Brothers Estranged: Heresy, Christianity and Jewish Identity by Adiel Schremer

By Adiel Schremer

The emergence of formative Judaism has often been tested in gentle of a theological preoccupation with the 2 competing spiritual activities, 'Christianity' and 'Judaism' within the first centuries of the typical period. during this publication Ariel Schremer makes an attempt to shift the scholarly consensus clear of this paradigm, as an alternative privileging the rabbinic perspective towards Rome, the destroyer of the temple in 70 C.E., over their drawback with the nascent Christian circulate. The palpable rabbinic political enmity towards Rome, says Schremer, was once determinative within the rising building of Jewish self-identity. He asserts that the class of heresy took on a brand new urgency within the wake of the trauma of the Temple's destruction, which demanded the development of a brand new self-identity. hoping on the overdue 20th-century scholarly depiction of the gradual and measured progress of Christianity within the empire up until eventually or even after Constantine's conversion, Schremer minimizes the level to which the rabbis paid recognition to the Christian presence. He is going on, even though, to pinpoint the parting of the methods among the rabbis and the Christians within the first 3rd of the second one century, whilst Christians have been eventually assigned to the class of heretics.

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Extra resources for Brothers Estranged: Heresy, Christianity and Jewish Identity in Late Antiquity

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As Shaye J. D. E. ”9 As a result, the question concerning the explanations given by Palestinian Jews to their defeats is usually not even addressed, and only slight attention is given in scholarly literature to other, much less “pious” reactions to the catastrophic events. 11 For, within the framework of both biblical tradition and that of GrecoRoman paganism, “a divinity may be defined as a supernatural power which is capable of rendering benefits to the community of worshippers and which manifests its divinity by specific actions producing a characteristic result.

Rather, it was a presupposed concept with which the homilist approached the biblical text, and which he wanted to endow with privilege, by presenting it as if it were rooted in the holy words of Scripture. Because the rabbis of the Midrash were so ingenious, it is usually difficult to uncover this character of their homiletical interpretations of Scripture, which in many cases may be presented as if they were motivated by the need to solve interpretive difficulties in the biblical text. This, however, must not mask the responsive character, to things external to the text, of the midrashic enterprise and should not prevent us from trying to uncover the social, political, and cultural reality to which the midrash addressed itself.

63 In Boyarin’s view, this was a product of a “discourse of heresy,” in which certain religious stances are considered illegitimate and consequently 14 brothers estr anged denounced. 64 This question will stand at the focus of the present study, too. ”66 According to this approach, the rabbinic notion of minut is a mirror of the Christian notion of false teaching concerning the divine. ”67 Boyarin thus shifts our focus from the relations between Judaism and Christianity to the discourse that made them into different entities.

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