Stories of Joseph: Narrative Migrations between Judaism and Islam

Wayne State University Press
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The last century has seen the demise of age-old Jewish communal life in the Arab world, and there is now a struggle to overcome a mutual lack of understanding between the West and the Arab-Muslim world. Over the course of past centuries, there was a great sharing of creative and scientific knowledge across religious lines. Stories about biblical figures held to be prophets by both Judaism and Islam are one result of this relationship and reflect an environment where not only literary genre and modes of interpretation but particular motifs could be utilized by both religious traditions. Stories of Joseph details this historical interdependence that reveals much about common experiences and concerns of Jews and Muslims. Marc S. Bernstein's rich analysis focuses on the nineteenth-century Judeo-Arabic manuscript The Story of Our Master Joseph--a Jewish text taking its form from an Islamic prototype (itself largely based on midrashic, Hellenistic, and Near Eastern material) extending back to the earliest human stories of parental favoritism, sibling rivalry, separtism from loved ones, sexual mores, and the struggles for a continued communal existence outside the homeland.
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About the author

Marc S. Bernstein is assistant professor of Hebrew and Jewish cultural studies at Michigan State University.

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Additional Information

Wayne State University Press
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Published on
Feb 5, 2009
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Religion / Judaism / History
Religion / Judaism / Rituals & Practice
Social Science / Jewish Studies
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