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    The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties (Hellenistic Culture and Society) (Paperback) By (author) Shaye J. D. Cohen

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    DescriptionIn modern times, various Jewish groups have argued whether Jewishness is a function of ethnicity, of nationality, of religion, or of all three. These fundamental conceptions were already in place in antiquity. The peculiar combination of ethnicity, nationality, and religion that would characterize Jewishness through the centuries first took shape in the second century B.C.E. This brilliantly argued, accessible book unravels one of the most complex issues of late antiquity by showing how these elements were understood and applied in the construction of Jewish identity - by Jews, by gentiles, and by the state. Beginning with the intriguing case of Herod the Great's Jewishness, Cohen moves on to discuss what made or did not make Jewish identity during the period, the question of conversion, the prohibition of intermarriage, matrilineal descent, and the place of the convert in the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds. His superb study is unique in that it draws on a wide range of sources: Jewish literature written in Greek, classical sources, and rabbinic texts, both ancient and medieval. It also features a detailed discussion of many of the central rabbinic texts dealing with conversion to Judaism.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Beginnings of Jewishness

    The Beginnings of Jewishness
    Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Shaye J. D. Cohen
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 441
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 224 mm
    Thickness: 33 mm
    Weight: 476 g
    ISBN 13: 9780520226937
    ISBN 10: 0520226933

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: HBG
    BIC E4L: REL
    BIC subject category V2: HBLA
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T6.6
    B&T General Subject: 690
    BIC subject category V2: JFSR1, HRJ, DSBB
    Ingram Subject Code: RJ
    Ingram Theme: RELI/JUDAIC
    Libri: I-RJ
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25460
    BISAC V2.8: REL040030
    DC22: 296.09
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 48
    BISAC V2.8: REL040000
    Abridged Dewey: 296
    LC classification: BM
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    DC21: 305.8924009
    LC classification: 98-39899
    Thema V1.0: QRJ, NHB, JBSR, DSBB, NHC
    Thema interest age/special interest qualifier V1.0: 5PGJ
    University of California Press
    Imprint name
    University of California Press
    Publication date
    17 January 2001
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Shaye J. D. Cohen is Ungerleider Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. His earlier books include Josephus in Galilee and Rome: His Vita and Development as a Historian (1979) and From the Maccabees to the Mishnah: A Profile of Judaism (1987).
    Review quote
    "I cannot begin to do justice to the nuances and wealth of information that these articles offer. Cohen possesses an enviable gift of being provocative and challenging... He opens the door to the rewarding realm of the internal life of one community. And as unrepresentative as this community may, at first, appear, no scholar interested in issues of identity, self-definition, core and periphery, community and law, family, class and gender in antiquity can afford to give Cohen a miss." - Hagith Sivan, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "One of the greatest strengths of Cohen's erudite book is that he is willing to acknowledge that many parts of his argument are open to challenge. While some might be overwhelmed by the sheer volume, this reviewer thinks he has done a great service in collecting an immense amount of relevant data, allowing readers to weigh the evidence for themselves and draw their own conclusions... Cohen's book is the most comprehensive study to date on the question of Jewish identity in antiquity." - J. S. Kaminsky, Choice "Cohen himself exemplifies the scrupulous precision which he shows to be necessary to his subject... An outstanding work of scholarship." - M. J. Edwards, Classical Review"