior assumptions, destiny

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