religion: judaism 2016

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  • Gazelle AcademicJudaismNew Titles & Selected Backlist



    Wilfrid LaurierUniversity Press

    Sussex AcademicPress

    MuseumTusculanum Press

    Baylor UniversityPress

    University ofCalgary Press

    University Press ofSouthern Denmark

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    THE THEOLOGY OF THE CHINESE JEWS, 1000-1850Jordan Paper

    A thousand years ago, the Chinese government invited merchants from one of the Chinese portsynagogue communities to the capital, Kaifeng. The merchants settled there and the communityprospered. Over centuries, with government support, the Kaifeng Jews built and rebuilt theirsynagogue, which became perhaps the worlds largest. Some studied for the rabbinate; othersprepared for civil service examinations, leading to a disproportionate number of Jewishgovernment officials. While continuing orthodox Jewish practices they added rituals honouringtheir parents and the patriarchs, in keeping with Chinese custom. However, by the mid-eighteenth centurycut off from Judaism elsewhere for two centuries, their synagoguedestroyed by a flood, their community impoverished and dispersed by a civil war that devastatedKaifengtheir Judaism became defunct.

    The Theology of the Chinese Jews traces the history of Jews in China and explores how theirtheologys focus on love, rather than on the fear of a non-anthropomorphic God, may speak tocontemporary liberal Jews. Equally relevant to contemporary Jews is that the Chinese Jewsremained fully Jewish while harmonizing with the family-centred religion of China. In anilluminating postscript, Rabbi Anson Laytner underscores the point that Jewish culture can thrivein an open society, without hostility, by absorbing the best of the dominant culture and makingit ones own.

    AUTHOR INFORMATION: Jordan Paper is a professor emeritus at York University (EastAsian and Religious Studies) and a fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at theUniversity of Victoria. He studied Buddhist Chinese at and received his doctorate in ChineseLanguage and Literature from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). His many books on religionand Chinese philosophy include The Fu-Tzu: A Post-Han Confucian Text, The Spirits Are Drunk:Comparative Approaches to Chinese Religion, The Chinese Way in Religion (2nd edition), and TheMystic Experience: A Descriptive and Comparative Approach.

    HB 9781554583720 60.99 February 2012 Wilfrid Laurier University 175 pages

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    ANTI-JUDAISM IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY Volume 1Paul and the GospelsEdited by Peter Richardson, David Granskou

    The period since the close of World War II has been agonizingly introspective--not least becauseof the pain of reassessing Christianity's attitude to Judaism. The early Christian materials haveoften been examined to assess their role in the long-standing negative attitude of Christians toJews. The motivation for the early church's sometimes harsh attitude was partly theological--itneeded to define itself over against its parent--and partly sociological--it needed to make clearthe line that divided the fledgling group of Christian believers fromt he group with which it wasmost likely to be confused. This collection of studies emphasizes the context and history of earlyChristianity in reconsidering many of the classic passages that have contributed to thedevelopment of anti-Judaism in Christianity. The volume opens with an essay that clearlydelineates the state of the question of anti-Judaism in early Christianity. Then follow discussionsof specific passages in the writings of Paul as well as the Gospels.

    AUTHOR INFORMATION: Richard Granskou taught religious studies at Wilfrid LaurierUniversity.

    PB 9780889201675 30.99 April 1986 Wilfrid Laurier University Press 244 pages

    ANTI-JUDAISM IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY Volume 2Separation and PolemicEdited by Stephen G. Wilson

    The second volume in this two-volume work studying the initial developments of anti-Judaismwithin the church examines the evolution of the Christian faith in its social context as revealedby evidence such as early patristic and rabbinic writings and archaeological findings.

    AUTHOR INFORMATION: Stephen G. Wilson is Professor of Religious Studies in the Collegeof the Humanities at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario.

    PB 9780889201965 30.99 October 1986 Wilfrid Laurier University Press 197 pages

    LAW IN RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES IN THE ROMAN PERIODThe Debate over Torah and Nomos in Post-Biblical Judaism and EarlyChristianityPeter Richardson, Stephen Westerholm, Albert I. Baumgarten, Michael Pettem, Cecilia Wassn

    The role and function of law in religious communities in the Roman periodespecially inJudaismhas been a key issue among scholars in recent years. This thought-provoking work isthe first full-scale attempt to write a historical assessment of the scholarly debate concerningthis question, focussing on two closely related religious communities, Judaism and Christianity.By juxtaposing the two religions, a clearer understanding of the developments with respect totorah and nomos in Judaism and early Christianity emerges.

    This insightful work, placing emphasis on the major figures and both the scholarly lines ofdevelopment and the appropriate lines for future research, will set the debate in a clearer andmore and succinct manner. It will serve as a critical point of reference for further discussion.

    AUTHOR INFORMATION: Stephen Westerholm is Associate Professor of Religious Studiesat McMaster University.

    PB 9780889202016 30.99 April 1991 Wilfrid Laurier University Press 174 pages

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    FROM SERMON TO COMMENTARYExpounding the Bible in Talmudic BabyloniaEliezer Segal

    The Bible has always been vital to Jewish religious life, and it has been expounded in diverseways. Perhaps the most influential body of Jewish biblical interpretation is the Midrash that wasproduced by expositors during the first five centuries CE. Many such teachings are collected inthe Babylonian Talmud, the monumental compendium of Jewish law and lore that was acceptedas the definitive statement of Jewish oral tradition for subsequent generations.

    However, many of the Talmuds interpretations of biblical passages appear bizarre or pointless.From Sermon to Commentary: Expounding the Bible in Talmudic Babylonia tries to explain thisphenomenon by carefully examining representative passages from a variety of methodologicalapproaches, paying particular attention to comparisons with Midrash composed in the Land ofIsrael.

    Based on this investigation, Eliezer Segal argues that the Babylonian sages were utilizingdiscourses that had originated in Israel as rhetorical sermons in which biblical interpretation wasbeing employed in an imaginative, literary manner, usually based on the interplay between twoor more texts from different books of the Bible. Because they did not possess their own traditionof homiletic preaching, the Babylonian rabbis interpreted these comments without regard fortheir rhetorical conventions, as if they were exegetical commentaries, resulting in the distinctive,puzzling character of Babylonian Midrash.

    AUTHOR INFORMATION: Eliezer Segal is a professor of religious studies at the Universityof Calgary. A native of Montreal, he holds a PhD in rabbinics from the Hebrew University ofJerusalem. His primary areas of research include Talmudic literature, Jewish law and homiletics,and comparative biblical interpretation. His publications include scholarly monographs, popularscholarship, a childrens book, and many articles and book chapters.

    HB 9780889204829 60.99 November 2005 Wilfrid Laurier University Press 176 pages


    Travel and Religion in Antiquity considers the importance of issues relating to travel for ourunderstanding of religious and cultural life among Jews, Christians, and others in the ancientworld, particularly during the Hellenistic and Roman eras. The volume is organized around fiveoverlapping areas where religion and travel intersect: travel related to honouring deities,including travel to festivals, oracles, and healing sanctuaries; travel to communicate the efficacyof a god or the superiority of a way of life, including the diffusion of cults or movements; travelto explore and encounter foreign peoples or cultures, including descriptions of these cultures inancient ethnographic materials; migration; and travel to engage in an occupation or vocation.

    With interdisciplinary contributions that cover a range of literary, epigraphic, and archeologicalmaterials, the volume sheds light on the importance of movement in connection with religiouslife among Greeks, Romans, Nabateans, and others, including Judeans and followers of Jesus.

    AUTHOR INFORMATION: Philip A. Harland is an associate professor in humanities andancient history at York University. His recent books on social and religious life in the Greco-Roman world include Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations (2003) and Dynamics ofIdentity in the World of the Early Christians (2009). He also runs a group of websites, a podcast,and a blog on religions of the ancient Mediterranean at


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