The Jews Between Majority and Minority Cultures:
The Case of Byzantium
The Byzantium research project was conceived with three aims in mind.
First and foremost, it was recognized that the magnificent cultural history of Byzantine Jewry suffered pitifully from a dramatic lack of significant and sustained study, and needed a champion to restore it to its rightful place within the realm of Jewish Studies. Not only is Byzantium a worthy object of research per se, it is also an obvious though often overlooked link to the other great blocs of contemporary cultural Jewish identity. To a significant extent, indeed, both the Jews of Eastern Europe in lands of Orthodox Christianity, and those communities in the former Ottoman Empire are the heirs of the Jewish communities in the Byzantine Empire.
The second purpose was to develop a model for studying historical sociology of knowledge in the longue durée, specifically the mechanisms of communication and transmission of knowledge between minority and majority cultures. It is hoped that such a model will be applicable in other cultural contexts that involve minority and majority cultures, such as Jews in Christendom, Jews and Christians in Islamic lands, as well as between Orthodox and heterodox Christians in Byzantium. Such a model might even be applicable to contemporary Israeli society with all of its complex social interminglings.
Lastly, the Byzantium Research effort sought to generate a momentum of interdisciplinary research and study which will continue after the three years of the Project, and will transform the Hebrew University into a significant center for Byzantine studies at the international level. The unique opportunity offered by Scholion has permitted the realization of just such an effort.
Prof. Robert Bonfil email@example.com
Dr. Rina Talgam firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Guy G. Stroumsa email@example.com
Dr. Oded Irshai firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ophir Mintz-Manor email@example.com
Yossi Sopher firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Roni Amir email@example.com
Dr. Micha Perry firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Roly Zilberstein email@example.com
On January 2006, the group held a conference titled "Jews and Byzantium: A Cultural Exchange". For the invitation, click here. For the review on the Scholion Newsletter, click here.
On May 2006, the group held an international concluding conference. For the invitation, click here. For the review on the Scholion Newsletter, click here.