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: W. D. Davies, L. Finkelstein, William Horbury, John Sturdy, Steven T. Katz
: The Cambridge History of Judaism: Vols.I-IV
: Cambridge University Press
: 1984-2006
ISBN: 9780521218801; 9780521219297; 9780521243773; 9780521772488
: English
: pdf
: 144 mb

Vol. I: Introduction; The Persian Period

A comprehensive examination is made of all the relevant literary and archeological sources, and special attention is given to the interaction of Iranian, Semitic, Hellenistic and Roman cultures. The contributors include both Jewish and Gentile scholars from many countries, and this History thus helps to deliver the study of Jewish history and Christian origins from geographical and religious limitations, and contributes to a deeper understanding and a broader tolerance. This first volume opens with three introductory chapters to the work as a whole dealing with the geographical background, the chronology and the numismatic history of Judaism. The remainder of this volume concentrates on the Persian period, the two and a half centuries following the Babylonian Exile.

Vol. II: The Hellenistic Age

This is the second of four volumes covering the history of Judaism from the Persian period, roughly 539-322 BCE, to the Tannaitic period, which culminated in the codification of the Mishnah around 250 CE. It deals with the encounter of Judaism with the Hellenistic culture spread throughout the Mediterranean world and beyond by Alexander the Great and his successors. The volume describes both the rejection and adoption of Hellenism by Judaism. Religiously the rejection provoked new developments and politically the Maccabaean Revolt, which resulted in the creation of the independent Hasmonean state, 142-63 BCE. Culturally, the adoption of Hellenistic forms by Judaism led to a significant Jewish-Greek and Hebrew and Aramaic literature. At the same time, the tensions in the religious, intellectual, social and political life of Jews spawned apocalyptic thought and literature. In the light of the interpenetration of Judaism and Hellenism in this period the volume questions some established dichotomies.

Vol. III: The Early Roman Period

This volume covers the history of Judaism in the Roman period. Political history is treated from Pompey to Vespasian, but many chapters on Jewish life and thought go beyond the period of the Flavian emperors to present themes and evidence of importance for Judaism up to the 3rd century CE. The approach has concentrated on the study of institutions and schools of thought through consideration of archaeological finds and inscriptions. Jewish-Gentile relations, temple and synagogue, groups and schools of thought - Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Baptist sects, the 'fourth philosophy' and similar groups, Samaritans and the Christian movement - are examined. An unusual feature of the volume is its historical treatment of Christianity within the context of ancient Judaism. The Qumran texts, Philo and Josephus receive attention as does Jewish society in Judaea and Galilee.

Vol. IV: The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period

This fourth volume of The Cambridge History of Judaism covers the period from 70 CE to 640 CE (the rise of Islam). It deals with the major historical, political and cultural developments in Jewish history and the history of Judaism in this crucial era during which Judaism took on its classical shape. It provides discussion and analysis of all the essential subjects pertinent to an understanding of this period, and is especially strong in its coverage of the growth and development of rabbinic Judaism and of the major classical rabbinic sources such as the Mishnah, Jerusalem Talmud, Babylonian Talmud and various Midrashic collections. In addition, it surveys the early encounter of Judaism and Christianity from both the Jewish and Christian sides and describes the rise of Jewish mystical literature, the liturgical literature of the developing synagogue, the nature of magical practices in classical Judaism and Jewish Folklore.



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