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Fellowship in Judaism: The First Century and Today

Fellowship in Judaism: The First Century and Today

Jacob Neusner

| Wipf & Stock | 2004

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These essays examine the sociology of Judaism in the last decades of the Second Jewish Commonwealth. The author discerns two kinds of religious fellowship, one constituted by the haber (“fellow”), based on observance of certain religious laws, and the other by the talmid hakham (“sage”), based on concern for study and application of the Torah. He contrasts the former with the contemporary community at Qumran and shows the difference between the haburah and the Dead Sea commune to have been based in some measure on a different attitude towards society. The final chapter presents an analysis of Jewish religious fellowship today and offers some concrete suggestions for recovering a more vital social religious life with the aid of the lessons of the ancient fellowships.

Author Bio

Jacob Neusner (1932–2016) was a preeminent scholar of ancient Judaism and one of the most published authors ever, with more than 900 original volumes to his name. He was educated at Harvard University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the University of Oxford, and Yale University. He was research professor of theology and senior fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College. Neusner’s work has been highly influential, if sometimes controversial. He pioneered applying “form criticism” to Rabbinic texts, and aimed at a humanistic and academic reading of ancient Jewish literature.

Nesuner’s works include the Jacob Neusner Jewish Studies Bundle (99 vols.).