In the wake of a recent surge of antisemitism, we talk to historian David Nirenberg about what connects the hatred of Jews in the past and present. Anti-Judaism is more than simply a form of prejudice against a particular ethnicity. Rather, it is a foundational and essential idea in Western civilization which provides cultures with a way of thinking about the dangers of the world. As we connect the dots between past and present, how does thinking in the longue durée help us to move forward? And can an understanding of history lead us towards a better future?
David Nirenberg, a distinguished historian of medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, is Director and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.