Messianic Judaism: A Rabbi's Journey Through Religious Change in America

Overview

There are some Jews who believe that the Messiah has already returned. Although these Jews are considered cult members or apostates by many, Carol Harris-Shapiro-herself a rabbi-engages one community of Messianic Jews to see what their presence says about American Jewish identity, religious affiliation, and the emergence of hybrid faiths in a secular society.

When first published, Messianic Judaism stirred controversy throughout the country. The first book to critically examine ...

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Overview

There are some Jews who believe that the Messiah has already returned. Although these Jews are considered cult members or apostates by many, Carol Harris-Shapiro-herself a rabbi-engages one community of Messianic Jews to see what their presence says about American Jewish identity, religious affiliation, and the emergence of hybrid faiths in a secular society.

When first published, Messianic Judaism stirred controversy throughout the country. The first book to critically examine the role of Messianic Jews in American religious life, it traces the history of this faith that that accepts Jesus as the savior from its late nineteenth-century origin in evangelical Christian missions. Reconstructionist Rabbi Carol Harris-Shapiro bases this portrait on her conversations with members of a large Messianic Jewish community. Messianic Judaism adds significant new insights into the nature and varieties of religious experience in United States.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This book should be read by everyone who has ever asked the question 'Who is a Jew?' —Rebecca Alpert, author of Like Bread on a Seder Plate

"A provocative and thoroughly engaging exploration of Judaism's boundaries. . . . An important book for all those concerned about Judaism's future." —Naomi Mara Hyman, Moment

"Harris-Shapiro uses an effective blend of scholarship, interviews, and personal insights to explain a concept that is often at odds with traditional Judaism and occasionally with Evangelical Christianity, with which it shares both ideology and resources. This compelling and evenhanded volume should attract readers from both Jewish and Christian communities." —Ilene Cooper, Booklist

"A balanced historical account of the movement's history and development." —Publishers Weekly

"[Harris-Shapiro's] cogent and lucid writing allows her to present an unbiased . . . study of a community's theology." —Library Journal

"Ground-breaking [and] enlightening." —Arnold Ages, Jewish Tribune

Library Journal
In this ethnography, Harris-Shapiro (Temple Univ.) describes her research into Messianic Judaism--something she shows that both Protestantism and Judaism view as taboo. Messianic Judaism wants Jews to complete their faith by accepting Yeshua (Jesus) and for Christianity to return to its Jewish roots. The movement works for people who want to practice both Judaism and Christianity--say, intermarried couples--but leaves little room for Gentiles. Though the responses to Harris-Shapiro's questions sometimes lack substance, her cogent and lucid writing allows her to present an unbiased academic study of a community's theology. The main value of this book, though, is its explanation of why and how both Christianity and Judaism reject Messianic Judaism. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries where collections support programs in religion, Judaica, or Christian traditions.--Naomi Hafter, Broward Cty. Lib., Fort Lauderdale, FL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807010419
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.95 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Harris-Shapiro is a rabbi and assistant professor in the department of religion at Temple University.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Studying the Messianic Jews 1
Ch. 2 What Is Messianic Judaism? 18
Ch. 3 The Messianic Jewish Self 43
Ch. 4 Community 85
Ch. 5 History, Prophecy, and Memory 112
Ch. 6 Practices, Rituals, and Life Cycles 136
Ch. 7 The Saved and the Chosen? 166
Notes 190
Bibliography 201
Acknowledgments 211
Index 212
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