Jewish Communal History in Geniza Scholarship: Part 2, Goitein’s Successors
S. D. Goitein’s nuanced description of the structure, functioning, and administrative reach of the Jewish community, most fully articulated in the second volume of A Mediterranean Society, was enlarged on, revised, and challenged in the work of two subsequent generations of scholars. Addressing the mixture of hierocratic and democratic elements that Goitein identified within the medieval Jewish community, this growing body of scholarship has examined anew and in greater detail such issues as the balance of power between the centralized leadership and the local community, the extent of the Jewish community’s political autonomy, and the influential role in communal affairs played by wealthy and well-connected elites with access to the Muslim court.
KeywordsCommunal organization Courts Ecumenical leadership Qodesh Self-government
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