This groundbreaking anthology addresses the history and challenges of using “antisemitism” and related terms as tools for historical analysis and public discourse. Drawing together seventeen chapters by prominent scholars from Europe, Israel, and the United States, the volume encourages readers to rethink assumptions regarding the nature and meaning of Jewish history and the history of relations between Jews and non-Jews.
The book begins with a revised and updated version of David Engel’s seminal essay “Away from a Definition of Antisemitism.” Subsequent contributions by renowned specialists in ancient, medieval, and modern history, religious studies, and other fields explore the various and changing definitions and uses of the term “antisemitism” in a range of contexts, including ancient Rome and Greece, the Byzantine Empire, medieval Europe, early modern and modern Europe, North America, and the United Kingdom. The volume also includes a section that focuses on the Second World War, including the Holocaust and its memory. Engel offers a contemporary response to conclude the book.
First published in Hebrew in 2020 as a special issue of the journal Zion: A Quarterly for Research in Jewish History in cooperation with the Zalman Shazar Center in Jerusalem, this compelling collection has already had an impact on the study of antisemitism in Israel. It is certain to become a critical resource for scholars, policymakers, and journalists researching antisemitism, Holocaust studies, and related fields.