The Blackwell Companion to Judaism

Overview

This Companion explores the history, doctrines, divisions, and contemporary condition of Judaism.

  • Surveys those issues most relevant to Judaic life today: ethics, feminism, politics, and constructive theology
  • Explores the definition of Judaism and its formative history
  • Makes sense of the diverse data of an ancient and enduring faith
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Overview

This Companion explores the history, doctrines, divisions, and contemporary condition of Judaism.

  • Surveys those issues most relevant to Judaic life today: ethics, feminism, politics, and constructive theology
  • Explores the definition of Judaism and its formative history
  • Makes sense of the diverse data of an ancient and enduring faith
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The Blackwell Companion to Judaism is a formidable attempt, in a series of learned and elegant essays, to tackle the many questions concerning Judaism. The organization is commendably lucid. The style throughout is accessible to a wide readership, without sacrifice to standards of accuracy and analysis.’
Times Literary Supplement

‘Where the Companion scores highly over other similar works is that the editors have been able to elicit contributions that contain the latest scholarship or position on each subject, so that the contemporaneity and the quality of each is perfectly dovetailed. This will be the benchmark by which future examples of the genre will be measured.’
The Expository Times

‘I am excited at the prospect of the publication of this book, in that it promises to display the lifelong fruits of research and mature insights of a master scholar on Judaism.’
Kenneth Hart Green, University of Toronto

"[T]he contributors place Judaism in historical context, elaborate on its principal doctrines, introduce forms of modern and contemporary Judaism, and shed light on special topics in understanding contemporary Judaism, such as ethics, women theopolitical aspects, secular forms of Jewishness, and Zionism."
Journal of Contemporary Religion

"Comparative, comprehensive and highly readable, Matthewes' book provides an overview of religious ethics in three traditions without sacrificing the specificity of each ethical system. The author effortlessly enlightens the reader as to how Judaism, Christianity and Islam deals with highly relevant topics such as family, love, sexuality, lying, war, capital punishment and many more themes in a provocative and graceful manner."
Ebrahim Moosa, Duke University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jacob Neusner is Distinguished Research Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida and Professor of Religion at Bard College. He has seven honorary degrees, fourteen academic medals and has published more than 800 books.

Alan J. Avery-Peck is Kraft-Hiatt Professor in Judaic Studies at The College of the Holy Cross. His has published widely and is editor of the journal The Annual of Rabbinic Judaism: Ancient, Medieval and Modern.

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Preface
Defining Judaism 3
The Religious World of Ancient Israel to 586 B.C.E. 20
Judaism and the Hebrew Scriptures 37
Second Temple Judaism 58
The Formation of Rabbinic Judaism, 70-640 C.E. 78
The Canon of Rabbinic Judaism 93
Judaism and Christianity in the Formative Age 112
Judaism in the Muslim World 131
Judaism in Christendom 142
Philosophy in Judaism: Two Stances 162
Jewish Piety 181
The Doctrine of Torah 193
The Doctrine of God 212
The Doctrine of Israel 230
The Doctrine of the Messiah 247
The Doctrine of Hebrew Language Usage 268
Reform Judaism 291
Orthodox Judaism 311
Conservative Judaism: The Struggle between Ideology and Popularity 334
New Age Judaism 354
Ethics of Judaism 373
Women in Contemporary Judaism 393
Judaism as a Theopolitical Phenomenon 415
Contemporary Jewish Theology 441
Secular Forms of Jewishness 461
Judaism and Zionism 477
The "Return" to Traditional Judaism at the End of the Twentieth Century: Cross-Cultural Comparisons 495
Abbreviations 512
Index 515
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