This book is a survey of the history of the Jewish people from biblical antiquity to the present, spanning nearly 2,500 years and traversing five continents.
Opening with a broad introduction which addresses key questions of terminology and definition, the book’s ten chapters then go on to explore Jewish history in both its religious and non-religious dimensions. The book explores the social, political and cultural aspects of Jewish history, and examines the changes and continuities across the whole of the Jewish world throughout its long and varied history. Topics covered include:
the emergence of Judaism as a religion and way of life
the development during the Middle Ages of Judaism as an all-encompassing identity
the effect on Jewish life and identity of major changes in Europe and the Islamic world from the mid sixteenth through the end of the nineteenth century
the complexity of Jewish life in the twentieth century, the challenge of anti-semitism and the impact of the Holocaust, and the emergence of the current centres of World Jewry in the State of Israel and the New World.