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World Refugee Day 2017

refugee studiesThe United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event draws public’s attention to the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution. For more information please visit


In marking this year’s observance, Berghahn is pleased to feature a selection of books of related interest and offer a 25% discount on all Refugee and Migration Studies titles. For the next 30 days use discount code REF17 at checkout.


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European Judaism at 50

This issue marks the beginning of the fifty-first year of publication of the journal, something to be registered with a degree of pride and not a little wonder. We have been served over this time with a remarkable series of editors, beginning with our founding editor Rabbi Dr Ignaz Maybaum z’l (1897-1976). In those early years the direction of the journal was led by Rabbi Michael Goulston z’l (1931-1972) as Managing Editor before his tragic early death. His vision for the journal is well expressed in his words:

Despite numerical depletion, the dangers of destructive assimilation, and the alienation of many in the wake of the European catastrophe, a Jewry with a will to independent existence has a future. We already possess enough intellectual and spiritual strength to achieve a great deal if we can focus it and give it a clear direction. For there can be no successor to the great European heritage except a reborn European Judaism itself.[i]

He was succeeded as Managing Editor by Anthony Rudolf (1972-1975) who shared Michael’s European vision and, as a poet, translator and critic, brought literary and political dimensions to the journal. We open this issue with his memoir of those early days. Rabbi Marcel Marcus (1976-1978) succeeded him and in an early ‘personal view’ noted the journal’s understandable preoccupation with the Holocaust, but that now ‘a new generation has arisen. A generation which does not know the Holocaust, but only knows of the Holocaust.’ He invited authors of the ‘new generation’ – ‘it is time for us, having established, to look into the future’.[ii]

The same issue included an In Memoriam for Rabbi Dr. Maybaum by Rabbi Dr. Albert Friedlander z’l (1927-2004) who took over as editor in 1979 and guided the journal for the next quarter century. During that period, with occasional guest editors, including Evelyn Friedlander and Esther Seidel, the journal extended its range of subjects to include interfaith dialogue and the relationship between Judaism and psychotherapy. Though the Leo Baeck College, through its graduates and students, had long supported the journal informally, under his editorship the College logo was added to the cover. Having shared editorial responsibilities with Rabbi Friedlander for a number of years, the current Editor succeeded him in 2004.

The ‘wonder’ is that the journal survived at all with a shaky financial foundation from its inception, though with a welcome degree of independence. The first publisher was the Dutch firm of Polak and van Gennep thanks to the generosity of the owner Johan Polak. When he was unable to continue, through the support of Dr. Elisabeth Maxwell, Pergamon Press agreed to take over publishing from 1987. When Pergamon became part of Elsevier, with its greater emphasis on ‘hard science’, the journal did not really fit any more, and again was at risk. Fortunately, Marion Berghahn, who was in the process of establishing a new publishing house at the time, recognized that our interests coincided, and since 1994 the Berghahn Books logo has adorned the cover.

European Judaism Covers

European Judaism Covers

The current issue reflects another development in the journal’s recent output, providing an opportunity to publish proceedings of conferences on topics relevant to our broader remit.

A familiar adage has it that ‘Judaism is not a religion but a way of life’. Like most such generalisations it is both true and not true. If ‘religion’ is understood to be restricted to the sphere of private or community spirituality without reference to wider social responsibilities, then clearly Judaism, as the faith of a particular people deeply engaged with the world, is not that kind of ‘religion’. But if ‘a way of life’ is understood in purely cultural, ethnic or humanist terms, without taking seriously the spiritual and intellectual dimension that inform and underpin it, then Judaism is much more than just ‘a way of life’.

The continuing resonance of traditional Jewish teachings today, especially messianic hopes and values, is reflected in the three terms that make up the title of the conference: ‘Justice, Hope and Redemption’ featured in this issue. In different ways the authors address them in their modern, often secular guises, sometimes seeing reflections of older debates between Judaism and Christianity. Alana Vincent examines the misunderstandings that arise when Jews and Christians discuss the apparently common term ‘redemption’ without recognizing that their traditions have very different understandings, the Jewish one being dialogic and the Christian one theocentric. Jayne Svenungsson addresses the tendency of neo-Marxian thinkers to echo familiar Christian supersessionist stereotypes. She analyses the political messianism that Agamben extrapolates from Paul’s letters, depicting the law as an obstacle rather than a means for emancipation. In Göran Rosenberg’s study of Rabbi Marcus Ehrenpreis we encounter a man based firmly in traditional Judaism seeking to create a new Jewish-European self-assertiveness. A secularised version of Jewish universalist messianic teachings is explored in Michael Löwy’s study of the early writings of Erich Fromm. Brian Klug reflects on a question posed by the Israeli novelist David Grossman: ‘Are we a people of place or of time?’ He turns to the Hebrew Bible in exploring the nature of Diaspora and the meaning of the Promised Land. In a more personal paper about the importance of memory, Victor Seidler argues that we need to rethink relationships between the secular and the spiritual so that we can name the sufferings, harms and injustices of the past that destroyed minds as well as bodies, spirits as well as souls.

The papers on ‘Catholic-Jewish Relations Today’ also reflect the challenge posed to interfaith dialogue when those who prioritise ‘religion’ encounter those who prioritise ‘a way of life’. Approaching Judaism from a Catholic perspective, which seeks to define Judaism within Christian theological terms and criteria, must inevitably stumble across the problem of the physical embodiment of Judaism in a specific people. The dimensions of this challenge can be found in the papers discussing the Document ‘For the Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable’, marking the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate, introduced by the Conference organisers Philip McCosker and Ed Kessler. The background is described by Fr. Henry Wansbrough and the Document is evaluated by the Catholic philosopher Gavin D’Costa. Two Jewish writers respond to the Document, Anna Sapir Abulafia from a historical perspective and the Editor from the perspective of the presuppositions of interfaith dialogue.

The article by Ilana Korber brings some of the broader issues discussed above down to the practical domestic level. What is an appropriate way for an avowedly secular Jewish family to mark the traditional Jewish rite of passage, the barmitzvah? Similarly, Gwendolen Burton seeks new liturgical forms to address very personal issues affecting women. We fill our occasional study of traditional Jewish thought with Robyn Ashworth-Steen’s discussion of Maimonides on the problem of evil.

Shortly before going to press we learnt of the death of Sir Sigmund Sternberg z’l at the age of 95. His public achievements are well recorded in the British press and in the tributes from the many international forums where he played a significant role. But for this journal it was his enormous, pioneering contribution to the field of interfaith dialogue that is particularly important. His creation of the Three Faiths Forum, together with the late Sheikh Zaki Badawi and the Rev. Marcus Braybrooke, marked a significant breakthrough in Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations. In his foreword to Marcus Braybrooke’s book ‘Meeting Jews’ (Christians Aware, Leicester, 2010) Sir Sigmund wrote:

In an age in which mass population movements frequently lead to fear and insecurity which in turn seek refuge in age-old attitudes of suspicion and bias, Marcus Braybrooke’s new book will serve as a valuable pointer as to how prejudice can be defeated by truth and perspective regained in our relations with the other.’

We are grateful to Rabbi Professor Tony Bayfield for allowing us to print the respectful and affectionate hesped he gave at the funeral which captures so much of the personality of Sir Sigmund and indicates something of the pressures that drove him.

The issue is completed with book reviews.



— Rabbi Professor Jonathan Magonet



[i] European Judaism Vol 6 no 2 Summer 1972 ‘Editorial’ 2.

[ii] European Judaism Vol 10 no 2 Summer 1976 ‘Personal View’, 3-4, 4.



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Berghahn Journals: New Issues Published in May

Boyhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal
Volume 10, Issue 1
With the theme of “Male Youth Sports: Changing Contexts and Emergent Perspectives,” this special issue presents contributions about boys in global sports contexts from fields as diverse as the history of sport, sport sociology, and sport psychology.
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Environmental Storytelling

Stories Make the WorldThe following is an excerpt from Stories Make the World: Reflections on Storytelling and the Art of the Documentary by Stephen Most.

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World Environment Day 2017


World Environment Day is held each year on 5th June. It is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations (UN) stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. For more information please visit


Berghahn is pleased to showcase new and forthcoming titles on our Environmental Studies list, and we are delighted to offer a 25% discount on all Environmental Studies titles, valid through July 5th, 2017. At checkout, simply enter the code WED17.

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The Berkshire Conference of Women Historians

header-bc2017-1024x341We are delighted to inform you that we will be present at The Berkshire Conference of Women Historians at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY on June 1-4, 2017. Please stop by our table to browse the latest selection of books at discounted prices & pick up some free journal samples.


If you are unable to attend, we would like to provide you with a special discount offer. For the next 30 days, receive a 25% discount on all Gender Studies titles found on our website. At checkout, simply enter the discount code Berks17. Visit our website­ to browse our newly published interactive online Spring/Summer 2017 New Titles Catalog or use the new enhanced subject searching features­ for a complete listing of all published and forthcoming titles. Continue Reading »

European Comic Art Reaches Its Tenth Year

With this issue, European Comic Art, the first peer-reviewed academic journal on comics, moves into its tenth year of existence. Over the past few years, the field has become more crowded, as scholarly interest in comics has expanded, but the quality and quantity of submissions that we receive is ever increasing. We are proud to have published articles by major comics theorists, as well as by emerging young researchers, and to have contributed to debates on formal, graphic and narrative resources of the medium; temporality and duration in comics; adaptation and the mutual influence between comics and other arts, including the novel, film, fine art (especially modernism) and the performing arts; and the diverse influences on the development of comics, including caricature and satirical prints. Many of our articles have examined comics in their social and political context, and our authors have emphasised the complex relationship between the portrayal of place and national, local or transnational identity. We have interpreted the word ‘European’ in our title as extending to comics from nations whose history is intertwined with that of Europe through conquest, conflict and continuing cultural exchange, such as Algeria, Argentina, India and Québec. Our contributors have often pointed to the capacity of comics, long confined to the countercultural or mass-cultural margins, for disrupting norms in relation not only to official narratives of nation but also to gender, ethnic and social class hierarchies. Despite the newfound respectability of comics and the ‘graphic novel’ that we would modestly claim to have played a role in promoting, we will not cease to celebrate all that is disreputable, challenging and boundary blurring in our beloved medium.


Above all, in a climate where nativism and narrowly defensive definitions of identity are becoming more threatening, we hope to go on receiving submissions from comics scholars that stress the potential of comics to redraw, reframe and create new links that offer alternative perspectives on a reality too often filtered through the lens of the powerful.


With this issue, we welcome Anne Magnussen as joint editor, and we look forward to the special edition on Spanish comics for which she has sent out a call for papers (see the ECA website). We also welcome Armelle Blin-Rolland and Catriona Macleod as reviews editors. We are delighted that Mark McKinney and Catherine Labio will remain with us as members of the editorial board. We thank our army of thoughtful and constructive peer reviewers, whose generosity with their time amazes us, as well as our wonderful colleagues at Berghahn Journals in New York, particularly Martha Hoffman and her successor, Kristyn Sanito, for their efficiency and eagle-eyed attention to detail. European Comic Art has been an adventure for us: ten years of convivial collaboration with never a stressful moment. Our centenary issue will be forthcoming in 2017.


— The Editors





European Day of Parks 2017

trees-971920_1920Celebrated on May 24th, The European Day of Parks is a commemorative day for Protected Areas across Europe that was launched in 1999 by the EUROPARC Federation. National parks are priceless for the European cultural heritage and observance of European Day of Parks is aimed at strengthening of international cooperation in protection of environment. For more information and schedule of events please visit


In recognition of the day Berghahn is pleased to offer 25% discount on any of our Environmental Studies books on orders placed within the next 30 days. Visit our webpage and simply enter the code Parks17 at checkout. Continue Reading »

Interview with Guy Delisle

Conducted in English by Kenan Kocak, 23 April 2014. This interview originally appeared in European Comic Art Volume 7 Number 2.

Guy Delisle was born in Canada’s Quebec City in 1966. He studied an­imation at Sheridan College in Oakville, near Toronto, and has worked for animation companies in Canada, France, Germany, China and North Korea. His comics career started at L’Association, where from 1995 onwards he contributed to the French periodical Lapin, whilst also working on the Canadian magazine Spoutnik. Delisle is also an active animator strongly associated with Dupuis-Audiovisuel. He has just fi n­ished the third volume of his current series, Le Guide du mauvais père [A Users Guide to Neglectful Parenting], which will be available in January 2015.

In 2012, Chroniques de Jérusalem (Delcourt) won the Angoulême fes­tival’s Best Album award. In it, Delisle follows on from previous travel accounts, in particular Shenzhen (L’Association, 2000, about China), Pyongyang (L’Association, 2003, about North Korea) and Chroniques birmanes (Delcourt, 2007, about Burma). In all of these he presents foreign, exotic and sometimes oppressive cultures through the every­day. In the case of the Jerusalem album, this is done via his own expe­riences as a child-minding father whilst his partner, Nadège, worked there for Médecins Sans Frontières in 2008.

The style of Chroniques de Jérusalem, like that of Delisle’s earlier work, is that of line drawings with clear representational elements, whilst remaining far from any notion of photo-realism. A main dif­ference, perhaps due to the possibilities offered by Delcourt is the use of sepia tone and splashes of colour, albeit sparsely, to accentuate key incidents and objects. The style draws the reader in and situates the story in an exegetic ‘reality’, whilst keeping the distance that comes with caricature. It fits perfectly with the subject matter, one that pres­ents traffic jams and the search for children’s playgrounds, allowing us momentarily to overlook the background events, those of the religious conflicts in the Middle East.

Although the book was a popular choice that frequently topped the weekly BD best sellers, it was also very much in keeping with literary trends within the graphic novel genre and beyond. Indeed, the non-A4 format, low-colour artwork and 334 pages keeps the work within the ‘graphic novel’ style championed by L’Association, Delisle’s previous publisher, and continued by the high-profile but trendy Shampooing collection to which the album belongs. Through the subject matter of the Middle East conflict, comparison with Jo Sacco is inevitable, although Delisle is considerably less politicised. Another point in common is the first-person diary format, although the viewing angle remains third person, as we look onto the line drawing of Delisle, not directly through his eyes. And the use of the everyday as a foreground to broader events plugs into the current trend for ‘everyday studies’, whilst putting the BD alongside other forms of ‘popular but intelligent’ literature that presents world-changing events via the backcloth of the preoccupations of ordinary life, as recently championed by the novels of Jean Teulé, Annie Ernaux and Jonathan Coe.

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Celebrating International Museum Day

International Museum Day 2017


The worldwide community of museums celebrates International Museum Day on and around 18 May each year. This day is an occasion to raise awareness on how important museums are in the enrichment of cultures, development of society, and cooperation and peace among people. For more information on the theme and calendar of events for this year’s observance, visit the International Council of Museums webpage.


To join the celebration, we’re offering a 25% discount on all Museum Studies titles for the next 30 days! Just visit our webpage and enter code IMD17 at checkout.



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