Performing Israel's Faith: Narrative and Law in Rabbinic Theology

Synopsis

If law alone yields legalism, then religious belief, by itself, fails to create justice. In Performing Israel's Faith, Jacob Neusner shows how Jewish Halakhah (law) and Aggadah (narrative) fit together to form a robust and coherent covenant theology-one directly concerned about this world. Neusner's careful and thorough examination of several key issues within rabbinic Judaism-the nations, idolatry, sin, repentance, and atonement- demonstrates that neither Halakhah nor Aggadah can be fully and rightly understood when the two are isolated from each other. Performing Israel's Faith thus effectively reveals that rabbinic Judaism's true pattern of religion was constituted by a covenant theology comprised by both law and story- a covenant theology whose aim was to restore the sanctification of God's original creation.