THE BEGINNINGS OF JEWISHNESS BOUNDARIES VARIETIES UNCERTAINTIES HELLENISTIC CULTURE AND SOCIETY

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The Beginnings Of Jewishness

Author : Shaye J. D. Cohen
ISBN : 9780520226937
Genre : History
File Size : 50.65 MB
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This is a study of the notion of Jewishness from c. 200 BCE to c. 200 CE. Reasonable and well-informed people disputed whether a given person was Jewish or not; Cohen opens by discussing just such an argument, about Herod the Great.
Category: History

Heritage And Hellenism

Author : Erich S. Gruen
ISBN : 9780520235069
Genre : History
File Size : 50.69 MB
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The interaction of Jew and Greek in antiquity intrigues the imagination. Both civilizations boasted great traditions, their roots stretching back to legendary ancestors and divine sanction. In the wake of Alexander the Great's triumphant successes, Greeks and Macedonians came as conquerors and settled as ruling classes in the lands of the eastern Mediterranean. Hellenic culture, the culture of the ascendant classes in many of the cities of the Near East, held widespread attraction and appeal. Jews were certainly not immune. In this thoroughly researched, lucidly written work, Erich Gruen draws on a wide variety of literary and historical texts of the period to explore a central question: How did the Jews accommodate themselves to the larger cultural world of the Mediterranean while at the same time reasserting the character of their own heritage within it? Erich Gruen's work highlights Jewish creativity, ingenuity, and inventiveness, as the Jews engaged actively with the traditions of Hellas, adapting genres and transforming legends to articulate their own legacy in modes congenial to a Hellenistic setting. Drawing on a diverse array of texts composed in Greek by Jews over a broad period of time, Gruen explores works by Jewish historians, epic poets, tragic dramatists, writers of romance and novels, exegetes, philosophers, apocalyptic visionaries, and composers of fanciful fables—not to mention pseudonymous forgers and fabricators. In these works, Jewish writers reinvented their own past, offering us the best insights into Jewish self-perception in that era.
Category: History

Why Aren T Jewish Women Circumcised

Author : Shaye J. D. Cohen
ISBN : 9780520212503
Genre : Religion
File Size : 90.62 MB
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"This book represents engaged scholarship at its very best. Cohen presents the vast range of texts at his command with brevity and wit. Elegantly written, this is a very stimulating book that is sure to provoke admiration, discussion, and controversy."—David Biale, author of Cultures of the Jews "A distinguished and wide-ranging work of scholarship. Cohen’s definitive discussion of the covenant of circumcision enhances our understanding of Jewish identity formation, women’s status in Judaism, Jewish-Christian polemic, and the impact of diverse cultural environments on the evolution of Jewish tradition."—Judith R. Baskin, author of Midrashic Women
Category: Religion

From The Maccabees To The Mishnah

Author : Shaye J. D. Cohen
ISBN : 9780664239046
Genre : Religion
File Size : 79.21 MB
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This is the third edition of Shaye J. D. Cohen's important and seminal work on the history and development of Judaism between 164 BCE to 300 CE. Cohen's synthesis of religion, literature, and history offers deep insight into the nature of Judaism at this key period, including the relationship between Jews and Gentiles, the function of Jewish religion in the larger community, and the development of normative Judaism and other Jewish sects. Cohen offers students more than just history, but an understanding of the social and cultural context of Judaism as it developed into the formative period of rabbinic Judaism. This new edition includes a brand-new chapter on the parting of ways between Jews and Christians in the second century CE. From the Maccabees to the Mishnah remains the clearest introduction to the era that shaped Judaism and provided the context for early Christianity.
Category: Religion

Imperialism And Jewish Society

Author : Seth Schwartz
ISBN : 9781400824854
Genre : History
File Size : 61.86 MB
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This provocative new history of Palestinian Jewish society in antiquity marks the first comprehensive effort to gauge the effects of imperial domination on this people. Probing more than eight centuries of Persian, Greek, and Roman rule, Seth Schwartz reaches some startling conclusions--foremost among them that the Christianization of the Roman Empire generated the most fundamental features of medieval and modern Jewish life. Schwartz begins by arguing that the distinctiveness of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and early Roman periods was the product of generally prevailing imperial tolerance. From around 70 C.E. to the mid-fourth century, with failed revolts and the alluring cultural norms of the High Roman Empire, Judaism all but disintegrated. However, late in the Roman Empire, the Christianized state played a decisive role in ''re-Judaizing'' the Jews. The state gradually excluded them from society while supporting their leaders and recognizing their local communities. It was thus in Late Antiquity that the synagogue-centered community became prevalent among the Jews, that there re-emerged a distinctively Jewish art and literature--laying the foundations for Judaism as we know it today. Through masterful scholarship set in rich detail, this book challenges traditional views rooted in romantic notions about Jewish fortitude. Integrating material relics and literature while setting the Jews in their eastern Mediterranean context, it addresses the complex and varied consequences of imperialism on this vast period of Jewish history more ambitiously than ever before. Imperialism in Jewish Society will be widely read and much debated.
Category: History

In Quest Of The Historical Pharisees

Author : Jacob Neusner
ISBN : 9781932792720
Genre : Religion
File Size : 25.83 MB
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This work sketches the many portraits of the Pharisees that emerge from ancient sources. Based upon the Gospels, the writings of Paul, Josephus, the Mishnah, the Tosefta, and archeology, the volume profiles the Pharisees and explores the relationship between the Pharisees and the Judaic religious system foreshadowed by the library of Qumran. A great virtue of this study is that no attempt is made to homogenize the distinct pictures or reconstruct a singular account of the Pharisees; instead, by carefully considering the sources, the chapters allow different pictures of the Pharisees to stand side by side.
Category: Religion

Purity Body And Self In Early Rabbinic Literature

Author : DR. S Mira Balberg
ISBN : 9780520958210
Genre : Religion
File Size : 88.48 MB
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This book explores the ways in which the early rabbis reshaped biblical laws of ritual purity and impurity and argues that the rabbis’ new purity discourse generated a unique notion of a bodily self. Focusing on the Mishnah, a Palestinian legal codex compiled around the turn of the third century CE, Mira Balberg shows how the rabbis constructed the processes of contracting, conveying, and managing ritual impurity as ways of negotiating the relations between one’s self and one’s body and, more broadly, the relations between one’s self and one’s human and nonhuman environments. With their heightened emphasis on subjectivity, consciousness, and self-reflection, the rabbis reinvented biblically inherited language and practices in a way that resonated with central cultural concerns and intellectual commitments of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean world. Purity, Body, and Self in Early Rabbinic Literature adds a new dimension to the study of practices of self-making in antiquity by suggesting that not only philosophical exercises but also legal paradigms functioned as sites through which the self was shaped and improved.
Category: Religion

Converts To Judaism

Author : Lawrence J. Epstein
ISBN : 9781442234680
Genre : Religion
File Size : 86.27 MB
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From the biblical story of Ruth to the star conversion of Elizabeth Taylor, Epstein tells the stories of people who have converted to Judaism throughout history. This book is a resource for people considering the challenging path of conversion and an illustration of the important role Jewish converts have played in Jewish life through the ages.
Category: Religion

Foreigners And Their Food

Author : David M. Freidenreich
ISBN : 9780520253216
Genre : Religion
File Size : 63.68 MB
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“Written in lucid prose, Freidenreich displays a masterful command of a variety of sources and scholarship. He enviably manages an arduous task: to write an accessible book that is, at the same time, a major contribution to several academic disciplines.” —Jordan D. Rosenblum, author of Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism “Can a Muslim eat meat from a Christian butcher? Can a Jew drink wine that has been handled by a Christian? Breaking through disciplinary, linguistic, and religious boundaries that often dominate scholarship, David Freidenreich offers a fascinating synthesis of these and countless other issues. This is a rich feast.” —John Tolan, author of Saint Francis and the Sultan: The Curious History of a Christian-Muslim Encounter
Category: Religion