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The Uses and Misuses of Misogyny

A Critical Historiography of the Language of Medieval Women's Oppression

Paula M. Rieder

This article examines the development of language used to describe the oppression of medieval women—particularly the terms patriarchy and misogyny—and its connection with the women's movement of the late twentieth century. It argues that the broad application of the word misogyny by medieval historians to describe a wide spectrum of anti-feminine attitudes and the tendency to understand misogyny and patriarchy as coterminous are inaccurate and problematic. The article supports this position first with an analysis of medieval clerical texts that use the common medieval linkage of women with sex and pollution. The analysis suggests that the usage of this negative linkage is not always misogynistic. The article then analyzes three medieval sermon collections intended for preaching to lay audiences and suggests that the sermons, though androcentric or paternalistic and so in some sense patriarchal, are not misogynistic.

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Is the Sermon on Its Deathbed?

A Response to Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein

David Goldberg

It is an honour to have been asked to respond to Professor Saperstein’s lecture. He is a ba’al d’rashah, a master of sermonic material, and therefore what he has to say on the subject should always be listened to carefully.

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The Opposite of Custom

Fashion, Sumptuary Law, and Consuetudo in Fifteenth-Century Northern Italy

M. Christina Bruno

laity's social mores. Commanding huge crowds at their Lenten or Advent sermons, their influence was not limited to the religious sphere, but as scholars have shown, they were also peripatetic experts who consulted on civic policy, wrote laws, brokered

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The Great War as Reflected in Italian Rabbinical Sermons

Rav S. Zvi Hirsch Margulies, Rav Ya'akov Bolaffio and Rav Giuseppe Levi

Joseph Levi

The article analyses the conflicting attitudes towards the First World War as reflected in the sermons of three Italian rabbis of the period, representing different rabbinical schools. Regardless of their rabbinical formation all three rabbis share a profound preoccupation with the devastating assimilation to Italian non-Jewish culture of Italian Jews after, and as a result of, the emancipation. Yet, while condemning the assimilation tendencies of the Jewish Italian population, they all remain faithful to the ideals of Italian Risorgimento emancipation values. As Italian emancipated Jews, the Rabbis identify themselves with the Italian political shift from liberal and socialist ideals towards national, patriotic war. Not without difficulty they give up prewar previous pacifist attitudes in favour of a patriotic loyalty to the new Italian state and its royal family, inviting their audience to be loyal to what seem to be the needs of their fatherland. Towards the end of the war, however, a significant part of the rabbinical leadership shifted towards a Zionist patriotism, investing their energies in constructing a new religious identity through Zionist, all-compassing, national Jewish identity. These tensions between Italian Risorgimento ideals and Jewish religious and cultural continuity on the one hand, and an Italian versus Zionist national solution to post-war crisis on the other, are analysed and exemplified by the sermons of the three rabbis in this micro-study of Italian Jewish identity before and after the First World War.

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From the Last Sermon at Finchley Reform Synagogue

7 Sivan 5766 / 3 June 2006

Sheila Shulman

minority.’ After seventeen years, this is my last sermon as one of your rabbis. I’ve been much exercised about what I wanted to say to you today. As ever (thinking for me has never been a solitary activity), my friend and colleague Janet Burden came to my

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Sermon for Shabbat-Zakhor

Kati Kelemen

'If God does not exist, and never existed, then why do we miss him so?' This question is asked by Istvan Sors-Sonnenschein, a young Hungarian Jewish ex-Communist of his grandmother, Valeria, just after his release from three years in prison in 1959. It is a scene in the much discussed, recent Istvan Szabo film Sunshine which chronicles the history of four generations of a Hungarian Jewish family from the late nineteenth century to the present. After having been imprisoned for speaking openly about the moral corruption of the Communist regime in which he served as a member of the secret police, Istvan has returned to the spacious, comfortable family home of his grandparents to find it filled with strangers.

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Is the Sermon on Its Deathbed?

Marc Saperstein

This address and subsequent responses were delivered on 30 June 2008 at a gathering of LBC rabbinic graduates who had been serving as rabbis for 25 years or more.

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Weapons for Witnessing

American Street Preaching and the Rhythms of War

Kyle Byron

to be punished. Here's the question I have for you … The woman who had unintentionally inspired the preacher's sermon on justice had since crossed the street and disappeared into The Cheesecake Factory. … are your sins going to be punished in

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Conceptualizing Compassion in Communication for Communication

Emotional Experience in Islamic Sermons (Bengali waʿẓ maḥfils)

Max Stille

This article is about communication practice as a driving force to bring about conceptual change. It approaches the emotional experience in a particular strand of Islamic sermons from contemporary Bangladesh 1 by an extended rhetorical analysis

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Jonathan Magonet

As indicated in the Introductions section, it has been a tradition at the Bible Week for most of its fifty years that I have the privilege of delivering the Shabbat morning sermon. The Week is a complex mixture of lectures, daily morning study