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Beyond ExpulsionJews, Christians, and Reformation Strasbourg$
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Debra Kaplan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804774420

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804774420.001.0001

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Constructing Jewish Memory

Constructing Jewish Memory

Self-Texts, the Reformation, and Narratives of Jewish History

(p.144) Seven Constructing Jewish Memory
Beyond Expulsion
Stanford University Press

Jews living in the Holy Roman Empire took interest in the religious changes occurring in the Christian world and reflected on what those events meant for them. Josel of Rosheim viewed the Reformation in the context of the larger narrative of his fellow Jews' precarious position in the Empire, their expulsions and restrictions, and their contentious relationship with non-Jews. He wrote texts, categorized as ego-documents or self-texts, that examine the Jewish role in the world, the place of Jews in history, and the Jews' relationship with their Christian neighbors. In Josel's interpretation of Jewish history, the Jews are at the center of the historical narrative. As a genre, self-texts were practiced by both Jewish and Christian writers during the early modern period. This genre persisted among the Jews of seventeenth-century Alsace, as evidenced by the memoirs composed by Asher of Reichshofen in the eighteenth century.

Keywords:   Jews, Alsace, self-texts, Reformation, Jewish history, memoirs, Josel of Rosheim, Asher of Reichshofen, Christians, historical narrative

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