Judaism and Hellenism in Antiquity : Conflict or Confluence?

Overview

One of the chief tasks facing the interpreter in any investigation of Second Temple Judaism involves sorting out the relationship between Judaism and Hellenism. How much influence did Greco-Roman culture exert on Diaspora Judaism? To what extent did Hellenism affect the material culture of Judaism and its social and religious practices? Hebrew University professor Lee Levine looks at literary, epigraphical. and archaeological evidence in an effort to sift through the relevant issues. His assessments argue against...
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Overview

One of the chief tasks facing the interpreter in any investigation of Second Temple Judaism involves sorting out the relationship between Judaism and Hellenism. How much influence did Greco-Roman culture exert on Diaspora Judaism? To what extent did Hellenism affect the material culture of Judaism and its social and religious practices? Hebrew University professor Lee Levine looks at literary, epigraphical. and archaeological evidence in an effort to sift through the relevant issues. His assessments argue against oversimplification and instead encourage a more nuanced and balanced view. This volume not only introduces the fundamental issues but supplies an informed reading of the sources as well. Anyone wrestling with the relationship between Judaism and Hellenism will find this essential reading.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Levine (Jewish history and archaeology, Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) depicts the extent of reciprocal influences of the Greek and Near Eastern cultures in Palestine and the diaspora. Basing his arguments on all available sources and re-examining previous and recent studies, Levine concludes that the process of Hellenization was a long and complex one, including aspects of Jewish life both spiritual and material. Despite the success of Hellenization in Jewish society, the traditional values of Judaism not only survived but were developed and enhanced, frequently on Greek models. Focusing on three topics--the city of Jerusalem in the late Second Temple period, Pharisaic-rabbinic culture, and the ancient synagogue--Levine demonstrates the interplay between foreign notions and Jewish society and explores the impact on architecture and the realm of artistic representation. The book is clearly written with a minimum of technical terms and can be recommended to academic and public libraries.--Hayim Y. Sheynin, Gratz Coll. Lib., Melrose Park, PA
Booknews
Making a case against oversimplification and encouraging a nuanced view, Levine (Jewish history and archaeology, Hebrew U. of Jerusalem) studies the influence of Greco-Roman culture on Jewish society and its impact on Jewish material culture and religious practice in Palestine and the Diaspora of antiquity. He presents three essays, focusing on Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period, rabbinic tradition, and the ancient synagogue. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565634886
  • Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Pages: 227
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. I Hellenism and the Jewish World of Antiquity 3
Ch. II Second Temple Jerusalem 33
Ch. III Rabbinic Judaism in Its Roman-Byzantine Orbit 96
Ch. IV The Ancient Synagogue 139
Ch. V Epilogue 180
Abbreviations 185
Bibliography 187
Source Index 209
Subject Index 213
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