News | 14. Sep. 2023

A Most Welcome Guest

The MGH are proud to have received the visit of Prof. Dr Benjamin Z. Kedar, emeritus professor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and since 2006 a corresponding member of the central board of directors of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, who came from Israel to research in Munich. The MGH celebrated our guest‘s recent 85th birthday with a public ceremony and presented a video compilation of an interview with Prof. Kedar for the exhibition „Jewish Scholars at the MGH“ that was originally recorded on September 2, 2021.

Asked what he thought about the answers he had then given, Benjamin Kedar laughed and said that his thoughts today, two years later, were busy with quite other topics, in particular with the historical significance of „sources“ in relation to „traces“ in the thought tradition of the French Annales school. Seeing himself as an historian of mentalité history, he is currently engaged in an intensive examination of the work of Marc Bloch, the founder of the Annales.

Over a glass of wine, Kedar let out that his monograph on the history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem is soon to be published. „I am a slow worker,“ he said. „I have worked for 40 years on this book. One needs time to come to an deeper understanding of how things hang together.“ The audience greeted his announcement with keen interest. As all of Kedar’s works, the book will be published in the USA. 

Benjamin Z. Kedar’s visit offered particularly our younger scholars and editors a chance to encounter this internationally renowned historian, who was honoured with the EMET prise for science, art, and culture in 2019 and the Israel Prise in 2020. The MGH has profited from Benjamin Kedar’s thought impulses since the 1970s and owes him the creation of the series „Hebräische Texte aus dem mittelalterlichen Deutschland“.

Interview with Prof. Dr Benjamin Z. Kedar, recorded on 2.9.2021 on the occasion of the exhibition Jewish Scholars at the MGH (Youtube)