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David Freidenreich studies how premodern Christians, Jews, and Muslims understood one another — because many of these ideas continue to shape contemporary attitudes and interactions. David’s latest book, Jewish Muslims: How Christians Imagined Islam as the Enemy, examines the ways in which premodern Christians used ideas about Jews to think about Muslims. His award-winning first book, Foreigners and Their Food: Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law, explores attitudes toward adherents of foreign religions expressed in ancient and medieval laws about sharing food. David also researches the history of Jewish life in Maine.

David M. Freidenreich is the Pulver Family Professor of Jewish Studies at Colby College, where he serves as chair of the Jewish studies department, a member of the religious studies department, and associate director of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life. He teaches a wide range of courses on Judaism and Jewish history, civic leadership, and comparative religion. After receiving a B.A. from Brandeis University, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. 

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