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Medieval Jews and the Christian PastJewish Historical Consciousness in Spain and Southern France$
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Ram Ben-Shalom

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113904

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113904.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

Genres and Motives

Genres and Motives

(p.13) Chapter One Genres and Motives
Medieval Jews and the Christian Past

Ram Ben-Shalom

, Chaya Naor
Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the genres and motives behind Jewish chronology during the Middle Ages. Jewish historiography focused on correlating Jewish chronology, general chronology, and Christian chronology. This was a similar approach to Christian writers. The chapter shows that this correlation of Jewish chronology with Christian and general chronology was one of the many components of medieval Jewish–Christian discourse. On the one hand, this suggests that Jews had a unified approach to history, in which they saw themselves as full participants. On the other, the timing and meaning of historical events were part of the religious polemic with Christianity. Religious polemic and apocalypticism were important reasons why Jewish scholars in Spain and southern France engaged in historiography. Other motives included the moral lessons that could be found in history and intellectual curiosity.

Keywords:   Jewish chronology, Christian chronology, Jewish–Christian discourse, religious polemic, apocalypticism, moral lessons

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