Law’s Dominion

Jewish Community, Religion, and Family in Early Modern Metz


In Law’s Dominion, Jay Berkovitz offers a novel approach to the history of early modern Jewry. Set in the city of Metz, on the Moselle river, this study of a vibrant prerevolutionary community draws on a wide spectrum of legal sources that tell a story about community, religion, and family that has not been told before.

Focusing on the community’s leadership, public institutions, and judiciary, this study challenges the assumption that Jewish life was in a steady state of decline before the French Revolution. To the contrary, the evidence reveals a robust community that integrated religious values and civic consciousness, interacted with French society, and showed remarkable signs of collaboration between Jewish law and the French judicial system.

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Biographical Note
Jay R. Berkovitz, Ph.D. (1983), Brandeis University, is Distinguished Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies (Emeritus) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His has published extensively in the fields of early modern history and law, including Protocols of Justice (Brill, 2014).
All interested in Jewish history, Jewish law and religion, and anyone with interest in law, jurisprudence, and early modern France.
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