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Jews

The Making of a Diaspora People

Irving M. Zeitlin
Barcode 9780745660172
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Release Date: 02/03/2012

Genre: Philosophy & Spirituality
Sub-Genre: History
Label: Polity Press
Language: English
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Pages: 300

The Making of a Diaspora People. * A groundbreaking new study by a leading scholar on the history of the Jews and the process by which they became a diaspora people. * Wide-ranging in scope, from the expulsion of Jews from their ancestral homeland in the Ancient world to the 'Final Solution' and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This book is a comprehensive account of how the Jews became a diaspora people. The term 'diaspora' was first applied exclusively to the early history of the Jews as they began settling in scattered colonies outside of Israel-Judea during the time of the Babylonian exile; it has come to express the characteristic uniqueness of the Jewish historical experience. Zeitlin retraces the history of the Jewish diaspora from the ancient world to the present, beginning with expulsion from their ancestral homeland and concluding with the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In mapping this process, Zeitlin argues that the Jews' religious self-understanding was crucial in enabling them to cope with the serious and recurring challenges they have had to face throughout their history. He analyses the varied reactions the Jews encountered from their so-called 'host peoples', paying special attention to the attitudes of famous thinkers such as Luther, Hegel, Nietzsche, Wagner, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, the Left Hegelians, Marx and others, who didn't shy away from making explicit their opinions of the Jews.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Jewish studies, diaspora studies, history and religion, as well as to general readers keen to learn more about the history of the Jewish experience.