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Author: Carmen Palmer
Converts in the Dead Sea Scrolls examines the meaning of the term gēr in the Dead Sea Scrolls. While often interpreted as a resident alien, this study of the term as it is employed within scriptural rewriting in the Dead Sea Scrolls concludes that the gēr is a Gentile convert to Judaism. Contrasting the gēr in the Dead Sea Scrolls against scriptural predecessors, Carmen Palmer finds that a conversion is possible by means of mutable ethnicity. Furthermore, mutable features of ethnicity in the sectarian movement affiliated with the Dead Sea Scrolls include shared kinship, connection to land, and common culture in the practice of circumcision. The sectarian movement is not as closed toward Gentiles as has been commonly considered.
In Portuguese Jews, New Christians and ‘New Jews’ Claude B. Stuczynski and Bruno Feitler gather some of the leading scholars of the history of the Portuguese Jews and conversos in a tribute to their common friend and a renowned figure in Luso-Judaica, Roberto Bachmann, on the occasion of his 85th birthday. The texts are divided into five sections dealing with medieval Portuguese Jewish culture, the impact of the inquisitorial persecution, the wide range of converso identities on one side, and of the Sephardi Western Portuguese Jewish communities on the other, and the role of Portugal and Brazil as lands of refuge for Jews during the Second World War. This book is introduced by a comprehensive survey on the historiography on Portuguese Jews, New Christians and 'New Jews' and offers a contribution to Luso-Judaica studies
Contributors to The Divine Courtroom in Comparative Perspective treat one of the most pervasive religious metaphors, that of the divine courtroom, in both its historical and thematic senses. In order to shed light on the various manifestations of the divine courtroom, this volume consists of essays by scholars of the ancient Near East, Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, early Christianity, Talmud, Islam, medieval Judaism, and classical Greek literature. Contributions to the volume primarily center upon three related facets of the divine courtroom: the role of the divine courtroom in the earthly legal system; the divine courtroom as the site of historical justice; and the divine courtroom as the venue in which God is called to answer for his own unjust acts.
Does the design of the Tabernacle in the wilderness correspond to God’s blueprint of Creation? The Christian Topography, a sixth-century Byzantine Christian work, presents such a cosmology. Its theory is based on the “pattern” revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai when he was told to build the Tabernacle and its implements “after their pattern, which is being shown thee on the Mount.” (Exod. 25: 40). The book demonstrates, through texts and images, the motifs that link the Tabernacle and Creation. It traces the long chain of transmission that connects the Jewish and Christian traditions from Syria and ancient Israel to France and Spain from the first through the fourteenth century, revealing new models of interaction between Judaism and Christianity.
The delicate balance between toleration and repulsion of the Jews, a tiny minority living within the Christian world, stands at the center of studies of religion and society. The development of this difficult relationship on many levels, theological, institutional, and individual, is a matter of continuing relevance in religious history from ancient to contemporary contexts. This volume, written by the leading scholars of Jewish-Christian engagement, seeks to revisit the question in light of new sources and re-readings of older sources. The old view of two implacable enemies battling for their version of truth, of Jews living as insular pariahs within a hostile world, the tale of persecution by the mighty of the weak, has given way to a much more nuanced understanding of areas of congruence, of cultural, economic, and social interchange. The volume examines changes in the Christian posture toward the Jews occurring in a time and place of tremendous cultural and religious creativity in Western European society. It seeks to understand how Jews integrated elements of Christian culture into their own. The volume spans some of the key turning points in the Jewish-Christian relationship and re-examines critical texts, religious disputations, and cultural interactions.
New Directions for Dialogue and Understanding
This volume treats the interrelationship between Judaism and Christianity from the first centuries and into modern times, paying particular attention to these faiths’ social, cultural, and theological interactions. The issues covered range from the formation of Jewish and Christian ideology in the context of Roman paganism to the ways in which Christian culture and theology of the medieval and modern periods form a backdrop to the creation of Jewish identity. While the historical periods and issues discussed are diverse, the result is to suggest the importance of our recognizing the close development of Judaism and Christianity. Written by top scholars in Judaic and Christian studies, these essays reflect on how the two faiths related to and were shaped by each other as they evolved in shared historical and cultural contexts, even as each maintained its own distinctive ideologies and beliefs.
This book focuses on iconoclastic controversies and, in particular, their impact on the creation of religious identities. In the history of Jewish, Christian and Muslim culture, religious identity was not only formed through historical claims, but also through the use of certain images: ‘images of God’, ‘images of the others’, and ‘images of the self.’ Moreover, in the struggle for religious identity these ‘images’ were time and again employed for the purpose of establishing distinct groups, both ortho- dox and deviant. At the same time, they supplied weapons in the theological debate and found explicit expression in certain rituals or liturgical traditions.

These conference proceedings include a discussion of the role of images in society, politics, theology and liturgy, in particular addressing the ‘iconoclash’ of physical, mental and verbal images on the construction of religious identity.
The Foundational Character of Authoritative Sources in the History of Christianity and Judaism
The essays collected in this book deal with the question how, throughout the history of Christianity, Christian communities have tried to construct their identity by anchoring their views in authoritative and normative sources. The main focus is upon the problem of historical foundation through textual traditions but other authoritative sources ( role of religious leaders; ritual traditions) are taken into consideration as well.
The book takes as its point of departure the fact that with the rise of modernity the former dependence of western church and society on authoritative sources was called into question. Ever since, appeal to such sources is no longer self-evident; at times it is even regarded as problematic. Based on this radical change brought about by modernity, the book is divided in two main parts. The first part deals with the question how Christian churches and confessions ( Roman-Catholic and Protestant) confronted modernity and which role was played by authoritative sources in the tradition to the modern era. Special attention will be paid to the way in which Judaism reacted to many of the same impulses, both societal and religious ones. The second part deals with the premodern period, from early Christianity to the post-Reformation era, and focuses on the role authoritative traditions, textual or otherwise, have played in providing various Christian communities with a relative stable identity.
The aim of the book is to elucidate processes resulting in the formation of authoritative traditions as well as the effects of these traditions on the identity of Christian and Jewish communities. In addition, the book attempts to clarify the various ways in which Christian and Jewish communities have reacted to the growing suspicion authoritative traditions aroused in the western world since the rise of modernity.