Issue 3/2019: Israel, Palestine and German Contemporary History. ed. by Evelyn Runge and Annette Vowinckel. Geographically and culturally the Middle East seems to be far away from Germany. From a historical point of view, this is a fallacy, because the virulent conflicts there today are closely interwoven with German and European colonial history, the history of National Socialism and German post-war history. The Middle East conflict is also present in many ways in contemporary German everyday life: while the media repeatedly report on anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist attacks, the restaurant »Kanaan« in Prenzlauer Berg, jointly run by a Jewish and an Arab Israeli, serves »Hummus for International Understanding«. Berlin and Jerusalem are connected on a completely different level by the presence of walls in the cityscape: from 1948 to 1967 Jerusalem was a divided city, Berlin from 1961 to 1989, since 2002 a wall separates parts of East Jerusalem from the Palestinian autonomous territories.Some of the contributions in this issue are devoted to the various effects of the Middle East conflict on German society, such as the presence of Palestinian and Israeli groups in the Federal Republic. Others focus on German-Israeli phenomena such as the reception of Ephraim Kishon's books or the Federal Republic's arms exports to Israel in the 1970s. The aim is to document and discuss how closely German contemporary history is linked to that of Israel and Palestine to this day.
Uttering a vow was an important and popular religious practice in ancient Judaism. It is mentioned frequently in biblical literature, and an entire rabbinic tractate, Nedarim , is devoted to this subject. In this article, I argue that starting from the Second Temple period, alongside the regular use of the vow, vows were also used as an aggressive binding mechanism in interpersonal situations. This practice became so popular that in certain contexts the vow became synonymous with the curse, as in a number of ossuaries in Jerusalem and in the later Aramaic incantation bowls. Moreover, this semantic expansion was not an isolated Jewish phenomenon but echoed both the use of the anathema in the Pauline epistles and contemporary Greco-Roman and Babylonian magical practices.
-hour struggles are a key element in the historical study of organized labor. Little attention has been paid, however, to long-term changes in the rationale underlying demands for work time reductions. Comparing arguments formulated by German workers around 1900 with arguments put forward half a century later, this article detects a fundamental narrowing of discourse in twentieth-century labor disputes. While trade unions once drew on a strikingly broad rationale when demanding work time reductions, the post-WW II decades witnessed a strategic departure from arguments that had long constituted the bedrock of shorter-hour rhetoric. Analyzing a leading theoretical labor organ as well as the members’ publication of West Germany’s largest single-industry union, the article reveals that work time reductions were increasingly framed as a powerful measure to improve workers’ health and safety and to increase leisure and family time. In so doing, West German trade unions abandoned a crucial link between work time reductions and the vision for a more democratic and participatory society. The article thus shows how strategic bargaining decisions helped undermine the rich legacy of the historical struggle for shorter hours.
The Historical Dictionary of the Mongol World Empire examines the history of the Mongol Empire, the pre-imperial era of Mongolian history that preceded it, and the various Mongol successor states that continued to dominate Eurasia long after the breakdown of Mongol unity.
This second edition contains a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 900 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture of the Mongol Empire. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the Mongol Empire.
In this article I analyze Van Gennep’s understanding of purity, impurity, and purification and its relationship with ancient Christian texts discussing these subjects. Through this comparison, I show how modern and ancient theories of ritual can illuminate each other, and more specifically, how purification was a problematic and ambivalent concept for both ancient Christian writers and for Van Gennep, making it a fruitful one for investigating the thought of both.
Moshe Blidstein. 2018. “Anti-legal Exempla in Late Ancient Christian Exegesis.” In Scriptures, Sacred Traditions, and Strategies of Religious Subversion: Studies in Discourse with the Work of Guy G. Stroumsa, edited by Moshe Blidstein, Serge Ruzer, and Daniel Stoekl Ben Ezra, Pp. 91-102. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.