The Book

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Pretty standard recognition of all the individuals and organisations who have contributed to this work or supported it.
Introduces the stimulus for this investigation, summarizes the background and purpose of the book and hints at methodology and results. The main purpose of this section is to transmit the author’s passion for the subject.
Orients the reader to Stühlingen’s geographic location and the role it has played in the Jewish history of the region. Reviews the extant literature then describes the development of the project, the sources of primary data.
Describes the prosopographic method employed in the analysis of the primary data. It discusses some of the methodological problems and how they were resolved. It also explores the limits of such an investigation.
Examines the geographical and social stage on which this drama evolved in its historic context with heavy emphasis on Jewish aspects.
Reviews the Jewish history in central Europe from the destruction of the second temple to the late Middle Ages. Discusses the development of the “servants of the royal chamber” (Kammerknechtschaft) and its devolution and subcontracting to the system of local letters of protection. It describes the early Jewish presence in the region.
Discusses the system of local letters of protection with particular attention to the Stühlingen letters of protection. It also correlates the letters of protection with the Jewish demographics in Stühlingen.
Reviews the history of the Thirty Years War, its impact on Europe’s Jews in general, and on the Jews of Stühlingen in particular.
Describes and discusses the history of Stühlingen’s rulers, and how it affected the life of the Jews.
Examines the role of the Jews in Stühlingen’s market economy. It challenges the widely held view that Jews acted in several distinct commercial roles. Instead, it postulates, based on the extracted data, that Jews provided an integrated market function merging sales with the provision of tradable credit instruments, thus providing a parallel currency.
Juxtaposes the external perception of Jewish religion and practice with its internal values, purposes and traditions. It discusses the structure of the Kehilla and what of it we can recognize in the Stühlingen records. It describes the local reverberations of such external events as the Sabbatean movement and baptisms of Jews.
Takes up the biblical concept of generational continuity by systematically tracing the Stühlingen Jewish families, their members and linkages, as well as memorable events and occurrences.
Explores the houses that named Stühlingen Jews lived in, their location in the medieval structure of the town and associated social issues. It also provides insights into the further fate of many Jewish families after their eviction.
Discusses the constant Damocles sword threatening expulsion, homelessness and transiency hanging over Stühlingen’s Jews. The theme is then extended to the actual eviction in 1743, its circumstances and outcomes.
Examines interconfessional/intercultural conflict in the life of Stühlingen’s inhabitants and various factors contributing to it.
Closes the arc started in the preface by providing the answer to the original mystery that initiated this inquiry.

©papaworx 2016  
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