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In Biblical Theology, Ben Witherington, III, examines the theology of the Old and New Testaments as a totality. Going beyond an account of carefully crafted Old and New Testament theologies, he demonstrates the ideas that make the Bible a sacred book with a unified theology. Witherington brings a distinctive methodology to this study. Taking a constructive approach, he first examines the foundations of the writers' symbolic universe - what they thought and presupposed about God - and how they revealed those thoughts through the narratives of the Old and New Testaments. He also shows how the historical contexts and intellectual worlds of the Old and New Testaments conditioned their narratives, and, in the process, created a large coherent Biblical world view, one that progressively reveals the character and action of God. Thus, the Yahweh of the Old Testament, the Son in the Gospels, and the Father, Son, and Spirit in the New Testament writings are viewed as persons who are part of the singular divine identity. Sensitive to do a more than merely thematic reading of the Bible which strips texts out of their original context, Witherington's progressive revelation approach allows each part of the canon to be read in its original context and with its original meaning. The result is a Biblical theology that allows Jews and Christian's to dialogue about and appreciate the sacred scriptures in both testaments. The capstone work of an internationally known theologian, Biblical Theology also offers new insights on key theological issues, including the character of God, grace, covenants, salvation, election, and eschatology as they relate to the doctrine of God.
This is the book that American Jews and particularly American
Reform Jews have been waiting for: a clear and informed call for
further reform in the Reform movement.
In light of profound demographic, social, and technological
developments, it has become increasingly clear that the Reform
movement will need to make major changes to meet the needs of a
quickly evolving American Jewish population. Younger Americans in
particular differ from previous generations in how they relate to
organized religion, often preferring to network through virtual
groups or gather in informal settings of their own choosing.
Dana Evan Kaplan, an American Reform Jew and pulpit rabbi, argues that rather than focusing on the importance of loyalty to community, Reform Judaism must determine how to engage the individual in a search for existential meaning. It should move us toward a critical scholarly understanding of the Hebrew Bible, that we may emerge with the perspectives required by a postmodern world. Such a Reform Judaism can at once help us understand how the ancient world molded our most cherished religious traditions and guide us in addressing the increasingly complex social problems of our day.
Stories abound of immigrant Jews on the outside looking in, clambering up the ladder of social mobility, successfully assimilating and integrating into their new worlds. But this book is not about the success stories. It's a paean to the bunglers, the blockheads, and the just plain weird-Jews who were flung from small, impoverished eastern European towns into the urban shtetls of New York and Warsaw, where, as they say in Yiddish, their bread landed butter side down in the dirt. These marginal Jews may have found their way into the history books far less frequently than their more socially upstanding neighbors, but there's one place you can find them in force: in the Yiddish newspapers that had their heyday from the 1880s to the 1930s. Disaster, misery, and misfortune: you will find no better chronicle of the daily ignominies of urban Jewish life than in the pages of the Yiddish press. An underground history of downwardly mobile Jews, Bad Rabbi exposes the seamy underbelly of pre-WWII New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With true stories plucked from the pages of the Yiddish papers, Eddy Portnoy introduces us to the drunks, thieves, murderers, wrestlers, poets, and beauty queens whose misadventures were immortalized in print. There's the Polish rabbi blackmailed by an American widow, mass brawls at weddings and funerals, a psychic who specialized in locating missing husbands, and violent gangs of Jewish mothers on the prowl-in short, not quite the Jews you'd expect. One part Isaac Bashevis Singer, one part Jerry Springer, this irreverent, unvarnished, and frequently hilarious compendium of stories provides a window into an unknown Yiddish world that was.
"This book features a CD of rarely performed music, including a specially commissioned rap by Erik Weiner of Walter Benjamin's "Thesis on the Philosophy of History." "
Theodor W. Adorno was the prototypical German Jewish non-Jew, Walter Benjamin vacillated between German Jew and Jewish German, Gershom Scholem was a committed Zionist, and Arnold Sch?nberg converted to Protestantism for professional reasons but later returned to Judaism. Carl Djerassi, himself a refugee from Hitler's Austria, dramatizes a dialogue between these four men in which they discuss fraternity, religious identity, and legacy as well as reveal aspects of their lives-notably their relations with their wives-that many have ignored, underemphasized, or misrepresented.
The desire for canonization and the process by which it is obtained are the underlying themes of this dialogue, with emphasis on Paul Klee's "Angelus Novus "(1920), a canonized work that resonated deeply with Benjamin, Adorno, and Scholem (and for which Djerassi and Gabrielle Seethaler present a revisionist and richly illustrated interpretation). Basing his dialogue on extensive archival research and interviews, Djerassi concludes with a daring speculation on the putative contents of Benjamin's famous briefcase, which disappeared upon his suicide.
State and Religion in Israel begins with a philosophical analysis of the two main questions regarding the role of religion in liberal states: should such states institute a 'Wall of Separation' between state and religion? Should they offer religious practices and religious communities special protection? Gideon Sapir and Daniel Statman argue that liberalism in not committed to Separation, but is committed to granting religion a unique protection, albeit a narrower one than often assumed. They then use Israel as a case study for their conclusions. Although Israel is defined as a Jewish state, its Jewish identity need not be interpreted religiously, requiring that it subjects itself to the dictates of Jewish law (Halakha). The authors test this view by critically examining important topics relevant to state and religion in Israel: marriage and divorce, the drafting of yeshiva students into the army, the character of the Sabbath and more.
How can we define "Judaism," and what are the common threads uniting ancient rabbis, Maimonides, the authors of the Zohar, and modern secular Jews in Israel? Michael L. Satlow offers a fresh perspective on Judaism that recognizes both its similarities and its immense diversity. Presenting snapshots of Judaism from around the globe and throughout history, Satlow explores the links between vastly different communities and their Jewish traditions. He studies the geonim, rabbinical scholars who lived in Iraq from the ninth to twelfth centuries; the intellectual flourishing of Jews in medieval Spain; how the Hasidim of nineteenth-century Eastern Europe confronted modernity; and the post-World War II development of distinct American and Israeli Jewish identities. Satlow pays close attention to how communities define themselves, their relationship to biblical and rabbinic texts, and their ritual practices. His fascinating portraits reveal the amazingly creative ways Jews have adapted over time to social and political challenges and continue to remain a "Jewish family."
Based on the same format and design as the Torah volumes, Jonah provides a critical line-by-line commentary of the biblical text, which is presented in its original Hebrew, complete with vocalization and cantillation marks, as well as the JPS English translation. It includes a scholarly introduction, extensive bibliographic and critical notes, and other explanatory material.
A magisterial history, ranging from antiquity to the present, that reveals anti-Judaism to be a mode of thought deeply embedded in the Western tradition. There is a widespread tendency to regard anti-Judaism - whether expressed in a casual remark or implemented through pogrom or extermination campaign - as somehow exceptional: an unfortunate indicator of personal prejudice or the shocking outcome of an extremist ideology married to power. But, as David Nirenberg argues in this ground-breaking study, to confine anit-Judaism to the margins of our culture is to be dangerously complacent. Anti-Judaism is not an irrational closet in the vast edifice of Western thought, but rather one of the basic tools with which that edifice was constructed.
Normon Solomon's succinct book is an ideal introduction to Judaism as a religion and way of life. Demonstrating the diverse nature and ethnic origin of those with the Jewish faith, Solomon explores how the Jewish religion has developed in the 2,000 years since the days of the Bible. This Very Short Introduction starts by outlining the basics of practical Judaism - its festivals, prayers, customs, and various sects - and goes on to consider how Judaism has responded to, and dealt with, a number of key issues and debates, including the impact of the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel. In this new edition, Solomon considers issues of contemporary Judaism in the twenty first century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Does it mean nothing at all that we are spiritual beings? What does one of the world's oldest religions have to say? After the astonishing success of his latest book, Kosher Sex, Shmuley Boteach now tackles these important issues in another freshly argued, provocative book that will stir debate. Convinced that Judaism possesses a core of wisdom that appeals to everyone, Shmuley Boteach ferociously argues against Jews seeking piety in abstractions, in rationalising injustice, in explaining the holocaust away as a punishment for assimilation. He pleads for recognition that Judaism is not about death or suffering, but is about seeking optimism and spirituality, as is life. In a modern world riddled with angst, this book will have an astonishing impact on how our relation to society should be understood. First published in 1999 by Duckworth Overlook under the title An intelligent person's guide to Judaism.
This book presents the various ways that the Gospels function as sources for Second Temple Jewish thought and practice. While decades of research into their "Jewish backgrounds" have proven fruitful, little attention has been given to the manner in which the Gospels themselves give witness to the evolution of Judaism in antiquity. This book argues that when understood as part of the corpora of ancient Jewish texts (e.g., Dead Sea Scrolls, Mishnah, etc.), the Gospels are testimonies to the geographical, linguistic, historical, political, social and religious reality of ancient Judaism and are sometimes the very first literary witnesses to particular practices (e.g., naming a child on the 8th day).
In 70 CE, the Jews were an agrarian and illiterate people living mostly in the Land of Israel and Mesopotamia. By 1492 the Jewish people had become a small group of literate urbanites specializing in crafts, trade, moneylending, and medicine in hundreds of places across the Old World, from Seville to Mangalore. What caused this radical change? "The Chosen Few "presents a new answer to this question by applying the lens of economic analysis to the key facts of fifteen formative centuries of Jewish history. Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein offer a powerful new explanation of one of the most significant transformations in Jewish history while also providing fresh insights into the growing debate about the social and economic impact of religion.
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