Catalogue


Messianism, secrecy and mysticism : a new interpretation of early American Jewish life /
Laura Arnold Leibman.
imprint
Edgware : Vallentine Mitchell, 2012.
description
xxviii, 388 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0853038333 (hbk.), 9780853038337 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Edgware : Vallentine Mitchell, 2012.
isbn
0853038333 (hbk.)
9780853038337 (hbk.)
catalogue key
8490286
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 331-367) and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
National Jewish Book Awards, USA, 2012 : Won
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-01-01:
Leibman (Reed College) has written an extremely ambitious and significantly innovative study of Jewish colonial history. Through combining the study of what she describes as a "material biography" and Jewish religious beliefs centering on messianism, the author deciphers and retells the story of Jewish life in early America with energy and originality. Among the material objects that Leibman studies to illuminate this story are realia such as ritual baths, food (kosher and otherwise), clothing, gravestone markers, portraits, furniture, and religious books. As for the religious views of colonial Jews, she emphasizes that the "daily belief in the Messiah impacted the behavior of Jews in the Atlantic World." This belief entailed the classical hope for a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, the return of the Jews to the land of Israel and the end of the millennium-long exile, and the resurrection of the dead. Indeed, Leibman even argues that there were active messianic believers who secretly followed the 17th-century pseudo-Messiah Sabbatai Zevi. Although she brings forward a great deal of novel, intriguing evidence in support of these views, Leibman almost certainly exaggerates the aspects of messianism and secrecy in this early Jewish community. Nevertheless, this is an important, original study libraries will want to own. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries. S. T. Katz Boston University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2013
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Summaries
Main Description
Winner of the 2012 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the Category of Cultural Studies and Media Studies, Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism offers a new approach to the study of Jews in the New World. The book focuses on the objects of everyday life that were used and created by Jews, such as ritual baths, food, gravestones, portraits, furniture, as well as the synagogue. By uncovering these objects and exposing the common culture of the Jewish Atlantic world, it provides a fresh understanding of a crucial era in Jewish and American history. Messianism and secrecy were two keys to this shared culture. The Jews of the Atlantic world believed that the physical and spiritual could - and would - be united through the Messiah. They were deeply messianic and their belief permeated their visual and religious ethos. Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism presents new insights about the origins of Jewish American messianism, helping readers better understand messianism in contemporary American society. It charts the shared culture of these Jews who lived in the port towns in the Caribbean and on both sides of the Atlantic, and author Laura Arnold Leibman argues that thinking about Judaism as an embodied religion is key to understanding their culture. Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism makes early Jewish American history entertaining, accessible, and interesting to general readers, as well as to academic audiences. A companion website contains thousands of photographs of material culture from throughout the Jewish Atlantic world, as well as study guides for using the images - http://cdm.reed.edu/cdm4/jewishatlanticworld/
Bowker Data Service Summary
This title tells the history of the early American Jews, focusing on the objects of everyday life used and created by Jews, such as ritual baths, food, gravestones, portraits, furniture, as well as the synagogue.
Main Description
Winner of the 2012 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the Category of Cultural Studies and Media Studies, and in January 2013 a winner of a National Jewish Book Award in the category of American Jewish Studies, Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism offers a new approach to the study of Jews in the New World. The book focuses on the objects of everyday life that were used and created by Jews, such as ritual baths, food, gravestones, portraits, furniture, as well as the synagogue. By uncovering these objects and exposing the common culture of the Jewish Atlantic world, it provides a fresh understanding of a crucial era in Jewish and American history. Messianism and secrecy were two keys to this shared culture. The Jews of the Atlantic world believed that the physical and spiritual could - and would - be united through the Messiah. They were deeply messianic and their belief permeated their visual and religious ethos. Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism presents new insights about the origins of Jewish American messianism, helping readers better understand messianism in contemporary American society. It charts the shared culture of these Jews who lived in the port towns in the Caribbean and on both sides of the Atlantic, and author Laura Arnold Leibman argues that thinking about Judaism as an embodied religion is key to understanding their culture. Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism makes early Jewish American history entertaining, accessible, and interesting to general readers, as well as to academic audiences. A companion website contains thousands of photographs of material culture from throughout the Jewish Atlantic world, as well as study guides for using the images - http://cdm.reed.edu/cdm4/jewishatlanticworld/ *** "Leibman has written an extremely ambitious and significantly innovative study of Jewish colonial history. Through combining the study of what she describes as 'material biography' and Jewish religious beliefs centering on messianism, the author deciphers and retells the story of Jewish life in early America with energy and originality. Highly recommended." Choice, January 2013, Vol. 50 No. 05 *** In December 2012, this book won an Association for Jewish Studies' Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the category of Cultural and Media Studies. In January 2013, this book was a winner of a National Jewish Book Award in the category of American Jewish Studies.
Main Description
Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism tells the history of the Early American Jews, focusing on the objects of everyday life used and created by Jews, such as ritual baths, food, gravestones, portraits, furniture, as well as the synagogue. By uncovering these objects and exposing the common culture of the Jewish Atlantic World, Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism provides a fresh understanding of a crucial era in Jewish and American history.
Main Description
Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism tells the history of Early American Jews, focusing on the objects of everyday life used and created by Jews, such as ritual baths, food, gravestones, portraits, furniture, as well as the synagogue. By uncovering these objects and exposing the common culture of the Jewish Atlantic world, the book provides a fresh understanding of a crucial era in Jewish and American history. It offers new insights about the origins of Jewish American messianism, helping readers better understand messianism in contemporary American society. It charts the shared culture of these Jews who lived in the port towns in the Caribbean and on both sides of the Atlantic, and author Laura Arnold Leibman argues that thinking about Judaism as an embodied religion is key to understanding their culture. Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism makes early Jewish American history entertaining, accessible, and interesting to general readers, as well as to academic audiences. A companion website contains thousands of photographs of material culture from throughout the Jewish Atlantic world, as well as study guides for using the images; http://cdm.reed.edu/cdm4/jewishatlanticworld/
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
List of Tablesp. xiii
Acknowledgementsp. xv
Transliterations and Namesp. xvii
List of Abbreviationsp. xix
Timelinep. xxi
Introductionp. 1
Friendly Piranhasp. 25
New Jerusalemp. 57
Black Jewsp. 83
The World-To-Comep. 123
Soul Foodp. 181
From Holy Land to New England Canaanp. 211
The Secret Lives of Menp. 235
Conclusionp. 281
Appendixp. 313
Glossaryp. 317
Select Bibliographyp. 331
Indexp. 369
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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