Normative Judaism? Jews, Judaism and Jewish Identity, co-edited with Philip S. Alexander, is a collection of short case studies concerning the issue of normatively in Judaism and Jewish identity. The questions of how and why certain aspects of Jewish life and thought come to be regarded as authoritative or normative, rather than inauthentic or marginal, have been and continue to be contentious ones. The approach adopted here is to allow distinct case studies, mainly but not exclusively from the modern period, to speak for themselves. Normative Judaism? isa supplementary volume of Melilah and is published as the Proceedings of the British Association for Jewish Studies, 2008.
Contents: Philip S. Alexander, 'In Defence of Normativity in the Study of Judaism', Daniel Davies, 'Maimonidean Margins', Daniel R. Langton, 'Theoretical Approaches to Defining Jewish Identity, and the Case of Felix Mendelssohn', Bill Williams, 'The Ordinariness of Being Jewish: Jewish ‘Normality’ in Manchester, 1830 –1880', Marc Saperstein, ‘"Normative Judaism" in the Crisis of War: Sermons by Abraham Cohen and Israel Mattuck', George Wilkes, 'Ambivalent Normativity: Reasons for Contemporary Jewish Debate Over the Laws of War', Ruth Rosenfelder, 'Whose Music? Ownership and Identity in Jewish Music', Hannah Holtschneider, 'Are Holocaust Victims Jewish? Looking at Photographs in the Imperial War Museum Holocaust Exhibition'