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This book examines literary analogies in Christian and Jewish sources, culminating in an in-depth analysis of striking parallels and connections between Christian monastic texts (the Apophthegmata Patrum or 'The Sayings of the Desert Fathers') and Babylonian Talmudic traditions. The importance of the monastic movement in the Persian Empire, during the time of the composition and redaction of the Babylonian Talmud, fostered a literary connection between the two religious populations. The shared literary elements in the literatures of these two elite religious communities sheds new light on the surprisingly inclusive nature of the Talmudic corpora and on the non-polemical nature of elite Jewish-Christian literary relations in late antique Persia.
In this study of the nature and sources of biblical law, Calum Carmichael focuses on the intimate and little-appreciated relationship between two components of the Bible, namely that the legal material represents a form of commentary or extended exposition of the narratives. After introducing his central views and how they depart from the mainstream, Carmichael addresses the Priestly material in Leviticus, exploring, for example, the theme of incest and the Bible. Subsequent chapters cover such fundamental topics of biblical law as the Decalogue; the formula "life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth"; and the theme of life and death. In each instance, parallels are drawn between specific laws and narratives. Finally, Carmichael traces the influence of the narratives of David's adultery and Saul's suicide on the development of related laws. Approaching his topic from the basic premise that any society's laws do not necessarily relate to its practical problems, Carmichael challenges the long prevailing view that the body of biblical laws and ethical rules grew up in piecemeal fashion over many centuries, in reaction to specific social problems as they arose. Rather, the laws are a work of historical reconstruction, redacted during one relatively concentrated period by Deuteronomic and Priestly lawgivers. Conflating past, present, and future, these redactors embedded the codes of law in the narratives to make what was for them an orderly presentation of the historical life of ancient Israel. This approach, says Carmichael, was driven by needs we can never fully appreciate and underpinned by a very different conception of what constitutes historical knowledge. Only when we relinquish modern notions of historical writing can we comprehend the enormous sophistication of the biblical authors' project.
"A wonderful, rich, and fascinating book, and a great read. Biale
explores the meanings of blood within Jewish and Christian cultures
from the blood of the sacrifices of the book of Leviticus to the
blood of the Eucharist to the blood of medieval blood libels and
the place of blood in Nazi ideology. Biale shows that blood
symbolism stands at the center of the divide between Judaism and
Christianity. This book will be the point of departure for all
future studies of the subject."--Shaye J.D. Cohen, Harvard
WINNER OF THE 2019 DUFF COOPER PRIZE THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER A SUNDAY TIMES AND OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019 'With emotional and psychological insight, Barton unlocks this sleeping giant of our culture. In the process, he has produced a masterpiece.' Sunday Times The Bible is the central book of Western culture. For the two faiths which hold it sacred, it is the bedrock of their religion, a singular authority on what to believe and how to live. For non-believers too, it has a commanding status: it is one of the great works of world literature, woven to an unparalleled degree into our language and thought. This book tells the story of the Bible, explaining how it came to be constructed and how it has been understood, from its remote beginnings down to the present. John Barton describes how the narratives, laws, proverbs, prophecies, poems and letters which comprise the Bible were written and when, what we know - and what we cannot know - about their authors and what they might have meant, as well as how these extraordinarily disparate writings relate to each other. His incisive readings shed new light on even the most familiar passages, exposing not only the sources and traditions behind them, but also the busy hands of the scribes and editors who assembled and reshaped them. Untangling the process by which some texts which were regarded as holy, became canonical and were included, and others didn't, Barton demonstrates that the Bible is not the fixed text it is often perceived to be, but the result of a long and intriguing evolution. Tracing its dissemination, translation and interpretation in Judaism and Christianity from Antiquity to the rise of modern biblical scholarship, Barton elucidates how meaning has both been drawn from the Bible and imposed upon it. Part of the book's originality is to illuminate the gap between religion and scripture, the ways in which neither maps exactly onto the other, and how religious thinkers from Augustine to Luther and Spinoza have reckoned with this. Barton shows that if we are to regard the Bible as 'authoritative', it cannot be as believers have so often done in the past.
The classic statement of the ideas which form the religious consciousness of the Jewish people at large, by one of the great minds of Jewish scholarship of our century. His creative scholarship, compelling English style, and warm personality have given this book lasting influence on Jew and non-Jew alike. Includes the original preface of 1909 and the introduction by Louis Finkelstein.
Judaism makes the bold argument that the very concept of a religion of 'Judaism' is an invention of the Christian church. The intellectual journey of world-renowned Talmud scholar Daniel Boyarin, this book will change the study of "Judaism"-an essential key word in Jewish Studies-as we understand it today. Boyarin argues that although the world treats the word "Judaism" as appropriate for naming an alleged religion of the Jews, it is in fact a Christian theological concept only adopted by Jews with the coming of modernity and the adoption of Christian languages.
The Lieberman Open Orthodox Haggadah (the Orlofsky Edition) addresses some of the burning issues of our times through the lens of the rituals and texts of the Seder night. As we recognise that "in every generation" we are to seek liberation and freedom, this Haggadah demonstrates an activism that stems from -- rather than being stymied by -- our ancient traditions. Open Orthodoxy is a stream of Orthodoxy that combines a strict adherence to Jewish law with an openness and flexibility on certain contemporary issues. With contributions from prominent and original thinkers and an introduction to the term Open Orthodoxy from Rabbi Avi Weiss, this Haggadah discusses some of these cutting-edge concerns -- such as women as clergy within Orthodoxy (i.e., the Maharat phenomenon), the agunah crisis, and the interaction between Jews and Gentiles.
Study of the Jewish Temple is very important at present - but often studies remain at the archaeological level. What has been less studied is the theological reason for the artefacts discovered by the archaeologists. Margaret Barker, already a published expert in this area, gives a general introduction, and then focuses on four areas of meaning: Creation, Covenant, Atonement and Wisdom. The book also discusses how Jesus related to the Temple.
As featured on the cover of Tikkun magazine How do we articulate a religious vision that embraces evolution and human authorship of Scripture? Drawing on the Jewish mystical traditions of Kabbalah and Hasidism, path-breaking Jewish scholar Arthur Green argues that a neomystical perspective can help us to reframe these realities, so they may yet be viewed as dwelling places of the sacred. In doing so, he rethinks such concepts as God, the origins and meaning of existence, human nature, and revelation to construct a new Judaism for the twenty-first century.
Gavin D'Costa breaks new ground in this authoritative study of the Second Vatican Council's doctrines on other religions, with particular attention to Judaism and Islam. The focus is exclusively on the doctrinal foundations found in Lumen Gentium 16 that will serve Catholicism in the twenty first century. D'Costa provides a map outlining different hermeneutical approaches to the Council, whilst synthesising their strengths and providing a critique of their weaknesses. Moreover, he classifies the different authority attributed to doctrines thereby clarifying debates regarding continuity, discontinuity, and reform in doctrinal teaching. Vatican II: Catholic Doctrines on Jews and Muslims expertly examines the Council's revolutionary teaching on Judaism which has been subject to conflicting readings, including the claim that the Council reversed doctrinal teachings in this area. Through a rigorous examination of the debates, the drafts, the official commentary, and with consideration of the previous Council and papal doctrinal teachings on the Jews, D'Costa lays bare the doctrinal achievements of the Council, and concludes with a similar detailed examination of Catholic doctrines on Islam. This innovative text makes essential interventions in the debate about Council hermeneutics and doctrinal teachings on the religions.
The greatest contemporary Kabbalists, Rav Yehuda Ashlag, and his son and successor, Rav Baruch Ashlag provide an eye-opening answers to life's most fundamental question: "What is the meaning of my life?" Based on their interpretations of 'The Book of Zohar', and 'The Tree of Life', we can now learn how to benefit from the wisdom of Kabbalah on a day-to-day basis. In addition to authentic texts by these great Kabbalists, this book offers illustrations that accurately depict the evolution of the Upper Worlds as Kabbalists experience them, as well as several helpful essays to enhance our understanding of the texts. Rav Michael Laitman, Ph.D., Rav Baruch Ashlag's personal assistant and prime student, compiled all the texts a Kabbalah student would need to attain the spiritual worlds. In his daily lessons, Rav Laitman bases his teaching on these inspiring texts, thus helping novices and veterans alike to better understand the spiritual path we undertake on our fascinating journey to the Higher Realms. If you truly seek the meaning of life, your heart will lead you through the writings of these great Kabbalists, who wrote them from their hearts to yours. Through their words, you will discover lifes essence and power, and your own eternal existence.
Considered one of the most influential movements in modern Judaism,writers have speculated for decades about the unparalleled success of Chabad Lubavitch. In The Secret of Chabad, Rabbi David Eliezrie depicts the events,philosophies, and personalities that have made Chabad Lubavitch a worldwide phenomenon. From his unique style weaving together narrative and fact, history and philosophical insight, interviews with shluchim and Chabad leaders from across the globe, and personal recollection emerges a world rich in tradition and the enormous love for fellow Jews that is embodied by the shluchim. In this book, Rabbi Eliezrie combines the insider's perspective of a long-time Chabad shaliach with the storytelling flair of a prolific writer.
An unprecedented portrait of Moses's inner world and perplexing character, by a distinguished biblical scholar No figure looms larger in Jewish culture than Moses, and few have stories more enigmatic. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, acclaimed for her many books on Jewish thought, turns her attention to Moses in this remarkably rich, evocative book. Drawing on a broad range of sources-literary as well as psychoanalytic, a wealth of classical Jewish texts alongside George Eliot, W. G. Sebald, and Werner Herzog-Zornberg offers a vivid and original portrait of the biblical Moses. Moses's vexing personality, his uncertain origins, and his turbulent relations with his own people are acutely explored by Zornberg, who sees this story, told and retold, as crucial not only to the biblical past but also to the future of Jewish history.
The first complete and annotated English translation of Maimon's delightfully entertaining memoir Solomon Maimon's autobiography has delighted readers for more than two hundred years, from Goethe and George Eliot to Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt. Here is the first complete and annotated English edition of this enduring and lively work. Born into a down-on-its-luck provincial Jewish family in 1753, Maimon distinguished himself as a prodigy in learning. After a series of picaresque misadventures, he reached Berlin, where he became part of the city's famed Jewish Enlightenment and achieved the philosophical education he so desperately wanted. This edition restores text cut from the abridged 1888 translation by J. Clark Murray-for long the only available English edition-and includes an introduction and notes by Yitzhak Melamed and Abraham Socher that give invaluable insights into Maimon's extraordinary life.
From the prizewinning Jewish Lives series, an unprecedented portrait of Moses's inner world and perplexing character, by a distinguished biblical scholar No figure looms larger in Jewish culture than Moses, and few have stories more enigmatic. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, acclaimed for her many books on Jewish thought, turns her attention to Moses in this remarkably rich, evocative book. Drawing on a broad range of sources-literary as well as psychoanalytic, a wealth of classical Jewish texts alongside George Eliot, W. G. Sebald, and Werner Herzog-Zornberg offers a vivid and original portrait of the biblical Moses. Moses's vexing personality, his uncertain origins, and his turbulent relations with his own people are acutely explored by Zornberg, who sees this story, told and retold, as crucial not only to the biblical past but also to the future of Jewish history. About Jewish Lives: Jewish Lives is a prizewinning series of interpretative biography designed to explore the many facets of Jewish identity. Individual volumes illuminate the imprint of Jewish figures upon literature, religion, philosophy, politics, cultural and economic life, and the arts and sciences. Subjects are paired with authors to elicit lively, deeply informed books that explore the range and depth of the Jewish experience from antiquity to the present. In 2014, the Jewish Book Council named Jewish Lives the winner of its Jewish Book of the Year Award, the first series ever to receive this award. More praise for Jewish Lives: "Excellent." -New York Times "Exemplary." -Wall Street Journal "Distinguished." -New Yorker "Superb." -The Guardian
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