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Introduction To The Study And The History Of Karaism

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of this book, which attempts to summarize the main tendencies in the history of the Karaite community in Galicia and elsewhere in the world in order to show why the study of this unique ethnic group is important for a better understanding of the history of Eastern Europe, its religious and linguistic minorities, and theories of nationalism in general. The Karaites are members of an independent dissident religious movement within Judaism whose origins are still being debated. Karaism developed from the ninth through the eleventh centuries as a separate anti-Talmudic religious movement within Judaism, absorbing other anti-Rabbinic schisms. The chapter emphasizes on the history of Halicz and Kukizów-the two most important seats of the Karaite community in the region. It attempts to scrutinize the problem of the Karaite arrival in Galicia from the standpoint of reliable medieval sources and general historical circumstances.

Keywords: EasternEurope; Galicia; Halicz; Judaism; Karaism; Kukizów



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