Commerce of the Sacred: Mediation of the Divine Among Jews in the Graeco-Roman Diaspora

Commerce of the Sacred: Mediation of the Divine Among Jews in the Graeco-Roman Diaspora

by Jack Lightstone
     
 

Jack Lightstone's "Commerce of the Sacred" remains an original and influential contribution to Judaic studies. Lightstone offers critical perspectives on the practices and beliefs of Greco-Roman Jews who lived outside of Palestine and beyond rabbinic control or influence. He investigates their influence on early Christians and examines how the two communities defined… See more details below

Overview

Jack Lightstone's "Commerce of the Sacred" remains an original and influential contribution to Judaic studies. Lightstone offers critical perspectives on the practices and beliefs of Greco-Roman Jews who lived outside of Palestine and beyond rabbinic control or influence. He investigates their influence on early Christians and examines how the two communities defined themselves in relation to each another. He challenges the view of Judaism as a single set of practices and beliefs and argues that Jews of the Greco-Roman Diaspora did not retain a shared, biblical 'perception of the world' centered on the Jerusalem temple. Rather, they believed multiple points of contact between God and man could be made through particular rites: prayer in the presence of the sacred scrolls, pleas for help at the tombs of dead saints and martyrs, and the interventions of holy men with alleged supernatural powers, to name a few.Many early Christians also participated in this Judaic 'commerce of the sacred', blurring the social and religious boundaries that distinguished Jews and Christians. Lightstone innovatively combines approaches from the history of religions and social anthropology to provide a different picture of Judaism during this period. Featuring a new foreword and an updated bibliography, "Commerce of the Sacred" resituates the Jews in the Greco-Roman world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231128575
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
05/16/2006
Edition description:
New
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

1Introduction1
2Magicians and divine men12
3The dead and their tombs41
4The life of Torah in the diaspora63
5The synagogue78
6The synagogue and the church : remarks on the sociology of Jewish-Christian interaction87
7Christians, Jews in the Greco-Roman diaspora, and rabbis98
8Conclusions : the commerce of the sacred and the social anthropology of knowledge110
AppPhilo and philosophic mysticism119

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