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Motherhood, Religion, and Society in Medieval Europe, 400-1400: Essays Presented to Henrietta Leyser

Who can concentrate on thoughts of Scripture or philosophy and be able to endure babies crying ... ? Will he put up with the constant muddle and squalor which small children bring into the home? The wealthy can do so ... but philosophers lead a very different life ... So, according to Peter Abelard, did his wife Heloise state in characteristically stark terms the antithetical demands of family and scholarship. Heloise was not alone i...

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The Scandal of Kabbalah: Leon Modena, Jewish Mysticism, Early Modern Venice

The Scandal of Kabbalah is the first book about the origins of a culture war that began in early modern Europe and continues to this day: the debate between kabbalists and their critics on the nature of Judaism and the meaning of religious tradition. From its medieval beginnings as an esoteric form of Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah spread throughout the early modern world and became a central feature of Jewish life. Scholars have long st...

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Religious Rhetoric and American Politics

From Reagan's regular invocation of America as "a city on a hill" to Obama's use of spiritual language in describing social policy, religious rhetoric is a regular part of how candidates communicate with voters. Although the Constitution explicitly forbids a religious test as a qualification to public office, many citizens base their decisions about candidates on their expressed religious beliefs and values. In Religious Rhetoric and...

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We Called Him Rabbi Abraham : Lincoln and American Jewry, a Documentary History

Over the course of American history, Jews have held many American leaders in high esteem, but they maintain a unique emotional bond with Abraham Lincoln. From the time of his presidency to the present day, American Jews have persistently viewed Lincoln as one of their own, casting him as a Jewish sojourner and, in certain respects, a Jewish role model. This pioneering compendium— The first volume of annotated documents to focus on th...

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Sung Dynasty Uses of the I Ching

The I Ching, or Book of Changes, has been one of the two or three most influential books in the Chinese canon. It has been used by people on all levels of society, both as a method of divination and as a source of essential ideas about the nature of heaven, earth, and humankind. During the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Sung dynasty literati turned to it for guidance in their fundamental reworking of the classical traditions. This b...

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Frontiers of Faith: Bringing Catholicism to the West in the Early Republic

American religious histories have often focused on the poisoned relations between Catholics and Protestants during the colonial period or on the virulent anti-Catholicism and nativism of the mid- to late nineteenth century. Between these periods, however, lies an important era of close, peaceable, and significant interaction between these discordant factions. Frontiers of Faith: Bringing Catholicism to the West in the Early Republic ...

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Jew (Key Words in Jewish Studies, 8)

Jew.  The word possesses an uncanny power to provoke and unsettle. For millennia, Jew has signified the consummate Other, a persistent fly in the ointment of Western civilization’s grand narratives and cultural projects. Only very recently, however, has Jew been reclaimed as a term of self-identification and pride.   With these insights as a point of departure, this book offers a wide-ranging exploration of the key word Jew—a term th...

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New York Amish: Life in the Plain Communities of the Empire State

In a book that highlights the existence and diversity of Amish communities in New York State, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner draws on twenty-five years of observation, participation, interviews, and archival research to emphasize the contribution of the Amish to the state's rich cultural heritage. While the Amish settlements in Pennsylvania and Ohio are internationally known, the Amish population in New York, the result of internal migratio...