The author argues that modern advocates of radical theological revision actually have little to add to our understanding of the ways of God and even less to a meaningful Judaic perspective on the universe and the relationship between man and God. A second concern is the contemporary argument that because there is no universally accepted theology of Judaism, one is not bound by any particular conception of God, whether of biblical or rabbinic origin. Jewish theology has thus come to be viewed essentially as an equal opportunity field of intellectual endeavor, an approach Sicker considers fundamentally and fatally flawed. Traditional non-dogmatic thought does not require radical revision. What is required is a sympathetic understanding of the theological assumptions and ideas of the past coupled with a sincere and respectful attempt to reformulate them in terms more attuned to the modern temper.
From the Hardcover edition.
Orlov traces the origins of Azazel and Satanael to different and competing mythologies of evil, one to the Fall in the Garden of Eden, the other to the revolt of angels in the antediluvian period. Although Azazel and Satanael are initially representatives of rival etiologies of corruption, in later Jewish and Christian demonological lore each is able to enter the other’s stories in new conceptual capacities. Dark Mirrors also examines the symmetrical patterns of early Jewish demonology that are often manifested in these fallen angels’ imitation of the attributes of various heavenly beings, including principal angels and even God himself.
Essential Figures in the Bible compiles thorough but manageable entries on the figures most vital to an understanding of the Bible and its teachings. In this valuable reference, Dr. Ronald L. Eisenberg catalogs and explains the importance of more than 250 figures who are most vital to an understanding of the Hebrew Bible and its teachings. For these figures selected from the more than 3,000 names found in the Hebrew Bible, Eisenberg provides summaries of the narratives relevant to each figure discussed along with illustrative quotations from the Bible and supplementary material from rabbinic literature when appropriate.
Both religious studies and rabbinical students and casual readers of the Hebrew Bible will benefit from the comprehensive entries on the most-frequently discussed biblical figures and will gain valuable insights from this reader-friendly text. Complete in a single volume, this guide strikes a satisfying balance between the sparse, uninformative books and comprehensive but overly complex references that are currently the only places for inquisitive Bible readers to turn. For any reader who wishes to gain a better understanding of the Bible, Eisenberg’s text is just as “essential” as the figures listed within.
In the twenty-first century, however, Jews and Christians are challenged to reconsider their theological assumptions by two inescapable truths: the moral tragedy of the holocaust demands that Christian thinkers acknowledge the violent effects of theologically de-legitimizing Jews and Judaism, and the pervasive reality of cultural and religious pluralism calls both Christian and Jewish theologians to rethink the covenant in the presence of the Other. Two Faiths, One Covenant? Jewish and Christian Identity in the Presence of the Other is a breakthrough work that embraces this contemporary challenge and charts a path toward fruitful interfaith dialogue. The Christian and Jewish theologians in this book explore the ways that both religions have understood the covenant in biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern religious writings and reflect on how the covenant can serve as a reservoir for a positive theological relationship between Christianity and Judaism—not merely one of non-belligerent tolerance, but of respect and theological pluralism, however limited.