Christianity and Its Judaic Heritage: An Introduction with Selected Sources

Christianity and Its Judaic Heritage: An Introduction with Selected Sources

Christianity and Its Judaic Heritage: An Introduction with Selected Sources

Christianity and Its Judaic Heritage: An Introduction with Selected Sources

Excerpt

This book is a survey of the Judaic-Christian tradition from the period of Israel's beginnings to the end of the Reformation Era. It is primarily intended for use by undergraduate students in courses dealing with the historical development of the religious tradition which underlies our Western civilization. Courses of this type are now offered in most colleges and universities under such titles as Introduction to Christianity, Introduction to Judaism and Christianity, Survey of the Judaic-Christian Tradition, Religious Tradition of the West, and the like.

In the selection of material, emphasis has been placed upon the formative periods of religious development, when standards and values were being crystallized and given definitive statement. Thus for Judaism the Age of the Mishna is the period when the norms of Jewish religious life were fixed, and it is appropriate that the study of ancient Judaism should culminate in a chanter called "The World of the Talmud." Two chapters of the fifteen dealing with the history of Christianity are devoted to the life and teachings of Jesus because of the centrality of Jesus to the total Christian tradition; and six chapters have been given to the study of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations. The book ends with a study of the rise of modern denominations in seventeenth- century England, the point at which courses dealing with the History of Religion in America normally begin.

A unique feature of this book is the inclusion of primary source materials at the end of each chapter and the integration of these source readings with the text and with the Questions for Study and Discussion which accompany each chapter. Source materials of various types have been used. Among older historical and archaeological materials are included the Israel Stele of Merneptah, the Moabite Stone, the Elephantine Papyri, and descriptions of the Essenes in an-

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