Beginnings of Jewishness Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties

ISBN-10: 0520226933

ISBN-13: 9780520226937

Edition: 2000

Authors: Shaye J. D. Cohen

List price: $31.95 Buy it from $22.37
30 day, 100% satisfaction guarantee

If an item you ordered from TextbookRush does not meet your expectations due to an error on our part, simply fill out a return request and then return it by mail within 30 days of ordering it for a full refund of item cost.

Learn more about our returns policy


In 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.
Used Starting from $22.37
New Starting from $33.39
what's this?
Rush Rewards U
Members Receive:
You have reached 400 XP and carrot coins. That is the daily max!
Study Briefs

Limited time offer: Get the first one free! (?)

All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.

Customers also bought

Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 1/17/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 441
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.804
Language: English

Shaye J. D. Cohen received a B.A. in classics from Yeshiva College in 1970, a M.A. in Judaica and rabbinic ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a second M.A. and a Ph.D. in ancient history at Columbia University. A director and professor of Judaic Studies at Brown University, he previously worked at the Jewish Theological Seminary as Dean of the Graduate School, and was a visiting Professor of History at Columbia University. Holding a keen interest in the history of Judaism and its social and legal boundaries, his published works include Josephus in Galilee and Rome: His Vita and Development as a Historian and From the Maccabees to the Mishnah: A Profile of Judaism. He has also written numerous articles and book chapters on the menstrual taboo in Judaism. He has received numerous honors, including the Faculty Fellow and Whiting Fellow from Columbia University, the Fellowship from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research.

A Note on God and Parentheses
Prologue: Jews and Others
Who was a Jew?
Was Herod Jewish?
"Those Who Say They Are Jews and Are Not": How Do You Know a Jew in Antiquity When You See One?
Ioudaios, Iudaeus, Judaean, Jew
The Boundary Crossed: Becoming a Jew
From Ethnos to Ethno-religion
Crossing the Boundary and Becoming a Jew
Ioudaizein, "to Judaize"
The Rabbinic Conversion Ceremony
The Boundary Violated: The Union of Diverse Kinds
The Prohibition of Intermarriage
The Matrilineal Principle
Israelite Mothers, Israelite Fathers: Matrilineal Descent and the Inequality of the Convert
Epilogue: Jews, Judaism, and Jewishness: Us and them
Was Martial's Slave Jewish?
Was Menophilus Jewish?
Was Trophimus Jewish?
Was Timothy Jewish?
Glossary of Some Hebrew Terms
Bibliography and Abbreviations
General Index
Index of Premodern Sources
Index of Modern Scholars
Free shipping on orders over $35*

*A minimum purchase of $35 is required. Shipping is provided via FedEx SmartPost® and FedEx Express Saver®. Average delivery time is 1 – 5 business days, but is not guaranteed in that timeframe. Also allow 1 - 2 days for processing. Free shipping is eligible only in the continental United States and excludes Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico. FedEx service marks used by permission."Marketplace" orders are not eligible for free or discounted shipping.

Learn more about the TextbookRush Marketplace.