Medieval Jewry In Christendom

Ram Ben-Shalom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article begins in the early Middle Ages, and specifically addresses questions concerning the economic and political situation of Jewry in Western Europe. The period of the high Middle Ages follows, with a focus on developments in community life and the character of Jewish society. The discussion considers the Jewish foundation myths that were born in the twelfth century in an attempt to explain and interpret the social and cultural changes of the time. It examines the nature of the interaction and the form of discourse that characterized the medieval relations between a Christian majority and a Jewish minority culture. It also describes the legal status of the Jews in Western Europe and the Byzantine Empire. The article also discusses Jewish life in Spain, since, for a significant segment of the period under study, Spain was under Muslim rule.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577260
ISBN (Print)0199280320, 9780199280322
StatePublished - 16 Dec 2004

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2002. All rights reserved.


  • Christianity
  • Early Middle Ages
  • Jewish foundation myths
  • Jewish society
  • Spain
  • Western Europe


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