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Multi-Religious Perspectives on a Global Ethic: In Search of a Common Morality (Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies)
By William Schweiker, Myriam Renaud. 2021
Ratified by the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1993 and expanded in 2018, "Towards a Global Ethic (An Initial… Declaration)," or the Global Ethic, expresses the minimal set of principles shared by people—religious or not. Though it is a secular document, the Global Ethic emerged after months of collaborative, interreligious dialogue dedicated to identifying a common ethical framework. This volume tests and contests the claim that the Global Ethic’s ethical directives can be found in the world’s religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions. The book features essays by scholars of religion who grapple with the practical implications of the Global Ethic’s directives when applied to issues like women’s rights, displaced peoples, income and wealth inequality, India’s caste system, and more. The scholars explore their respective religious traditions’ ethical response to one or more of these issues and compares them to the ethical response elaborated by the Global Ethic. The traditions included are Hinduism, Engaged Buddhism, Shi‘i Islam, Sunni Islam, Confucianism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Indigenous African Religions, and Human Rights. To highlight the complexities within traditions, most essays are followed by a brief response by an expert in the same tradition. Multi-Religious Perspectives on a Global Ethic is of special interest to advanced students and scholars whose work focuses on the religious traditions listed above, on comparative religion, religious ethics, comparative ethics, and common morality.
By Daniel E. Fleming. 2021
Yahweh is the proper name of the biblical God. His early character is central to understanding the foundations of Jewish,… Christian, and Islamic monotheism. As a deity, the name appears only in connection with the peoples of the Hebrew Bible, but long before Israel, the name is found in an Egyptian list as one group in the land of tent-dwellers, the Shasu. This is the starting-point for Daniel E. Fleming's sharply new approach to the god Yahweh. In his analysis, the Bible's 'people of Yahweh' serve as a clue to how one of the Bronze Age herding peoples of the inland Levant gave its name to a deity, initially outside of any relationship to Israel. For 150 years, the dominant paradigm for Yahweh's origin has envisioned borrowing from peoples of the desert south of Israel. Fleming argues in contrast that Yahweh was not taken from outsiders. Rather, this divine name is evidence for the diverse background of Israel itself.
By Robert Jütte. 2021
An encyclopedic survey of the Jewish body as it has existed and as it has been imagined from biblical times… to the presentThat the human body can be the object not only of biological study but also of historical consideration and cultural criticism is now widely accepted. But why, Robert Jütte asks, should a historian bother with the Jewish body in particular? And is the "Jewish body" as much a concept constructed over the course of centuries by Jews and non-Jews alike as it is a physical reality? To comprehend the notion and existence of a Jewish body, he contends, one needs to look both at the images and traits that have been ascribed to Jews by themselves and others, and to the specific bodily practices that have played an important role in creating the identity of a religious and cultural community.Jütte has written an encyclopedic survey of the Jewish body as it has existed and as it has been imagined from biblical times to the present, often for anti-Jewish purposes. He examines the techniques for caring for the body that Jews acquire in childhood from parents and authority figures and how these have changed over the course of a more than 2000-year history, most of it spent in exile. From consideration of traditional body stereotypes, such as the so-called Jewish nose, to matters of gender and sexuality, sickness and health, and the inevitable end of the body in death, The Jewish Body explores the historical foundations of the human physis in all its aspects.
Celebrate one of the world's greatest collections of pure literature In Hebrew, the word Torah means instruction, and throughout thousands… of years this collection of writing has offered just that--instruction in the central beliefs of three world religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. But by observing the Torah, or the Hebrew Bible, as a collected work of multiple authors spanning generations, the modern reader can look beyond its fundamental instruction. The Wisdom of the Torah concentrates on the Hebrew Bible as a book of philosophy and literature and offers some of its most powerful and poetic passages, including "The Poems of King David," "The Parables of King Solomon," and "The Love Songs of King Solomon." In these works, readers find many lyrical and timeless reflections on what it means to have faith and to be a member of the human race. This ebook features a new introduction, image gallery, timeline of the Torah and Judaic history, and index of the Books of the Torah.
The Christian Jew and the Unmarked Jewess: The Polemics of Sameness in Medieval English Anti-Judaism (The Middle Ages Series)
By Adrienne Williams Boyarin. 2021
In the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, Trinity Term 1277, Adrienne Williams Boyarin finds the case of… one Sampson son of Samuel, a Jew of Northampton, arrested for impersonating a Franciscan friar and preaching false Christianity. He was sentenced to walk for three days through the centers of London, Canterbury, Oxford, Lincoln, and Northampton carrying the entrails and flayed skin of a calf and exposing his naked, circumcised body to onlookers. Sampson's crime and sentence, Williams Boyarin argues, suggest that he made a convincing friar—when clothed. Indeed, many English texts of this era struggle with the similarities of Jews and Christians, but especially of Jewish and Christian women. Unlike men, Jewish women did not typically wear specific identifying clothing, nor were they represented as physiognomically distinct. Williams Boyarin observes that both before and after the periods in which art historians note a consistent visual repertoire of villainy and difference around Jewish men, English authors highlight and exploit Jewish women's indistinguishability from Christians. Exploring what she calls a "polemics of sameness," she elucidates an essential part of the rhetoric employed by medieval anti-Jewish materials, which could assimilate the Jew into the Christian and, as a consequence, render the Jewess a dangerous but unseeable enemy or a sign of the always-convertible self.The Christian Jew and the Unmarked Jewess considers realities and fantasies of indistinguishability. It focuses on how medieval Christians could identify with Jews and even think of themselves as Jewish—positively or negatively, historically or figurally. Williams Boyarin identifies and explores polemics of sameness through a broad range of theological, historical, and literary works from medieval England before turning more specifically to stereotypes of Jewish women and the ways in which rhetorical strategies that blur the line between "saming" and "othering" reveal gendered habits of representation.
By James Shapiro. 2016
First published in 1996, James Shapiro's pathbreaking analysis of the portrayal of Jews in Elizabethan England challenged readers to recognize… the significance of Jewish questions in Shakespeare's day. From accounts of Christians masquerading as Jews to fantasies of settling foreign Jews in Ireland, Shapiro's work delves deeply into the cultural insecurities of Elizabethans while illuminating Shakespeare's portrayal of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. In a new preface, Shapiro reflects upon what he has learned about intolerance since the first publication of Shakespeare and the Jews.
By Aviad Kleinberg. 2015
In the Old Testament, God wrestles with a man (and loses). In the Talmud, God wriggles his toes to make… thunder and takes human form to shave the king of Assyria. In the New Testament, God is made flesh and dwells among humans. For religious thinkers trained in Greek philosophy and its deep distaste for matter, sacred scripture can be distressing. A philosophically respectable God should be untainted by sensuality, yet the God of sacred texts is often embarrassingly sensual.Setting experts' minds at ease was neither easy nor simple, and often faith and logic were stretched to their limits. Focusing on examples from both Christian and Jewish sources, from the Bible to sources from the Late Middle Ages, Aviad Kleinberg examines the way Christian and Jewish philosophers, exegetes, and theologians attempted to reconcile God's supposed ineffability with numerous biblical and postbiblical accounts of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and even tasting the almighty. The conceptual entanglements ensnaring religious thinkers, and the strange, ingenious solutions they used to extricate themselves, tell us something profound about human needs and divine attributes, about faith, hope, and cognitive dissonance.
A beautifully written exploration of religion’s role in a secular, modern politics, by an accomplished scholar of critical theoryMigrants in… the Profane takes its title from an intriguing remark by Theodor W. Adorno, in which he summarized the meaning of Walter Benjamin’s image of a celebrated mechanical chess-playing Turk and its hidden religious animus: “Nothing of theological content will persist without being transformed; every content will have to put itself to the test of migrating in the realm of the secular, the profane.” In this masterful book, Peter Gordon reflects on Adorno’s statement and asks an urgent question: Can religion offer any normative resources for modern political life, or does the appeal to religious concepts stand in conflict with the idea of modern politics as a domain free from religion’s influence? In answering this question, he explores the work of three of the Frankfurt School’s most esteemed thinkers: Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, and Theodor W. Adorno. His illuminating analysis offers a highly original account of the intertwined histories of religion and secular modernity.
By Bernard Levine. 2020
Hoe hartseer en wat 'n verskriklike tragedie is dit, dat die Joodse nasie, die "Mense van die Boek", nie in… Jesus glo nie. Die Jode is behep daarmee om die vele mens-gemaakte wette en tradisies - wat die Rabbis saamgestel het - te volg, te hou en te gehoorsaam. Omdat die bloed offers van die Ou Testament mee weggedoen is en nie langer waargeneem word nie, kan Jode nie hulle sondes skoongewas en vergewe kry sonder bloed nie. Daar is so baie omtrent Jesus wat die Jode nooit gehoor het of nie weet nie.... Sal jy vir die Jode van Jesus vertel?
Jewish Wisdom: The Wisdom of the Kabbalah, The Wisdom of the Talmud, and The Wisdom of the Torah (Wisdom)
By Philosophical Library. 2010
From the sacred texts of Judaism: ancient and lyrical reflections on the meaning of life, faith, and humanity.The Wisdom of… the Kabbalah: Handed down in the oral tradition for thousands of years and transcribed in fourteenth-century Spain, the Kabbalah is the classical expression of Jewish mysticism. This collection draws from the main work of Kabbalah—Sepher ha-Zohar, or The Book of Splendor. The Wisdom of the Talmud: Developed in the Jewish academies of Palestine and Babylonia, the Talmud is the rabbinical commentary on the Torah. From man’s purpose and miracles, to marriage and wellness, to consciousness and community, the Talmud considers the practice of faith on a daily basis through a changing world. This approachable guide explores how interpretation of the Torah has informed Jewish life for thousands of years. The Wisdom of the Torah: In Hebrew, the word Torah means instruction, and for thousands of years, the Torah has provided instruction in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The inspirational selections in this collection include some of its most powerful and poetic passages, such as “The Poems of King David,” “The Parables of King Solomon,” and “The Love Songs of King Solomon.”
By Jeff Fort, Jean-Luc Nancy. 2017
Heidegger and Nazism: Ever since the philosopher’s public involvement in state politics in 1933, his name has necessarily been a… part of this unsavory couple. After the publication in 2014 of the private Black Notebooks, it is now unambiguously part of another: Heidegger and anti-Semitism. What do we learn from analyzing the anti-Semitism of these private writings, together with its sources and grounds, not only for Heidegger’s thought, but for the history of the West in which this thought is embedded? Jean-Luc Nancy poses these questions with the depth and rigor we would expect from him. In doing so, he does not go lightly on Heidegger, in whom he finds a philosophical and “historial” anti-Semitism, outlining a clash of “peoples” that must at all costs arrive at “another beginning.” If Heidegger’s uncritical acceptance of prejudices and long-debunked myths about “world Jewry” shares in the “banality” evoked by Hannah Arendt, this does nothing to lessen the charge. Nancy’s purpose, however, is not simply to condemn Heidegger but rather to invite us to think something to which the thinker of being remained blind: anti-Semitism as a self-hatred haunting the history of the West—and of Christianity in its drive toward an auto-foundation that would leave behind its origins in Judaism.
By Jay Geller. 2017
Given the vast inventory of verbal and visual images of nonhuman animals—pigs, dogs, vermin, rodents, apes disseminated for millennia to… debase, dehumanize, and justify the persecution of Jews, Bestiarium Judaicum asks: What is at play when Jewish-identified writers tell animal stories? Focusing on the nonhuman-animal constructions of primarily Germanophone authors, including Sigmund Freud, Heinrich Heine, Franz Kafka, and Gertrud Kolmar, Jay Geller expands his earlier examinations (On Freud’s Jewish Body: Mitigating Circumcisions and The Other Jewish Question: Identifying the Jew and Making Sense of Modernity) of how such writers drew upon representations of Jewish corporeality in order to work through their particular situations in Gentile modernity. From Heine’s ironic lizards to Kafka’s Red Peter and Siodmak’s Wolf Man, Bestiarium Judaicum brings together Jewish cultural studies and critical animal studies to ferret out these writers’ engagement with the bestial answers upon which the Jewish and animal questions converged and by which varieties of the species “Jew” were identified.
By Richard Giannone. 2012
Hidden—Richard Giannone’s searingly honest, richly insightful memoir—eloquently captures the author’s transformation from a solitary gay academic to a dedicated caregiver… as well as a sexually and spiritually committed man. Always alone, always fearful, he initially resisted the duty to look after his dying female relatives. But his mother’s fall into dementia changed all that. Her vulnerability opened this middle-aged man to the love of another man, a former priest and Jersey boy like himself. Together the two men saw the old woman to her death and did the same for Giannone’s sister. In Hidden Giannone uncovers how, ultimately, these experiences moved him closer to participating in the vitality he believed pulsed in the world but had always eluded him. The mothering life of this gay partnership evolved alongside the AIDS crisis and within and against Italian American culture that reflected the Catholic Church’s discountenancing of homosexual love. Giannone vividly weaves his reflections on gay life in Greenwich Village and his spiritual journey as a gay man and Catholic into his experience of caring for the women of his family. In Hidden Giannone recounts a gripping religious conversion, drawing on the wisdom of the ancient desert mothers and fathers of Egypt and Palestine. Because he was raised a Catholic, the shift is not from nothing to something. Rather, it is away from the modeling power of institutional Christianity to the tempering influence of homosexuality on the Gospel. Gay or straight, so long as we remain hidden from ourselves, the true God remains hidden from us.
By Richard Bernstein, Ronald Hendel, Jan Assmann, Catherine Malabou, Gabriele Schwab, Joel Whitebook, Willi Goetschel, Karen S. Feldman, Gilad Sharvit, Yael Segalovitz. 2018
Over the last few decades, vibrant debates regarding post-secularism have found inspiration and provocation in the works of Sigmund Freud.… <P><P>A new interest in the interconnection of psychoanalysis, religion and political theory has emerged, allowing Freud’s illuminating examination of the religious and mystical practices in “Obsessive Neurosis and Religious Practices,” and the exegesis of the origins of ethics in religion in Totem and Taboo, to gain currency in recent debates on modernity. In that context, the pivotal role of Freud’s masterpiece, Moses and Monotheism, is widely recognized. <P>Freud and Monotheism brings together fundamental new contributions to discourses on Freud and Moses, as well as new research at the intersections of theology, political theory, and history in Freud’s psychoanalytic work. Highlighting the broad impact of Moses and Monotheism across the humanities, the contributors hail from such diverse disciplines as philosophy, comparative literature, cultural studies, German studies, Jewish studies and psychoanalysis. <P><P>Jan Assmann and Richard Bernstein, whose books pioneered the earlier debate that initiated the Freud and Moses discourse, seize the opportunity to revisit and revise their groundbreaking work. Gabriele Schwab, Gilad Sharvit, Karen Feldman, and Yael Segalovitz engage with the idiosyncratic, eccentric and fertile nature of the book as a Spӓtstil, and explore radical interpretations of Freud’s literary practice, theory of religion and therapeutic practice. <P>Ronald Hendel offers an alternative history for the Mosaic discourse within the biblical text, Catherine Malabou reconnects Freud’s theory of psychic phylogenesis in Moses and Monotheism to new findings in modern biology and Willi Goetschel relocates Freud in the tradition of works on history that begins with Heine, while Joel Whitebook offers important criticisms of Freud’s main argument about the advance in intellectuality that Freud attributes to Judaism.
By Michael A. Meyer. 2021
Rabbi, educator, intellectual, and community leader, Leo Baeck (1873-1956) was one of the most important Jewish figures of prewar Germany.… The publication of his 1905 Das Wesen des Judentums (The Essence of Judaism) established him as a major voice for liberal Judaism. He served as a chaplain to the German army during the First World War and in the years following, resisting the call of political Zionism, he expressed his commitment to the belief in a vibrant place for Jews in a new Germany. This hope was dashed with the rise of Nazism, and from 1933 on, and continuing even after his deportation to Theresienstadt, he worked tirelessly in his capacity as a leader of the German Jewish community to offer his coreligionists whatever practical, intellectual, and spiritual support remained possible. While others after the war worked to rebuild German Jewish life from the ashes, a disillusioned Baeck pronounced the effort misguided and spent the rest of his life in England. Yet his name is perhaps best-known today from the Leo Baeck Institutes in New York, London, Berlin, and Jerusalem dedicated to the preservation of the cultural heritage of German-speaking Jewry.Michael A. Meyer has written a biography that gives equal consideration to Leo Baeck's place as a courageous community leader and as one of the most significant Jewish religious thinkers of the twentieth century, comparable to such better-known figures as Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. According to Meyer, to understand Baeck fully, one must probe not only his thought and public activity but also his personality. Generally described as gentle and kind, he could also be combative when necessary, and a streak of puritanism and an outsized veneration for martyrdom ran through his psychological makeup. Drawing on a broad variety of sources, some coming to light only in recent years, but especially turning to Baeck's own writings, Meyer presents a complex and nuanced image of one of the most noteworthy personalities in the Jewish history of our age.
By Stanley Hordes. 2005
In 1981, while working as New Mexico State Historian, Stanley M. Hordes began to hear stories of Hispanos who lit… candles on Friday night and abstained from eating pork. Puzzling over the matter, Hordes realized that these practices might very well have been passed down through the centuries from early crypto-Jewish settlers in New Spain. After extensive research and hundreds of interviews, Hordes concluded that there was, in New Mexico and the Southwest, a Sephardic legacy derived from the converso community of Spanish Jews.In To the End of the Earth, Hordes explores the remarkable story of crypto-Jews and the tenuous preservation of Jewish rituals and traditions in Mexico and New Mexico over the past five hundred years. He follows the crypto-Jews from their Jewish origins in medieval Spain and Portugal to their efforts to escape persecution by migrating to the New World and settling in the far reaches of the northern Mexican frontier. Drawing on individual biographies (including those of colonial officials accused of secretly practicing Judaism), family histories, Inquisition records, letters, and other primary sources, Hordes provides a richly detailed account of the economic, social and religious lives of crypto-Jews during the colonial period and after the annexation of New Mexico by the United States in 1846. While the American government offered more religious freedom than had the Spanish colonial rulers, cultural assimilation into Anglo-American society weakened many elements of the crypto-Jewish tradition. Hordes concludes with a discussion of the reemergence of crypto-Jewish culture and the reclamation of Jewish ancestry within the Hispano community in the late twentieth century. He examines the publicity surrounding the rediscovery of the crypto-Jewish community and explores the challenges inherent in a study that attempts to reconstruct the history of a people who tried to leave no documentary record.
When Jewish neoconservatives burst upon the political scene, many people were surprised. Conventional wisdom held that Jews were uniformly liberal.… This book explodes the myth of a monolithic liberal Judaism. Michael Staub tells the story of the many fierce battles that raged in postwar America over what the authentically Jewish position ought to be on issues ranging from desegregation to Zionism, from Vietnam to gender relations, sexuality, and family life. Throughout the three decades after 1945, Michael Staub shows, American Jews debated the ways in which the political commitments of Jewish individuals and groups could or should be shaped by their Jewishness. Staub shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the liberal position was never the obvious winner in the contest.By the late 1960s left-wing Jews were often accused by their conservative counterparts of self-hatred or of being inadequately or improperly Jewish. They, in turn, insisted that right-wing Jews were deaf to the moral imperatives of both the Jewish prophetic tradition and Jewish historical experience, which obliged Jews to pursue social justice for the oppressed and the marginalized. Such declamations characterized disputes over a variety of topics: American anticommunism, activism on behalf of African American civil rights, imperatives of Jewish survival, Israel and Israeli-Palestinian relations, the 1960s counterculture, including the women's and gay and lesbian liberation movements, and the renaissance of Jewish ethnic pride and religious observance. Spanning these controversies, Staub presents not only a revelatory and clear-eyed prehistory of contemporary Jewish neoconservatism but also an important corrective to investigations of "identity politics" that have focused on interethnic contacts and conflicts while neglecting intraethnic ones. Revising standard assumptions about the timing of Holocaust awareness in postwar America, Staub charts how central arguments over the Holocaust's purported lessons were to intra-Jewish political conflict already in the first two decades after World War II. Revisiting forgotten artifacts of the postwar years, such as Jewish marriage manuals, satiric radical Zionist cartoons, and the 1970s sitcom about an intermarried couple entitled Bridget Loves Bernie, and incidents such as the firing of a Columbia University rabbi for supporting anti-Vietnam war protesters and the efforts of the Miami Beach Hotel Owners Association to cancel an African Methodist Episcopal Church convention, Torn at the Roots sheds new light on an era we thought we knew well.
By Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg. 2016
An unprecedented portrait of Moses's inner world and perplexing character, by a distinguished biblical scholar No figure looms larger in… Jewish culture than Moses, and few have stories more enigmatic. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, acclaimed for her many books on Jewish thought, turns her attention to Moses in this remarkably rich, evocative book. Drawing on a broad range of sources--literary as well as psychoanalytic, a wealth of classical Jewish texts alongside George Eliot, W. G. Sebald, and Werner Herzog--Zornberg offers a vivid and original portrait of the biblical Moses. Moses's vexing personality, his uncertain origins, and his turbulent relations with his own people are acutely explored by Zornberg, who sees this story, told and retold, as crucial not only to the biblical past but also to the future of Jewish history.
By Amy-Jill Levine, Marc Zvi Brettler. 2020
The editors of The Jewish Annotated New Testament show how and why Jews and Christians read many of the same Biblical texts… – including passages from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Psalms – differently. Exploring and explaining these diverse perspectives, they reveal more clearly Scripture’s beauty and power. Esteemed Bible scholars and teachers Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler take readers on a guided tour of the most popular Hebrew Bible passages quoted in the New Testament to show what the texts meant in their original contexts and then how Jews and Christians, over time, understood those same texts. Passages include the creation of the world, the role of Adam and Eve, the Suffering Servant of Isiah, the book of Jonah, and Psalm 22, whose words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” Jesus quotes as he dies on the cross. Comparing various interpretations – historical, literary, and theological - of each ancient text, Levine and Brettler offer deeper understandings of the original narratives and their many afterlives. They show how the text speaks to different generations under changed circumstances, and so illuminate the Bible’s ongoing significance. By understanding the depth and variety by which these passages have been, and can be, understood, The Bible With and Without Jesus does more than enhance our religious understandings, it helps us to see the Bible as a source of inspiration for any and all readers.
By Professor Sarit Kattan Gribetz. 2020
How the rabbis of late antiquity used time to define the boundaries of Jewish identityThe rabbinic corpus begins with a… question–“when?”—and is brimming with discussions about time and the relationship between people, God, and the hour. Time and Difference in Rabbinic Judaism explores the rhythms of time that animated the rabbinic world of late antiquity, revealing how rabbis conceptualized time as a way of constructing difference between themselves and imperial Rome, Jews and Christians, men and women, and human and divine.In each chapter, Sarit Kattan Gribetz explores a unique aspect of rabbinic discourse on time. She shows how the ancient rabbinic texts artfully subvert Roman imperialism by offering "rabbinic time" as an alternative to "Roman time." She examines rabbinic discourse about the Sabbath, demonstrating how the weekly day of rest marked "Jewish time" from "Christian time." Gribetz looks at gendered daily rituals, showing how rabbis created "men's time" and "women's time" by mandating certain rituals for men and others for women. She delves into rabbinic writings that reflect on how God spends time and how God's use of time relates to human beings, merging "divine time" with "human time." Finally, she traces the legacies of rabbinic constructions of time in the medieval and modern periods.Time and Difference in Rabbinic Judaism sheds new light on the central role that time played in the construction of Jewish identity, subjectivity, and theology during this transformative period in the history of Judaism.