The Companion is a seminal work of cultural reference incorporating, in two types of entry, cultural biographies and thematic surveys. It attempts to present a comprehensive account of the Jewish contribution to every cultural field, in many of the world's languages and countries. It covers the 200 years or so which have followed the Jewish Emancipation of the 18th century, and attempts to explain the remarkable achievements of a people who throughout history have constituted an oppressed minority in many parts of the world. The biographical articles cover figures prominent in the arts, literature, language, philosophy and some social sciences. Most concern Jews prominent in their fields, who made theri contribution within the knowledge of their own Jewishness, or at least with some Jewish awareness. Thematic essays cover cultural categories and vital aspects of Judaism such as its relationship with Christianity and Islam; the holocaust; Judaism and modern feminism; psychoanalysis; Jewish humour and many other topics. The articles and biographies have been written by leading scholars and academics, musicians, artists, and experts on theatre, dance, chess and cooking. It is a book which explores the complex interrelationship of the Jews and the modern world.
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