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Social tensions within XVth century Hispano-Jewish communities

Gutwirth, E.; (1978) Social tensions within XVth century Hispano-Jewish communities. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the relations between certain social groups within the xvth century Hispano-Jewish communities. The main emphasis is on the analysis of the leadership strata, local and supralocal, as targets of criticism and, at the same time, as a centralizing force. The configurations of social tension are examined and attention is drawn to the recurrence of conflict between various groups on socio-economic issues. Some exponents of literary expressions of this tension, in the form of criticism of the leadership and its ideals are investigated and seen within both their literary and historical backgrounds. Part I deals with the expressions of social thought in the works of Jewish thinkers writing in Hebrew and voicing social grievances. Chapter 1 deals with social criticism in the 'Iggeret Musar' by Solomon Alami setting it against its historical and literary context. Chapter 2 is devoted to a study of ideas of social criticism to be found in a group of poems by the Saragossan poet Solomon Bonafed and to an analysis of the forms of social conflict in his community on the basis of archival records collected from the works of Serrano y Sanz and Fritz Baer et al (where they are published in different contexts). Part 2 is devoted to a study of conflict in the Hispano-Jewish communities of the xvth century and to the centralizing role of one of the social groups in these conflicts: the leadership stratum. Chapter 3 is devoted to a study of social tension within the Jewish communities of the Crown of Aragon and the existence of a trend towards centralization which is denied in modern historiography. Chapter 4 is concerned with the forms of social conflict amongst groups in the Castilian-Jewish communities of the xvth century. Chapter 5 deals with Abraham Seneor, Chief Rabbi of Castille, under the Catholic Monarchs, as a representative of central Jewish supralocal institutions and as a target of social criticism and conflict. The evidence adduced leads to the conclusion that fiscal, socio-economic and administrative issues, and not only religious ones, were at the root of much of xvth century Hispano-Jewish social tensions forming tae background to xvth century Hebrew authors who have been dismissed as exaggerated, isolated or embittered.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Social tensions within XVth century Hispano-Jewish communities
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Hebrew and Jewish Studies

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