History, Memory, and Jewish Identity

History, Memory, and Jewish Identity


Edited by Ira Robinson, Naftali S. Cohn, and Lorenzo DiTommaso

Series: North American Jewish Studies
ISBN: 9781618114747 (hardcover)
Pages: 390 pp.
Publication Date: December 2015

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This volume takes a fresh view of the role representations of the past play in the construction of Jewish identity. Its central theme is that the study of how Jews construct the past can help in interpreting how they understand the nature of their Jewishness. The individual chapters illuminate the ways in which Jews responded to and made use of the past. If Jews’ choices of what to include, emphasize, omit, and invent in their representation of the past is a fundamental variable, then this volume contributes to the creation of a more nuanced approach to the construction of the histories of Jews and their thought.

Ira Robinson is Chair in Quebec and Canadian Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion and Director of the Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies, Concordia University. He is president of the Canadian Society for Jewish Studies, and was the 2013 winner of the Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award, Association for Canadian Jewish Studies.

Naftali S. Cohn is Associate Professor of Religion at Concordia University. His book, The Memory of the Temple and the Making of the Rabbis, was recently published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Lorenzo DiTommaso is Professor of Religion at Concordia University, Montréal. His next book, The Architecture of Apocalypticism, the first volume of a trilogy, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

The editors [of History, Memory, and Jewish Identity] sought to – and succeeded in – bringing together important studies demonstrating how the past has been a source of memory and a means to shape identity in various contexts. ... This volume presents a welcome contribution to an ongoing debate about the relationship between history and memory and the ways the past shapes present mentalities and future prospects.
— Jason Lustig, University of California, Los Angeles, Canadian Jewish Studies (Vol. 25)