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Under Crescent and Cross


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Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgmentsNote on TransliterationIntroductionCh. 1Myth and Countermyth3Ch. 2Religions in Conflict17Ch. 3The Legal Position of Jews in Christendom30Ch. 4The Legal Position of Jews in Islam52Ch. 5The Economic Factor77Ch. 6Hierarchy, Marginality, and Ethnicity107Ch. 7The Jew as Townsman121Ch. 8Sociability129Ch. 9Interreligious Polemics139Ch. 10Persecution, Response and Collective Memory162Conclusion195Notes201Index271

About the Author

Mark R. Cohen is professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University. His books include "Jewish Self-Government in Medieval Egypt, The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi", and "Poverty and Charity in the Jewish Community of Medieval Egypt" (Princeton).


Mark R. Cohen, Winner of the 2010 Goldziher Prize, The Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College National Jewish Honor Book in Jewish History "Cohen's concern in this important new book is with a historiographically far more interesting and useful question [than the debate over the Jewish experiences in the medieval worlds of Christendom and Islam]: why the difference? ... Cohen's argument is buttressed with an impressive range of evidence drawn from both Jewish and non-Jewish sources in the Islamic and Christian worlds."--David Wasserstein, The Times Literary Supplement "Cohen advances our knowledge through a fine treatment of the huge literature and the application of social anthropological theory. Scholars will welcome the sound synthesis; general readers will appreciate the lucid style."--Library Journal "[Cohen's] systematic, comparative approach ... makes this a useful book for courses in general medieval history and Jewish history. Cohen presents the differences between the history of Jewish life under Edom [Christianity] and Ishmael [Islam] in a lucid and comprehensive manner."--Stephen D. Beinin, American Historical Review "Cohen's is a polemical text in the best sense of the word: it tries to open debate, not stifle it, and asks questions where they are traditionally shouted away... A reassuringly balanced and judicious assessment of Jewish life in the Middle Ages."--Andre A. Aciman, New York Newsday "On the whole, given the complexity of the issues and the long history of the debate about them, Cohen's fresh approach ... is welcome, and anyone interested in the subject in the future will find it necessary to refer to this important work."--William M. Brinner, Medieval Encounters "Mark R. Cohen has crafted a work that is fascinating in detail and provocative in analysis."--Frederic Krome, Speculum "The re-printing of this book with a new introduction and afterword by the author could not come at a better time... Survivors of the Holocaust have left a long and detailed accounting of their suffering which has been added to the collective memory. Unfortunately, it would appear that this memory has transcended history, which is an excellent reason to read Mark Cohen's book lest we forget an essential part of the Jewish heritage."--Aimee Dassa Kligman, Sephardic Heritage Update "Under Crescent and Cross ... is a useful volume about an extremely sensitive issue."--Sheldon Kirshner, Canadian Jewish News "This is a required text for anyone interested in the history of the lives of our ancestors in this region and in other regions during the medieval period, which is written in a readable way and does not demand of its readers prior historical knowledge."--Sasson Somekh, Haaretz "This important work ... should be of interest to all those interested in Jewish history. [Cohen's] brilliant and subtle analysis, though focused on the medieval period, provides lessons that are of vital importance today."--John E. Weakland, European Legacy

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