Comparing Religions through Law: Judaism and Islam

By Jacob Neusner; Tamara Sonn | Go to book overview

NOTES

1

COMPARING ISLAM AND JUDAISM

1
The work on comparative theology of formative Christianity and Judaism is contained in the following books by Bruce D. Chilton and Jacob Neusner: Common Heritage, Diverse Dispositions. Judaic and Christian Classics Doctrinally Compared (London: Routledge, 1988); Judaism in the New Testament. Practices and Beliefs (London: Routledge, 1995); Types of Authority in Formative Christianity and Judaism. Institutional, Charismatic, and Intellectual (London: Routledge, 1999); The Intellectual Foundations of Christian and Jewish Discourse: The Philosophy of Religious Argument (London: Routledge, 1997); Christianity and Judaism: The Formative Categories. I. Revelation. The Torah and the Bible (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1995); Christianity and Judaism: The Formative Categories. II. The Body of Faith: Israel and Church (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1997); Christianity and Judaism: The Formative Categories. III. God in the World (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1997); Judaeo-Christian Debates. Communion with God, the Kingdom of God, the Mystery of the Messiah (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998).
2
Some basic points are made in J. Neusner, First Principles of Systemic Analysis. The Case of Judaism in the History of Religion (Lanham: University Press of America, 1988) (“Studies in Judaism” series).
3
Marshall Sahlins, How “Natives” Think (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994), p. 163, citing Michel Foucault, The Order of Things (New York: Vintage Books, 1973), p. xv. That the entire conceit is Borges’s own invention is clear.

2

DOCUMENTS OF JUDAISM AND ISLAM

1
That is to say, the community of Judaism. By “the Jewish People” in pre-modern times, people ordinarily understood “those that practice the religion, Judaism.” The conception that a person or community of persons could be Jewish but not Judaic, that is, ethnically or culturally Jewish but not religiously Judaic, and that ethnicity or nationality could be separated from religion, is particularly modern and European. In these pages, “Jewish people” and “people of Judaism” or “people of Israel” all refer to the same social entity, comparable in its theological self-definition to the abode of Islam. At no point does “Israel” here refer either to the geographical entity, the Land of Israel, or to the political State of Israel. When the Jewish state is under discussion, it is always identified as “the State of Israel.” Otherwise “Israel” stands for the holy people of whom the Torah speaks; that is to say, a theological, not a political, category.

-253-

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