David Nirenberg

David Nirenberg’s most recent book is Aesthetic Theology and Its Enemies: Judaism in Christian Painting, Poetry and Politics.

Simon Schama​ is devoting a trilogy to the 3000-year-long ‘Story of the Jews’. His attention, however, is not evenly distributed. The first volume, The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, spent 473 pages on the 2500 years between 1000 BC and 1492 AD. The second, enigmatically entitled Belonging, requires 790 pages to cover the 400 years between 1492 and 1900, and two...

Double Game: Maimonides

David Nirenberg, 23 September 2010

In 1979, shortly after the signing of the peace treaty between their two countries, President Navon of Israel presented President Sadat of Egypt with a copy of The Guide for the Perplexed, composed in Egypt in the 12th century by the Jewish scholar Maimonides. Navon remarked on the book’s language – it was written in Arabic, but in Hebrew script – and stressed the kinship...

Shortly before Holy Week in 1391, a crowd of armed Christians gathered outside the Jewish quarter of Seville. They were dispersed by hired guards and government officials, but encouraged by a local archdeacon called Ferrán Martínez, the mob gathered again on 6 June. This time the quarter was destroyed, and most of its inhabitants killed or, at the least, forced to convert to...

In​ scope and ambition David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism: The History of a Way of Thinking is reminiscent of Edward Said’s Orientalism. Both offer a strident critique of Western...

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