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La via Italiana All'ebraismo: Una Prospettiva Globale

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The Italian Way to Judaism: A Global Perspective


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The history, demography and sociology of Jews in Italy over the 150 years since Italy's political unification are discussed in the global framework of modern and contemporary Jewry. The Italian experience in general, and that of Italian Jews in particular, can only be explained by examining the various cultural spaces that gave rise to the nation. The peculiar ecology of Italian Jews is based just upon this difficult balance of interdependence and originality. Across the range from full social acceptance to total exclusion, Italy's Jewish communities experienced roles of either forerunners or late joiners vis-à-vis demographic, socioeconomic, and cultural change. Observed models of Jewish identification reflected a wide range of options linking personal values with associative networks within the peculiar constraints of the Italian duopoly of Catholic public religion and national secularization. The dialectics of Jewish identity versus Italian assimilation was irreversibly shaken up by the emergence of a powerful third pole of reference – Israel. The dilemmas, hopes and fears that prevailed at the outset of national unity were not superseded 150 years after, and the need for a clarifying dialogue is more alive than ever.



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Link to article in JSTOR, La via Italiana All'ebraismo: Una Prospettiva Globale

Bibliographic Information

DellaPergola, Sergio La via Italiana All'ebraismo: Una Prospettiva Globale. La Rassegna Mensile di Israel. 2010: 19-54.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-3028