Martin, John D.
Representations of Jews in Late Medieval and Early Modern German Literature
Year of Publication: 2006
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2004, 2006. 253 pp.
ISBN 978-3-03910-718-6 pb. (Softcover)
Weight: 0.380 kg, 0.838 lbs
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It is commonly held that medieval Christians viewed medieval Jews in exclusively negative terms. This is certainly the dominant opinion in much twentieth-century scholarship, and it is not wholly without justification. It is, however, an opinion that does not accurately reflect the breadth of medieval German Christian thinking about medieval German Jews. Drawing on Passion plays, hagiographical narratives and didactic literature, this monograph reveals a hitherto largely unacknowledged diversity in medieval German representations of Jews. In many of the best-attested texts from the late medieval and early modern periods, Jews appear in German literature as sympathetic, even morally exemplary figures.
Contents: The State of Contemporary Research - The Saint Gall Passion Play and the Frankfurter Dirigierrolle - The Tirol, Halle and Frankfurt Passion Plays - The Alsfeld Passion Play - The Legend of Saint Silvester in Medieval German-speaking Europe - Theophilus, «Der Judenknabe», and Saint Basil - Representations of Jews in Fables and Related Moral-Didactic Narratives in Late Medieval German-speaking Europe.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Author: Born in 1968, John D. Martin received his Master's Degrees in English and German from Indiana University and his doctorate from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He has published articles on medieval German literature and the medieval Icelandic sagas.
«...mit der Arbeit John D. Martins [liegt] eine solide, ausgewogene... Untersuchung vor, die einen erheblichen Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Repräsentation von Juden in spätmittelalterlicher und frühmoderner deutscher Literatur darstellt.» (Arvi Sepp, German Studies Review)
«Seine Studie liefert sowohl eine verlässliche und abgewogene Sichtung der bisherigen Forschung als auch eine wertvolle eigene Positionierung auf diesem so problematischen Feld deutscher Literaturgeschichte.» (Martin Przybilski, Das Mittelalter)
«This monograph constitutes a very competent and cogently argued corrective to the view that the presentation of Jews in Middle High German and Early Modern German literature is almost universally negative, reflecting an equally universal racist hostility towards Jews among the target audiences of these texts.» (Annette Volfing, The Modern Language Review)
Studies in German Jewish History. Vol. 5
General Editor: Peter D. G. Brown, SUNY New Paltz