Communities and identity

Continuity and change

Authored by: Ben Gidley , Nasar Meer

The Routledge Handbook of Muslim–Jewish Relations

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415645164
eBook ISBN: 9781315675787
Adobe ISBN: 9781317383215


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This chapter explores notions of community and identity among Jews and Muslims in the West and the Middle East, including similarities and interactions between groups and traditions (see Chapters 1, 2, 8, 13, and 18 in this volume). It starts with a brief discussion of the contested meanings of these key terms before introducing their importance to classical Judaism and Islam. The differing contexts in which Judaism and Islam developed – exile and minority one hand and ideal of the Caliphate on the other – have led to contrasting inflections of community and belonging as well as some similarities. The chapter goes on to explore how the arrival of modernity reshaped community and belonging globally and how multiculturalism, identity politics, and other more recent configurations have reshaped them yet again.

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