Page 285 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

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SCHOLARSH IP
1991 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARDS
277
S
a r a h
a n d
J
u l iu s
K
u s h n e r
M
em o r ia l
A
w a rd
History, Religion & Antisemitism,
by Gavin Langmuir (University
of California Press)
Du r ing the past gene ra tion , no serious s tud en t o f
antisemitism could work in this central field of Jewish studies
without reference to the seminal work of Gavin I. Langmuir.
In
History, Religion, and Antisemitism
Langmuir has moved be­
yond his previous meticulous and challenging research to broad­
er questions regarding the fundamental meaning of the basic
concepts we use in addressing this problem. Sensing that this
phenomenon requires a cross-disciplinary approach, Langmuir
breaks new ground by rephrasing the questions we usually ask
about the origins and nature of antisemitism. These new for­
mulations enrich the distinction between Christian anti-Judaism
and Christian antisemitism; it sheds new light on the emergence
of modern antisemitism. Langmuir’s book raises the discussion
to a new level and serves as a paradigm for the historical study
of religious phenomena.
VISUAL ARTS
I
t a
a n d
J
o s h u a
A
be r
A
w a r d
Ketubbah: Jewish Marriage Contracts o f the Hebrew Union College
Skirball Museum and K lau Library,
edited by Shalom Sabar (Jewish
Publication Society)
Shalom Sabar’s
Ketubbah: Jewish Marriage Contracts o f the He­
brew Union College Skirball Museum and K lau Library
provides a
comprehensive study of decorated marriage contracts from Eu­
rope, Asia, North Africa and the Americas. The author provides
detailed descriptions of over 250 of these legal documents and
places them within their social, historical and artistic context.
The catalogue is preceded by a scholarly discussion of the ev­
olution of the ketubbah and its decoration. This beautifully il­
lustrated book, which provides interesting insights into a rel­
atively unexplored area of Jewish cultural experience, is des­
tined to become a valuable reference for artists, art historians,
social historians and the general public.