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Shared IdentitiesMedieval and Modern Imaginings of Judeo-Islam$
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Aaron Hughes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190684464

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190684464.001.0001

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Rethinking a Paradigm

(p.17) 1 Symbiosis
Shared Identities

Aaron W. Hughes

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the various constructions that have been used to account for Jewish–Muslim relations in the modern period. These constructions range from the irenic (“things were better back then”), perhaps best epitomized by the “golden age” trope, to the more critical (“Muslims have always treated Jews poorly”). Rather than be accurate descriptors, the chapter suggests that such models say more about those doing the interpreting than they do about the actual historical record. They are, in other words, motivated by politics as opposed to history. If the relations between Jews and Muslims in the premodern period are to be systematically rethought, then such paradigms must be transcended or, at the very least, shown for what they are.

Keywords:   symbiosis, convivencia, late antiquity, Wissenschaft des Judentums, Shlomo Dov Goitein, Jonathan Z. Smith, Bernard Lewis

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