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Edited by Claudia D. Bergmann and Benedikt Kranemann

Ritual Dynamics in Jewish and Christian Contexts investigates questions that arise in modern ritual studies concerning Jewish and Christian religious communities: How did their religious rituals develop? Where did different ritual communities and their ritual texts interact? How did religious communities and their authoritative texts respond to change, and how did change influence religious rituals? The volume is a product of the interdisciplinary and international research efforts taken by the Research Centre “Dynamics of Jewish Ritual Practices in Pluralistic Contexts from Antiquity to the Present” at the Universität Erfurt (Germany) and unites the voices of important senior and emerging scholars in the field. It focuses on antiquity and the medieval period but also considers examples from the early modern and modern period in Europe

Converts in the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Gēr and Mutable Ethnicity

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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.

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Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts

Christian Origins and the Establishment of the Early Jesus Movement explores the events, people, and writings surrounding the founding of the early Jesus movement in the mid to late first century. The essays are divided into four parts, focused upon the movement’s formation, the production of its early Gospels, description of the Jesus movement itself, and the Jewish mission and its literature. This collection of essays includes chapters by a global cast of scholars from a variety of methodological and critical viewpoints, and continues the important Early Christianity in its Hellenistic Context series.

The Book of Jeremiah

Composition, Reception, and Interpretation

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Edited by Jack Lundbom, Craig A. Evans and Bradford Anderson

Written by leading experts in the field, The Book of Jeremiah: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation offers a wide-ranging treatment of the main aspects of Jeremiah. Its twenty-four essays fall under four main sections. The first section contains studies of a more general nature, and helps situate Jeremiah in the scribal culture of the ancient world, as well as in relation to the Torah and the Hebrew Prophets. The second section contains commentary on and interpretation of specific passages (or sections) of Jeremiah, as well as essays on its genres and themes. The third section contains essays on the textual history and reception of Jeremiah in Judaism and Christianity. The final section explores various theological aspects of the book of Jeremiah.

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Edited by Benjamin Reynolds and Gabriele Boccaccini

The essays in Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism: Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs seek to interpret John’s Jesus as part of Second Temple Jewish messianic expectations. The Fourth Gospel is rarely considered part of the world of early Judaism. While many have noted John’s Jewishness, most have not understood John’s Messiah as a Jewish messiah.
The Johannine Jesus, who descends from heaven, is declared the Word made flesh, and claims oneness with the Father, is no less Jewish than other messiahs depicted in early Judaism. John’s Jesus is at home on the spectrum of early Judaism’s royal, prophetic, and divine messiahs

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Benjamin Wold

In 4QInstruction: Divisions and Hierarchies, Benjamin Wold challenges the interpretation of 4QInstruction as a deterministic and dualistic composition. In a re-examination of key fragments he offers new reconstructions and translations that indicate 4QInstruction envisaged wisdom available to all humanity, divisions among humankind and communities as the result of individual adherence to wisdom, and a hierarchy of authority as a result of individual merit.

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Edited by Claude B. Stuczynski and Bruno Feitler

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

Edited by Mercedes García-Arenal, Gerard A. Wiegers and Ryan Szpiech

This book discusses the “long fifteenth century” in Iberian history, between the 1391 pogroms and the forced conversions of Aragonese Muslims in 1526, a period characterized by persecutions, conversions and social violence, on the one hand, and cultural exchange, on the other. It was a historical moment of unstable religious ideas and identities, before the rigid turn taken by Spanish Catholicism by the middle of the sixteenth century; a period in which the physical and symbolic borders separating the three religions were transformed and redefined but still remained extraordinarily porous. The collection argues that the aggressive tone of many polemical texts has until now blinded historiography to the interconnected nature of social and cultural intimacy, above all in dialogue and cultural transfer in later medieval Iberia.
Contributors are Ana Echevarría, Gad Freudenthal, Mercedes García-Arenal, Maria Laura Giordano, Yonatan Glazer-Eytan, Eleazar Gutwirth, Felipe Pereda, Rosa M. Rodríguez Porto, Katarzyna K. Starczewska, John Tolan, Gerard Wiegers, and Yosi Yisraeli.

Modern Jewish Art

Definitions, Problems, and Opportunities

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Ori Soltes

In Modern Jewish Art: Definitions, Problems, and Opportunities, Ori Z. Soltes considers both the emerging and evolving discussion on, and the expanding array of practitioners of ‘Jewish art’ in the past two hundred years. He notes the developing problem of how to define ‘Judaism’ in the 19th century—as a religion, a culture, a race, a nation, a people—and thus the complications for placing ‘Jewish art’ under the extended umbrella of ‘religion and the arts.’ The fluidity with which one must engage the subject is reflected in the broadening conceptual and visual vocabulary, the extended range of subject foci and media, and the increasingly rich analytical approaches to the subject that have surfaced particularly in the past fifty years. Well-known and little-known artists are included in a far-ranging discussion of painting, sculpture, photography, video, installations, ceremonial objects, and works that blur the boundaries between categories.

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Thomas O'Flynn

Winner of The 2018 Saidi-Sirjani Book Award

In The Western Christian Presence in the Russias and Qājār Persia, c.1760–c.1870, Thomas O'Flynn vividly paints the life and times of missionary enterprises in early nineteenth-century Russia and Persia at a moment of immense change when Tsarist Russia embarked on an expansionist campaign reaching to the Caucasus. Simultaneously he charts the relationship between the new Persian dynasty of the Qājārs and missionary activity on the part of European and American missionaries. This book reconstructs that world from a predominantly religious perspective. It recounts the sustaining ideals as well as the everyday struggles of the western missionaries, Protestant (Scottish, Basel and American Congregationalist) and Catholic (Jesuit and Vincentian). It looks at the reactions of diverse tribal peoples, the Tatars of the North Caucasus, the Kabardians and Circassians. Persia was the ultimate goal of these missionaries, which they eventually reached in the 1820s. Altogether this study throws light on the troubled course of history in West Asia and provides the background to politico-religious conflicts in Chechnya and Persia that persist to the present day.