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Jews as a Chosen People: Tradition and transformation (S Leyla Gurkan) Hardcover Book, (Routledge, 2008) 9780415466073

Title: Jews as a Chosen People: Tradition and transformation

Author: Gurkan, S Leyla

Publisher: Routledge/Taylor & Francis; Publication Date: 2008

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780415466073

Volumes: 1; Pages: 272

List Price in Hardcover: $140.00 Our price: $140.00

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The concept of the Jews as a chosen people is a key element of the Jewish faith and identity. This book explores the idea of chosenness from the ancient world, through modernity and into the Post-Holocaust era.

Analysing a vast corpus of biblical, ancient, rabbinic and modern Jewish literature, the author seeks to give a better understanding of this central doctrine of the Jewish religion. She shows that although the idea of chosenness has been central to Judaism and Jewish self-definition, it has not been carried to the present day in the same form. Instead it has gone through constant change, depending on who is employing it, against what sort of background, and for what purpose. Surveying the different and sometimes conflicting interpretations of the doctrine of chosenness that appear in Ancient, Modern, and Post-Holocaust periods, the dominant themes of "Holiness", "Mission", and "Survival" are identified in each respective period. The theological, philosophical, and sociological dimensions of the question of Jewish chosenness are thus examined in their historical context, as responses to the challenges of Christianity, Modernity, and the Holocaust in particular.

This book will be of interest to scholars and students of Jewish Studies, the Holocaust, religion and theology.

Table of Contents


Part 1. Chosenness as "Holiness"

1. The Biblical Language of Chosenness

2. Ancient Jewish Literature

3. Rabbinic Literature

Part 2. Chosenness as "Mission"

4. Universalistic Jewish Philosophies: Spinoza and Mendelssohn

5. Jewish Emancipation and Modern Jewish Movements in Germany

6. Modern Jewish Congregations in America

7. Zionist Understanding

Part 3. Chosenness as "Survival"

8. Discourse of "Holocaust and Redemption"

9. The American Experience

10. The Israeli Experience.


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