The Apostle Paul in the Jewish Imagination: A Study in Modern Jewish-Christian Relations

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The Apostle Paul in the Jewish Imagination is a pioneering multidisciplinary examination of Jewish perspectives on Paul of Tarsus. Here, the views of individual Jewish theologians, religious leaders, and biblical scholars of the last 150 years, together with artistic, literary, philosophical, and psychoanalytical approaches, are set alongside popular cultural attitudes. Few Jews, historically speaking, have engaged with the first-century Apostle to the Gentiles. The modern period has witnessed a burgeoning interest in this topic, however, with treatments reflecting profound concerns about the nature of Jewish authenticity and the developing intercourse between Jews and Christians. In exploring these issues, Jewish commentators have presented Paul in a number of apparently contradictory ways. Among other things, he is both a bridge and a barrier to interfaith harmony; both the founder of Christianity and a convert to it; both an anti-Jewish apostate and a fellow traveler on the path to Jewish self-understanding; and both the chief architect of the religious foundations of Western thought and its destroyer. The Apostle Paul in the Jewish Imagination represents an important contribution to Jewish cultural studies and to the study of Jewish-Christian relations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Langton is offering more than a history of this topic and more than an intellectual history. ... It deserves to be read widely and to become a stimulus for further dialogue of the kind it so well models." —Review of Biblical Literature

It is well-written, very engaging, and a significant contribution to the field of modern Jewish intellectual history and the history of the reception of the New Testament." —Review of Biblical Literature

"[A]n ambitious, pioneering study, which impresses the reader both with the tremendous breadth of scholarship presented and the big questions it addresses about Jews, Judaism, and modernity. Langton’s work is a tour de force... [A] bold, ambitious book that combines an incredible breadth of research with answers to vital questions for the study of Jewish cultural history and Jewish-Christian relations... [A]n outstanding piece of scholarship that truly stands alone, sui generis.". —AJS Review).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521517409
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel R. Langton is Senior Lecturer in Modern Jewish-Christian Relations at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Claude Montefiore: His Life and Thought (2002), a biography of the founder of Anglo-Liberal Judaism.

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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Apostle Paul and Popular Jewish Cultural Identity: 1. Paul in the popular Jewish imagination; Part II. The Apostle Paul and Jewish Identity: Religious Studies and Theological Approaches: 2. Constructions of Paul and interfaith relations: building barriers or bridges between Judaism and Christianity; 3. Constructions of Paul in intra-Jewish debate: establishing Jewish authenticity; 4. Constructions of Paul as a dialogical partner: transformative approaches to Jewish self-understanding; Part III. The Apostle Paul and Jewish Interest in the Judeo-Christian Tradition: Artistic and Literary Approaches: 5. An oratorio by Felix Mendelssohn, a painting by Ludwig Meidner, and a play by Franz Werfel; 6. The novels of Shalom Asch and Samuel Sandmel; Part IV. The Apostle Paul and Jewish Critiques of the Place of Religion in Society: Philosophical and Psychoanalytical Approaches: 7. The philosophical writings of Baruch Spinoza, Lev Shestov, and Jacob Taubes; 8. The psychoanalytical writings of Sigmund Freud and Hanns Sachs; Conclusion; Appendix: the story of Abbu Gulish.

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