Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages – Updated Edition [David Nirenberg] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying. Nirenberg, David. Communities of Violence. Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages – Updated Edition. With an introd. by Nirenberg, David. PRINCETON . PDF | On Jun 1, , Marc Saperstein and others published David Nirenberg. Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the.
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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Communities of Violence by David Nirenberg. In the wake of modern genocide, we tend to think of violence against minorities as a sign of intolerance, or, even worse, a prelude to extermination.
Violence in the Middle Ages, however, functioned differently, according to David Nirenberg. In this provocative book, he focuses ddavid specific attacks against minorities in fourteenth-century France and the Crown of Aragon Ara In the wake of modern genocide, we tend to think of violence against minorities as a sign of intolerance, or, even worse, a prelude to extermination.
In this provocative book, he focuses on specific attacks against minorities vviolence fourteenth-century France and the Crown of Aragon Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia. He argues that nirenbberg attacks were often perpetrated not by irrational masses laboring under inherited ideologies and prejudices, but by groups that manipulated and reshaped the available discourses daavid minorities”.
Nirenberg’s argument is elegant and precise This is a highly sophisticated piece of work, clever in the best sense of the word, rich and variegated, a treasure-house of perceptive scholarship, sensitively nuanced, beautifully controlled, a delight to handle and a joy to vlolence.
Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign violecne. To ask other readers questions about Communities of Violenceplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Communities of Violence. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jun 17, Katie rated it it was amazing Shelves: A really fascinating and compelling book.
Communities of violence: persecution of minorities in the Middle Ages
Nirenberg’s work focused, more narrowly than the title implies, on relations between Christians, Jews, and Muslims under the crown of Aragon in the s and s essentially aims to question two longstanding historical assumptions. The first, dwvid hovers around the edge of his whole narrative, nirenbrrg that ‘minority studies’ ought commuunities be seen primarily as a study of the margins of society.
The second is that the Middle Ages is when Europe ‘went wrong’ – w A really fascinating and compelling book. The second is that the Middle Ages is when Europe ‘went wrong’ – when it finally gave into the collective and irrational religious violence that would lead to expulsions, pogroms and the Holocaust. Nirenberg does this in two main ways. In the first, through a study of the Shepherds’ Crusade and surrounding persecutions, Nirenberg argues that these movements were not irrational upswellings of religious hatred.
They also weren’t manifestations of a European wide ‘collective unconscious’ that was teetering on the verge of genocide.
Rather, they were extremely local phenomena commknities into secular issues like the fiscal policy of the French monarchy which Nirenberg suggests was the real target of attacks on Jewish communities by the Shepherds or jurisdictional battles between the king and the nobility. In Aragon, for example, rumors of Jews and lepers poisoning wells got reappropriated in order to harass local Genoese citizens who offended the crown as serious trade rivals of Barcelona.
In these cases, underlying religious tensions were exploited for local, specific disputes. Religious hatred played a role, but these events can’t be simply categorized as random bursts of irrational bigotry. In his second section, Nirenberg shows how ‘controlled’ violence – such as accusations of inter-religious sex or ritualized attacks on the Jewish Quarters of town during Holy Week – often served to promote stability and coexistence between faiths by establishing clear parameters of behavior than to promote underlying thoughts of mass persecution violrnce universal violence.
The Holy Week attacks, for example, were long used by historians as examples of an escalation of anti-Jewish sentiment that set the precedent for a long road of escalating persecutions.
Nirenberg suggests instead that they were a ritualistic form of violence that usually consisted of 12 year old throwing rocks at the walls of villence Jewish quarter and then getting broken up by royal agents.
While this isn’t particularly indicative of inter-religious cheerfulness, it’s also not something that inherently leads to comprehensive or institutional persecution. Nirenberg never underplays the real violence that underpins all of this. It was undeniably pretty awful, and he doesn’t shy away from that.
Communities of violence: persecution of minorities in the Middle Ages
Religious intolerance certainly played a role, often a large one. The important part of this book is that he’s willing to examine it and engage with it, instead of simply dismissing it as irrational, universal, and teleological.
Instead, Nirenberg’s concept of violence against minority groups is something that is local, specific, and part of the broader networks of social interaction between all members of society, majority and minority alike. It’s an absolutely essential book for anyone interested in inter-religious coexistence, in the Middle Ages and beyond. Sep 19, Ubiquitousbastard rated it it was ok Shelves: Usual warning for a required reading. Firstly, this book is very dense.
The page count is not so daunting, but then the font is tiny with excerpts managing to be even tinier and the wording is really scholarly and just It would seem like the subject matter would make for some awesome parts with violence and gore, but it’s done clinically except in the odd incidence where it seems like Nirenberg wanted to throw in a shock. Of course, the shock didn’t work since I was bas Usual warning for a required reading. Of course, the shock didn’t work since I was basically in a coma from reading the ever so dry prose in the hundred preceding pages.
The entire introduction is concerned with historiography and there are mentions of teleology and structuralism throughout the entire book. I can imagine this would make the book even slower reading for people that weren’t even familiar with the terms. Conversely, there are times where the author spent ten pages describing events just to lead up to an extremely obvious conclusion. I want something profound if I’m wasting that much of my life reading about obscure people in Medieval Spain and France.
His writing was honestly inconsistent and possibly had a few errors or they’re grammatical twists that I’m apparently not educated enough to get? I did like the amount of information present, because he did find some very interesting situations and unique people that I believe must have been difficult to find.
It’s been difficult for me to find sources on Spain, so I respect that. Jan 10, Ally de Padua rated it it was amazing. From the Islamic conquest of until the capture of Granada and the expulsion of the Jews inthe Iberian Peninsula was home to three monotheistic faiths. Historiographically, this condition has been given a name: The roots of Spanish culture, Castro claimed, lay in the centuries following ; it was built from From the Islamic conquest of until the capture of Granada and the expulsion of the Jews inthe Iberian Peninsula was home to three monotheistic faiths.
The roots of Spanish culture, Castro claimed, lay in the centuries following ; it was built from the shared cultural experiences of Muslims, Christians, and Jews who, despite their confessional antipathy, often lived side by side in the urban centers of Medieval Iberia.
Since then, however, the notion of convivencia has been appropriated by the historians of Medieval Iberia as a de facto condition for evaluating the history of the peninsula. Such schematization is alluring, because by assigning causation it renders comprehensible a history that was, from the outset, made messy and complicated by interwoven narratives of religion, warfare, alliance, and intermittent persecution.
However experience tells us that reality resists such easy categorizations, why then, should we expect such an easy understanding of the past? David Nirenberg, in contrast, gives us a glimpse of the complicated nature of interfaith relations in Medieval Spain. His book Communities of Violence analyses breakouts of inter-religious violence in ciolence fourteenth century Crown of Aragon. In search of the meaning of these episodes of violence, Nirenberg combed through the archives of the Crown of Aragon in order to reconstruct the dynamics of interfaith coexistence.
What he found were instances of ritualized, institutionalized violence that played a role in the functioning of Aragonese society even during the quieter periods between pogroms; as such episodes of extreme violence and religious unrest could not be disentangled from the more mundane history of day-to-day interactions and clashes that occurred between members of different religious groups living under the Crown.
What studies like Dr. Characterizing moments of conflict as manifestations of the intolerant or irrational absolves the historian from the search for any explanation, any further meaning. Sep 04, Charles Nicholas Saenz rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: David Nirenberg’s approach presents many challenges to the conventions of studing intergroup conflict.
His methodological technique in particular offers a new means commuinties interpret source documents. Concerning the larger field of Jewish history, Nirenberg seeks to free historians from a reliance on a strict teleology “Communities of Violence” traces the nature of ethnic relations in France and the Kingdom of Aragon – not all of Europe as the title suggests – in the waning years of the middle ages.
Concerning the larger field of Jewish history, Nirenberg seeks to free historians from a reliance on a strict teleology that sees all persecution as leading to the Spanish expulsion of or even the Holocaust.
Rather than construct a universal theory of ethnic violence, Nirenberg emphasizes local context. In the case of France, anti-Jewish violence is seen to be supportive of the intensely sacred identity of the Crown. In Aragon, by contrast, the Crown actively saught to protect its Jewish subjects. Both examples characterise differing responses to what Nireneberg describes as cataclysmic violence Nirenberg’s analysis explores more than Christian-Jewish relations alone.
The difficult place of Muslims, lepers, and prostitutes in this society receive extended attention as well. Perhaps Nirenberg’s most remarkable finding is that much of the violence he uses a liberal definition of the term to be certain was systematic. In this sense, everday forms of violence stabilized society and served the forces of order more so than chaos. Nirfnberg book ends with consideration of violence in the wake of clmmunities Black Death.
Interestingly, here the author finds more continuity than change. Though limited geographically, this conclusion warrants further examination of the frequent invocation of the s as a decisive turning point in the periodization of European history. I think that it states with great clarity what Nirenberg spends his whole book trying to prove in relation to the persecution of minorities in the Middle Ages: He depends a bit too much on jargon and the book can get repetitive at times since he is repeating his argument but nireenberg relation to different minorities prostitutes, Jews, etc.
Part one achieves this through its insistence on the location and contextualization of episodes of violence within political, economic and cultural frameworks; part two by its emphasis on the ot production of violence between religious groups and the stabilizing function of that violence within society.
Communities of Violence
Mar 09, Siria rated it really liked it Shelves: The subtitle is somewhat misleading—Nirenberg focuses not on the entire Middle Ages, but on a period of about two hundred years or so; his examination is not of all minorities but on Jews and Muslims and to a lesser extent lepers ; and his geographical concentration is not all of Europe, or even all of Western Europe, but rather southern France and Aragon.
Though it doesn’t quite accord with the expectations which its title raises, this is still a very fine book. Nirenberg rejects the longue du The subtitle is somewhat misleading—Nirenberg focuses not on the entire Middle Ages, but on a period of about two hundred years or so; his examination villence not of all minorities but on Jews and Muslims and to a lesser extent lepers ; and his geographical concentration is not all of Europe, or even all of Western Europe, but rather southern France and Aragon.
He argues for greater contextualisation of violent incidents by historians, vavid questions our assumptions that medieval people acted “irrationally” in response to unquestioned stereotypes—stereotypes and institutionalised bigotry, he argues, could be harnessed by people in order to achieve specific political or economic gains.
The history of minorities also requires dagid unpacking of the history of the majority, as they are interdependent things. Nirenberg is careful to point to the horror of the events which he’s describing, but there are times when his emphasis on violence against others as a means of identity formation skirts perilously close to that argument about the inevitability of violence which he refutes in others’ work.
Apr 15, Shomeret rated it it was amazing Shelves: The author argues that persecution of religious minorities in Christian and Islamic Europe during the medieval period was often politically or economically motivated rather than religiously motivated.