KOPS - The Institutional Repository of the University of Konstanz

Names, Identifications, and Social Change : Naming Practices and the (Re-)Shaping of Identities and Relationships within German Jewish Communities in the Late Middle Ages

Names, Identifications, and Social Change : Naming Practices and the (Re-)Shaping of Identities and Relationships within German Jewish Communities in the Late Middle Ages

Cite This

Files in this item

Checksum: MD5:bc65fef30531952991541076de6f4ea4

ASSAF, Lilach, 2016. Names, Identifications, and Social Change : Naming Practices and the (Re-)Shaping of Identities and Relationships within German Jewish Communities in the Late Middle Ages [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz

@phdthesis{Assaf2016Names-42604, title={Names, Identifications, and Social Change : Naming Practices and the (Re-)Shaping of Identities and Relationships within German Jewish Communities in the Late Middle Ages}, year={2016}, author={Assaf, Lilach}, address={Konstanz}, school={Universität Konstanz} }

<rdf:RDF xmlns:dcterms="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:bibo="http://purl.org/ontology/bibo/" xmlns:dspace="http://digital-repositories.org/ontologies/dspace/0.1.0#" xmlns:foaf="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/" xmlns:void="http://rdfs.org/ns/void#" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#" > <rdf:Description rdf:about="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/rdf/resource/123456789/42604"> <dc:language>eng</dc:language> <dcterms:hasPart rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/bitstream/123456789/42604/3/Assaf_2-1plrkukyymzk21.pdf"/> <dcterms:isPartOf rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/rdf/resource/123456789/32"/> <dcterms:rights rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/page/termsofuse"/> <dc:creator>Assaf, Lilach</dc:creator> <dspace:isPartOfCollection rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/rdf/resource/123456789/32"/> <bibo:uri rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/handle/123456789/42604"/> <dcterms:available rdf:datatype="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#dateTime">2018-06-19T11:13:06Z</dcterms:available> <dcterms:title>Names, Identifications, and Social Change : Naming Practices and the (Re-)Shaping of Identities and Relationships within German Jewish Communities in the Late Middle Ages</dcterms:title> <void:sparqlEndpoint rdf:resource="http://localhost/fuseki/dspace/sparql"/> <dspace:hasBitstream rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/bitstream/123456789/42604/3/Assaf_2-1plrkukyymzk21.pdf"/> <dcterms:issued>2016</dcterms:issued> <dc:date rdf:datatype="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#dateTime">2018-06-19T11:13:06Z</dc:date> <dc:rights>terms-of-use</dc:rights> <foaf:homepage rdf:resource="http://localhost:8080/jspui"/> <dc:contributor>Assaf, Lilach</dc:contributor> <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">Jewish communities in the German-speaking territories underwent profound changes during the twelfth and the thirteenth centuries, both in terms of the internal organisation of Ashkenazi milieux and the relationship between Jews and Christians. This period saw the emergence of a distinctive Jewish-German culture, one aspect of which was the transformation of the Jewish onomasticon, most visibly expressed in the increasing adoption of German vernacular names. The new name-giving patterns, emerging during this period, also exhibit modifications in the division of roles within Ashkenazi families which took place as a result of changes in economic and kinship structures and redefined women's position within Jewish communities. These naming practices are in fact one of the few precious indicators we have for these changes. Focusing on Jewish-Christian relations, on the one hand and on gender relations within Ashkenazi families, on the other, the dissertation shows that changing naming patterns played a two-fold role: new naming practices such as the institutionalisation of the ‘sacred name’ given to males at the circumcision sharpened the boundaries between Jewish men and Christian ones; yet at the same time such practices also served to strengthen gendered identities within Ashkenazi communities, redefining the relationships between Jewish men and women. As the evidence shows, the demarcation of cultural and religious boundaries between Jews and Christians meant also reshaping of gendered identities within Ashkenazi communities. In general, the vernacularisation trend affected the stock of female names more profoundly; women’s names became markedly more ‘German’ and less attached to the codified stock of Hebrew names. Female names were perhaps the more mobile element, but the trend also intensified the association of men with Hebrew and sacred texts, and women – with the world of the vernacular and the mundane. Shifts in naming practices – in terms of the code used, the meanings suggested, and the patterns of circulation – suggest changes in women’s positions within their families and communities. The hardening of gendered identities, on the one hand, is accompanied by increasing importance of women and their families of origin in systems of alliance, on the other. On the one hand, as married daughters, women played an increasing role in the transmission of names, linking their children to their maternal relatives, and sometimes even transmitting female names. On the other hand, some women, especially those who were vital economic actors, became more visible in their roles as mothers and mothers-in-law, while the semantics of their names tended to efface these roles. This apparent contradiction can well be explained in the context of shifting kinship structures and economic roles. Names were not only indicators of these processes, but a vital component of strategies of representation – sometimes compensating for women’s enhanced status through the invocation of images of femininity, sometimes documenting women’s and maternal kin’s growing weight through the transmission of particular names. The setting of clearer boundaries between social groups, however, was only one side of the process of reshaping Jewish identities. With its expansion, the Ashkenazi name-repertoire became also considerably varied, encompassing many new names. A large stock of new names was generated in this period through a procedure borrowed from German practice – taking common German words and putting two linguistic units together to create an individual name with a complex meaning. Hence, constructing boundaries involved massive borrowing. It was precisely names coined with borrowed tools that often distinguished Jews from their Christian surroundings. They served to mark Jews, but often in a language – in the wide sense of the term – which Christians could understand. This is an example of crossing boundaries and affirming them at the very same time. Jewish naming practices in the later medieval period are a significant and often unnoticed indicator of acculturation, suggesting that integration and distinction, identity-construction and assimilation are often different aspects of the very same process.</dcterms:abstract> </rdf:Description> </rdf:RDF>

Downloads since Jun 19, 2018 (Information about access statistics)

Assaf_2-1plrkukyymzk21.pdf 1181

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Search KOPS


Browse

My Account