Item description for The Jewish Dialogue With Greece and Rome: Studies in Cultural and Social Interaction (Arbeiten Zur Geschichte Des Antiken Judentums Und Des Urchristentums, Bd. 48) by Tessa Rajak...
Twenty-seven interdisciplinary essays on aspects of Judaism in the Greco-Roman world, exemplifying a wide range of techniques, by a well-known scholar. Three are previously unpublished, including a reappraisal of the Judaism and Hellenism debate and a study of the Sardis synagogue. The book's overall coherence derives from the author's long-standing interests in the analysis of texts as documents of cultural and religious interaction, and in how Jewish communities were woven into the social fabric of Greek cities in the Hellenistic and Roman East. The four sections are: Greeks and Jews, Josephus, The Jewish Diaspora and Epigraphy, and finally Beyond the Greeks and Romans, essays which extend into Christian literature and on to the nineteenth century reception of the Judaism/Hellenism dichotomy. Scholars and students from a wide variety of backgrounds will benefit.
Promise Angels is dedicated to bringing you great books at great prices. Whether you read for entertainment, to learn, or for literacy - you will find what you want at promiseangels.com!
Tessa Rajak is Professor of Ancient History, University of Reading, and Horace W. Goldsmith Visiting Professor at Yale. She was Codirector of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Parkes Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World Project. Her many publications include "Josephus: The Historian and his Society."Sarah Pearce is Senior Lecturer in History, University of Southampton and was Codirector of the AHRC Parkes Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World Project. She is the author of "The Land of the Body: Studies in Philo's Representation of Egypt."James Aitken was Research Fellow of the AHRC Parkes Institute Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World Project and is currently Teaching Fellow in Hebrew and Aramaic at Cambridge University. He is the author of "The Semantics of Blessing and Cursing in Ancient Hebrew."Jennifer Dines was Research Associate of the AHRC Parkes Institute Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World Project and a former Lecturer at Heythrop College, University of London. She is the author of a classic handbook, "The Septuagint."
Tessa Rajak was born in 1946 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Reading.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Jewish Dialogue With Greece and Rome: Studies in Cultural and Social Interaction (Arbeiten Zur Geschichte Des Antiken Judentums Und Des Urchristentums, Bd. 48)?
Brilliant scholarship May 29, 2009
Rajak's collection of essays delves into the interaction between Judaism and Greece and Rome. This is a large book, close to 600 pages, and the essays cover a wide span of subjects.
The book apparently came into being because Martin Hengel, whose famous book "Judaism and Hellenism" has had enormous impact upon biblical scholarship for decades, suggested it to her.
There is no way to review such a long and diverse collection, but here are some of the interesting points Rajak makes: "By the late Second Temple period, symbolic opposition to Hellenism...was an obvious part of the way in which the Jews of Palestine constructed their own identity" (p 7).
Not that a distinction between "Judaism-Hellenism...is a modern invention" For there were many ways Hellenism did influence Judaism, such as in language and architecture. And, as well, Greek culture itself changed over the centuries.
There is one especially interesting essay called 'Dying for the Law" in which Rajak argues that "Both the phenomenon and the ideology of martyrdom were crystallized in Greek texts written by Jews, before becoming part of Christianity" (p 101). She ties the Judaism of the Second Temple era with martyrdom tied to national identity.
Difficulties for Jews living in places like Alexandria were complex. What citizenship did they really hold? "There is no doubt that the Jews, as organized communities, were often at odds with their Greek neighbors and eager for Roman backing which could forestall or terminate trouble" (p 329).
Time and again, there were deliberate attacks on Jewish practices. Not to mention riots. The pagans viewed "Jews as misanthropic, self-sufficient, unwilling to share a table with any but their own kind or even to render basic human assistance" p 335).
The sabbath was central to Jewish identity through the Roman world. Unlike every other citizen of the Roman era they refused to celebrate the unending pagan festivals, where theaters and city squares, even whole streets were filled with people celebrating. Everybody was there but, conspicuously, the Jews, and later, the Christians as well.
This is only the briefest overview of this rich, meaty book. It is well worth the money.
Ask A Question or Provide Feedback regarding The Jewish Dialogue With Greece and Rome: Studies in Cultural and Social Interaction (Arbeiten Zur Geschichte Des Antiken Judentums Und Des Urchristentums, Bd. 48)
Add This Product Widget To Your Website
Looking to add this information to your own website? Then use our Product Widget to allow you to display product information in a frame that is 120 pixels wide by 240 pixels high.