The Jews of San Nicandro
In the late 1920s, in a remote and impoverished region of southern Italy, a crippled shoemaker had a vision that persuaded him and his fellow villagers to convert to the Jewish faith. Drawing on the converts’ own accounts and a wide range of previously unpublished sources, this book tells the remarkable story of how they survived persecution by the Catholic Church and Italy’s fascist government, won acceptance from the rabbinical authorities, and ultimately emigrated to Israel.
The People and the Books
18 Classics of Jewish Literature
Jews have long embraced their identity as a ‘people of the book’, but outside the Bible, much Jewish writing remains unknown. This wide-ranging survey examines 18 classic texts, from Deuteronomy to the 20th century. From the writings of Moses Maimonides, Baruch Spinoza and his contemporary, the 17th-century businesswoman Glückel of Hamelin, the Zionist Theodore Herzl and others, Kirsch draws out the enduring themes of Jewish literature: the nature of God, the Promised Land, and the challenges of diaspora life.
Self-Deification in Early Jewish and Christian Mythmaking
M David Litwa tells the stories of six self-deifiers in their historical, social and ideological contexts: the cosmic rebels Adam, Lucifer and Yaldaboath; and the heroes, Jesus (in John’s Gospel), Simon of Samaria and Allogenes (in Nag Hammadi library).
A Brief Guide to Judaism
Theology, History and Practice
What are the key elements of Jewish theology? How do Jews put belief into practice? Rabbi Brawer outlines the development of the Jewish people and faith, from Abrahamic origins to the eras of diaspora and persecution. He particularly highlights how the ritual and practice that punctuate Jewish existence form a bridge between heaven and earth as they paradoxically call on adherents to transcend the material world while celebrating physical pleasures.
The Universal Kabbalah
Deciphering the Cosmic Code in the Sacred Geometry of the Sabbath Star Diagram
Alongside her career as a professor of English, Leonora Leet spent two decades working on the Kabbalah and Pythagorean geometry to produce this magnum opus, in which she derives a new model from the Tree of Life and her own Sabbath Star Diagram, based on seven Star of David hexagrams. She thereby expands the four worlds of the classical Kabbalah, synthesizing science and spirituality as she provides a mathematical basis for aspects of the Jewish mystical tradition.
The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography
Hebrew prophets and Israelites appeared in early Christian art but only after 1000 CE did the Jew emerge as a recognizable figure, soon to become a poisonous symbol. Sara Lipton argues that the visual stereotypes were neither an inevitable result of Christian theology nor simple reflections of prejudice. She traces complex relationships between medieval Christians’ religious ideas, social experience and changing artistic practices, and shows how representations of Jews transformed over time from benign figures of ancient wisdom to vicious caricatures.
The Age of Secrecy
Jews, Christians, and the Economy of Secrets, 1400-1800
Descartes’ motto – ‘He who has lived well, has lived in secret’ – epitomizes early modern Europe’s fascination with secrecy, in contrast to our own obsession with openness and disclosure. Showing that people in this period relished secrets because true and important knowledge was considered secret by definition, Jutte examines how Jews and Christians interacted in the exchange of arcane knowledge from the natural sciences, alchemy, magic, the military and politics.
The Art of the Jewish Marriage Contract
The custom of illuminating the traditional Jewish marriage contract, the ketubbah, developed over the past four centuries into a rich and varied folk art throughout Northern Europe, Italy and the Near East. Produced in conjunction with the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, this beautiful volume contains full-colour plates of 61 examples from its outstanding collection, and offers a vivid and fascinating account of the marriage customs and daily life of diverse Jewish communities.
Britain's Chief Rabbis & the Religious Character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880-1970
Benjamin J Elton presents a radical reinterpretation of Britain's Chief Rabbis from Nathan Adler to Immanuel Jakobovits; and by placing them in their intellectual context, reveals their impact on the religious life of Anglo-Jewry.
Paul Was Not a Christian
The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle
For nearly two millennia Paul has been presented as the founder of Christianity and a model for Christian conversion. But in this provocative book Eisenbaum outlines what did and did not change in Paul's religious life, arguing that he did not see Jesus as superseding the Torah but as uniting Jews and Gentiles; she also considers how the traditional portrait of the apostle as a Christian convert has contributed to the history of anti-Semitism. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Commerce of the Sacred
Mediation of the Divine among Jews in the Greco-Roman World
An influential work since its first publication in 1984, The Commerce of the Sacred now appears in a new, updated edition. It combines approaches from the history of religions and social anthropology to investigate the practices and influence of Jews who lived in the Greco-Roman world outside Palestine. Without rabbinic control, Lightstone argues, they developed their own beliefs, such as those involving prayers at dead martyrs' tombs, and thereby helped blur the boundaries between Jews and Christians.
History of Israel
Mercer Commentary on the Bible, Volume Two
Intended for classroom use, this second volume of the Mercer Commentary on the Bible comprises commentaries on the books of Joshua to Esther (according to the order of the Septuagint) with additional historical articles from the Mercer Dictionary.
Connecting the Covenants
Judaism and the Search for Christian Identity in Eighteenth-Century England
Studying 'the preoccupation of certain Christian thinkers with Judaism as a critical religious and cultural factor' in the early 18th century, Ruderman focuses on the writings and career of English-born Christian convert Moses Marcus.
In this second autobiographical volume, theologian Hans Kung describes his career during the years following the Second Vatican Council, when he published several bestselling books despite finding himself faced with both the revolutionary student unrest of 1968 and the removal of his accreditation as a Catholic teacher. Running through these memoirs is the parallel career of Kung's fellow Tubingen professor Joseph Ratzinger, who rose through the Catholic hierarchy as Kung gained a worldwide reputation.