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Editor: Antti Laato
The aim of The Challenge of the Mosaic Torah in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is to address the theological issues arising when different ancient religious groups inside three Abrahamic religions attempted to understand or define their opinion on the Mosaic Torah. Twelve articles explore various instances of accepting, modifying, ignoring, criticizing, and vilifying the Mosaic Torah. They demonstrate a range of perspectives of ways in which the Mosaic Torah has formed a challenge. These challenges include Persian religious policy (when the Mosaic Torah was formed), intra-Jewish discussions (e.g. Samaritans), religious practices (the New Testament debates of ritual laws) and interreligious debates on validity of the Torah stipulations (with Christians and Muslims). All the papers were discussed at the international conference, “The Challenge of the Mosaic Torah in Judaism, Christianity and Islam”, organized by Åbo Akademi University and held in Karkku, Finland, 17-18 August, 2017 .
The four kingdoms motif enabled writers of various cultures, times, and places, to periodize history as the staged succession of empires barrelling towards an utopian age. The motif provided order to lived experiences under empire (the present), in view of ancestral traditions and cultural heritage (the past), and inspired outlooks assuring hope, deliverance, and restoration (the future). Four Kingdoms Motifs Before and Beyond the Book of Daniel includes thirteen essays that explore the reach and redeployment of the motif in classical and ancient Near Eastern writings, Jewish and Christian scriptures, texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls, Apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, depictions in European architecture and cartography, as well as patristic, rabbinic, Islamic, and African writings from antiquity through the Mediaeval eras.
Author: Daniel Schumann
In Gelübde im antiken Judentum und frühesten Christentum stellt Daniel Schumann auf breiter Quellenbasis die Diskurse zum „Gelübdewesen“ dar, wie sie sich in antik-jüdischen und frühchristlichen Quellen aus der Zeit des Zweiten Tempels schriftlich niedergeschlagen haben. Er zeigt dabei auf, wie Judentum und Christentum seit der Spätantike durch die Rezeption dieser Diskurse in ihrer Religionspraxis an antiken Formen des Gelübdewesen partizipierten und dieses auch weiterentwickelten. Ferner legt er offen, wie sich in jüdischer wie auch christlicher Wahrnehmung Stimmen der Wertschätzung aber auch der Reserviertheit durch die Jahrhunderte hindurch aneinanderreihen; handelt es sich doch beim Gelübdewesen um eine kultpraktische Übung, bei der Heil und Unheil so nah beieinander zu liegen scheinen wie wohl sonst bei kaum einer anderen frömmigkeitlichen Handlung.

In Gelübde im antiken Judentum und frühesten Christentum Daniel Schumann aims to trace the earliest discourses on vows, as they are recorded in ancient Jewish and early Christian sources from the time of the Second Temple. He also shows how Judaism and Christianity have participated in ancient forms of vow-making since late antiquity and how they also have developed these discourses further. By presenting these discourses on the basis of a broad range of sources, he reveals how in Jewish as well as in Christian perception, voices of esteem but also of reservation have been raised throughout the centuries; After all, vows are a cult-practical exercise in which well-being and disaster are in closer proximity than in most other acts of devotion.
In Israel in Egypt scholars in different fields explore what can be known of the experiences of the many and varied Jewish communities in Egypt, from biblical sources to the medieval world. For generations of Jews from antiquity to the medieval period, the land of Egypt represented both a place of danger to their communal religious identity and also a haven with opportunities for prosperity and growth. A volume of collected essays from scholars in fields ranging from biblical studies and classics to papyrology and archaeology, Israel in Egypt explores what can be known of the experiences of the many and varied Jewish communities in Egypt, from biblical sources to the medieval world.
Jerusalem and Other Holy Places as Foci of Multireligious and Ideological Confrontation brings together the papers that were read at an international conference at the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem in May 2018. The contributions to this volume develop a multi-disciplinary perspective on holy places and their development, rhetorical force, and oft-contested nature. Through a particular focus on Jerusalem, this volume demonstrates the variety in the study of holy places, as well as the flexibility of geographic and historical aspects of holiness.
In Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Matthew V. Novenson brings together thirteen state-of-the-art essays by leading scholars on the various ways ancient Jewish, Christian, and classical writers conceive of God, Christ, Wisdom, the demiurge, angels, foreign gods, and other divine beings. In particular, the book revisits the “early high Christology” debates of the 1990s, identifying the lasting contributions thereof as well as the lingering difficulties and new, emerging questions from the last thirty years of research. The essays in this book probe the much-touted but under-theorized distinctions between monotheism and polytheism, Judaism and Hellenism, Christianity and paganism. They show how what we call monotheism and Christology fit within the Greco-Roman world of which they are part.
On the Contemplative Life is known for its depiction of a philosophical group of Jewish men and women known as the ‘Therapeutae’. Yet the reasons for their depiction have been little understood. In the first commentary on the treatise in English for over 100 years, the social, cultural and political background of the times in which Philo lived are shown to be crucial in understanding Philo’s purposes. As Alexandrian Jews were vilified and attacked, Philo went to Rome to present the case for his community, faced with intense opposition. Side-stepping direct confrontation, Philo here cleverly presents the Therapeutae as the pinnacle of excellence, most especially in their communal meal, while ridiculing his accusers in a stinging parody of a festive banquet.
Hakol Kol Yaakov: The Joel Roth Jubilee Volume contains twenty articles dedicated to Rabbi Joel Roth, written by colleagues and students. Some are academic articles in the general area of Talmud and Rabbinics, while others are rabbinic responsa that treat an issue of contemporary Jewish law. In his career, Joel Roth has been known as a scholar and teacher of Talmud par excellence, and, without question, as the preeminent decisor of Jewish law for the Conservative movement of his generation. In the meticulous style and approach of the Talmud scholarship of his generation, Roth painstakingly and precisely assayed the vast array of rabbinic legal sources, and proceeded to apply these in pedagogy, in scholarship and particularly in the production of contemporary legal responsa. The articles in this volume reflect the unique and integrated voice and vision that Joel Roth has brought to the American Jewish community.
Reading Talmudic Sources as Arguments: A New Interpretive Approach elucidates the unique characteristics of Talmudic discourse culture. Approaching Talmudic literature from a linguistic perspective, the book shows the extensive and hidden ways in which later rabbis used early formulations. Applying Quentin Skinner's interpretive question “What was the author doing in composing the text in this particular way?" to Talmudic literature reveals that Talmudic debate is not only about ideas, concepts and laws but also about the latter's connection to pre-existing formulations. These early traditions, rather than only being accepted or not, are used by later generations to build their own arguments. The book articulates the function of tradition at the time that Rabbinic Judaism was forged.
This volume, edited by René Brouwer and Emmanuele Vimercati, deals with the debate about fate, providence and free will in the early Imperial age. This debate is rekindled in the 1st century CE during emperor Augustus’ rule and ends in the 3rd century CE with Plotinus and Origen, when the different positions in the debate were more or less fully developed. The book aims to show how in this period the notions of fate, providence and freedom were developed and debated, not only within and between the main philosophical schools, that is Stoicism, Aristotelianism, and Platonism, but also in the interaction with other, “religious” movements, here understood in the general sense of groups of people sharing beliefs in and worship of (a) superhuman controlling power(s), such as Gnosticism, Hermetism as well as Judaism and Christianity.