Stow, Kenneth (Kenneth R. Stow)

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Stow, Kenneth (Kenneth R. Stow)

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Jewish History Department, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel; 314 Fairway Village, Leeds, MA 01053. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Academic and historian. University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel, emeritus professor of Jewish history.

WRITINGS:

Catholic Thought and Papal Jewry Policy, 1555-1593, Jewish Theological Seminary of America (New York, NY), 1977.

Taxation, Community, and State: The Jews and the Fiscal Foundations of the Early Modern Papal State, Hiersemann (Stuttgart, Germany), 1982.

The "1007 Anonymous" and Papal Sovereignty: Jewish, Perceptions of the Papacy and Papal Policy in the High Middle Ages, Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati, OH), 1984.

(Editor, arranger, and author of notes) Solomon Grayzel, The Church and the Jews in the XIIIth Century, two volumes, Jewish Theological Seminary in America (New York, NY), 1989.

Alienated Minority: The Jews of Medieval Latin Europe, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1992.

The Jews: A Mediterranean Culture, Schena (Fasano, Italy), 1994.

The Jews in Rome, two volumes, E.J. Brill (New York, NY), 1995.

Theater of Acculturation: The Roman Ghetto in the Sixteenth Century, University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA), 2001.

Jewish Dogs: An Image and Its Interpreters: Continuity in the Catholic-Jewish Encounter, Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 2006.

Popes, Church, and Jews in the Middle Ages: Confrontation and Responses, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2007.

Jewish Life in Early Modern Rome: Challenge, Conversion, and Private Life, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2007.

Founder and editor of the journal Jewish History. Contributor to periodicals and journals, including Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Renaissance Quarterly, American Historical Review, and Speculum.

SIDELIGHTS:

Kenneth Stow is an academic and historian. An emeritus professor of Jewish history at Israel's University of Haifa, he focuses his academic studies on Jewish social history and relations with other neighboring communities, primarily with the Catholic Church in Europe. Stow published his first book, Catholic Thought and Papal Jewry Policy, 1555-1593, in 1977.

Stow published Alienated Minority: The Jews of Medieval Latin Europe in 1992. Beginning in the fifth century, Stow covers roughly 1,000 years of Jewish community to the backdrop of European culture and evolving politics.

John T. Pawlikowski, reviewing the book in Theological Studies, commented that Stow "has given us an important, even if disturbing, volume. For the Christian reader it can restore those missing pages about which Flannery spoke."

Stow edited two volumes of The Jews in Rome in 1995 and 1997. The volumes look at sixteenth-century Rome, where the ghettoization of the Jews began, covering their social life and records of internal litigation.

Arthur M. Lesley, reviewing both volumes in Renaissance Quarterly, commented that "Stow's emphasis on individuality directly challenges characterizations of the Roman Jewish community as fundamentally fragmented by ‘ethnic’ divisions that resulted from the arrival, at the end of the fifteenth century, of refugees from Spain, Portugal, Provence, and Naples." John Edwards, reviewing the second volume in the English Historical Review, mentioned that the second volume "is fully integrated with its predecessor … in that the introduction to the earlier volume covers both, as does the index of the second." Edwards suggested that "Stow's further work on this subject should be eagerly awaited."

Stow published Theater of Acculturation: The Roman Ghetto in the Sixteenth Century in 2001. The account looks into the ghettoization of the Jews by Pope Paul IV in the 1555 and how subsequent interpretations of it by various groups have affected Jewish life, particularly in sixteenth-century Rome.

Anthony M. Orum, writing on H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, stated that he had some concerns about the basis for some of the scholarship, but he concluded: "On the whole, this is a very informative and useful book. I especially recommend it to those who study the life of the marginalized communities in other cities and states."

Matt Goldish, reviewing the book in Renaissance Quarterly, noted that the prose can be difficult and wandering. Nevertheless, Goldish concluded that "as a guide to everyday life in the sixteenth-century Roman ghetto, however, there is no denying that the volume is fresh and very informative." Steven Bowman, reviewing the book in Shofar, observed that "Stow has already shown himself to be a master of sources and their interpretation." Bowman observed that "now and then Stow steps out of his period to bring apposite parallels from nineteenth-century Germany and Italy and even the American race problem." In conclusion, Bowman suggested that "still the book serves its purpose of mixing Jewish and Gentile history such that both audiences are informed a little better about each other's limited weltanschauung."

In 2006 Stow published Jewish Dogs: An Image and Its Interpreters: Continuity in the Catholic-Jewish Encounter. The book makes reference to the association of Jews with dogs and the progression of its historical application. Sander L. Gilman, writing in the Catholic Historical Review, called Stow "one of the best interpreters" of the attitudes of medieval Christians toward Jews. Gilman concluded that "this book is a tour-de-force on the level of the last great work of the original Warburg group," adding that "it is a book that every serious student of the history of anti-Semitism and the Jewish response will use again and again." Kevin Madigan, reviewing the account in Church History, observed that "Stow's concentration on the use of the metaphor of dogs to analyze perennial problems has turned out to be remarkably fruitful. The metaphor proved remarkably resilient and capable of renewed appropriation for Christians (and, as Stow shows, for Jews as well, who used the image to describe Christians and their pagan, cannibalistic rituals)." Madigan concluded that "this richly researched and lucidly written study makes for a fascinating read," appending that "it will remain an indispensable contribution to" scholarship in the field.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, February 1, 1994, Gavin I. Langmuir, review of Alienated Minority: The Jews of Medieval Latin Europe, p. 210; October 1, 2002, Peter Blastenbrei, review of Theater of Acculturation: The Roman Ghetto in the Sixteenth Century, p. 1318; April 1, 2007, David Nirenberg, review of Jewish Dogs: An Image and Its Interpreters: Continuity in the Catholic-Jewish Encounter, p. 562.

Catholic Historical Review, January 1, 1993, Edward A. Synan, review of The Church and the Jews in the XIIIth Century, p. 99; January 1, 1994, Edward A. Synan, review of Alienated Minority, p. 133; July 1, 2007, Sander L. Gilman, review of Jewish Dogs, p. 623.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, July 1, 1993, S.D. Benin, review of Alienated Minority.

Church History, June 1, 2007, Kevin Madigan, review of Jewish Dogs, p. 473.

English Historical Review, February 1, 2000, John Edwards, review of The Jews in Rome, volume 2, p. 194.

Journal of Church and State, fall, 1980, William A. Mueller, review of Catholic Thought and Papal Jewry Policy, 1555-1593, p. 541; fall, 1993, Constance B. Bouchard, review of Alienated Minority, p. 911.

Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History, fall, 2007, Elliot Horowitz, "Circumcised Dogs from Matthew to Marlowe," p. 531.

Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 1997, review of The Jews in Rome, volume 1, p. 28; November 1, 1997, review of The Jews in Rome, volume 2, p. 30; August 1, 2006, review of Jewish Dogs.

Renaissance Quarterly, fall, 1998, Arthur M. Lesley, review of The Jews in Rome, p. 975; summer, 2003, Matt Goldish, review of Theater of Acculturation, p. 483; fall, 2007, Elisheva Carlebach, review of Jewish Dogs, p. 951.

Shofar, fall, 2003, Steven Bowman, review of Theater of Acculturation, p. 166.

Sixteenth Century Journal, fall, 2002, review of Theater of Acculturation, p. 922.

Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, July 1, 1987, Robert Chazan, review of The "1007 Anonymous" and Papal Sovereignty: Jewish Perceptions of the Papacy and Papal Policy in the High Middle Ages, p. 728; July 1, 1994, Steven Bowman, review of Alienated Minority, p. 893.

Theological Studies, September 1, 1993, John T. Pawlikowski, review of Alienated Minority, p. 598.

ONLINE

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://h-net.org/ (December, 2001), Anthony M. Orum, review of Theater of Acculturation; (October 1, 2004), Robert Davis, review of Theater of Acculturation.

University of Haifa, Jewish History Department Web site,http://jewish-history.haifa.ac.il/ (July 10, 2008), author profile.

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