Cover image for Jewish-Christian debates : God, kingdom, messiah
Jewish-Christian debates : God, kingdom, messiah
Neusner, Jacob, 1932-2016.
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Publication Information:
Minneapolis : Fortress Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xiv, 240 pages ; 23 cm
Meeting God in the Torah / Christian's response to a Judaist's communion with God / Engaging with God through Christ / Judaic response to a Christian's community with God / Living under the yoke of the kingdom of heaven / Transfiguring commonplaces / Reign of forceful grace / Judaic response to forceful grace / Bringing the Messiah / Messianic virtues and the pleasure of God / Christ / Question of incarnation
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BM610 .N483 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Two eminent scholars, each expert in his own tradition, take Jewish-Christian dialogue to a new level. Aiming at neither mere description nor conversion, each presents the classical elements of his tradition's understanding of three fundamental, common religious questions: where to meet God, how to live, and what to hope for.

Chilton and Neusner's lively comparisons serve as a primer on the defining energies of these twomonumental religious traditions, intertwined in their roots. The reader is invited to identify the traditions'unity of questions and the equally strong differences in answers and thereby to illumine one's own faithcommitments about belief, piety, and the purpose of human life.

Author Notes

Jacob Neusner was born in Hartford, Connecticut on July 28, 1932. He received a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard University in 1953. He studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, where he was ordained a Conservative rabbi and received a master's degree in Hebrew letters in 1960. He also received a doctorate in religion from Columbia University. He taught at Dartmouth College, Brown University, and the University of South Florida before joining the religion department at Bard College in 1994. He retired from there in 2014.

He was a religious historian and one of the world's foremost scholars of Jewish rabbinical texts. He published more than 900 books during his lifetime including A Life of Yohanan ben Zakkai; The Way of Torah: An Introduction to Judaism; Judaism: The Evidence of the Mishnah; Strangers at Home: The 'Holocaust,' Zionism, and American Judaism; Translating the Classics of Judaism: In Theory and in Practice; Why There Never Was a 'Talmud of Caesarea': Saul Lieberman's Mistakes; and Judaism: An Introduction. He wrote The Bible and Us: A Priest and a Rabbi Read Scripture Together with Andrew M. Greeley and A Rabbi Talks with Jesus with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI. He also edited and translated, with others, nearly the entirety of the Jewish rabbinical texts. He died on October 8, 2016 at the age of 84.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

There is an explosion of books on Jewish-Christian dialogue--this is surely one of the best. Written by two leading scholars, this book could serve as an introduction to each faith, as well as a model for religious dialogue. Neusner (Univ. of South Florida) and Chilton (Bard College) are not afraid to disagree with each other, and even when they speak past each other, their difficulties in mutual understanding are illuminating. Neusner begins by talking about God but then immediately discusses a Talmudic debate about property. How do you get from one to the other? How can Christians understand Judaism in nonlegalistic ways? This book emphasizes the differences between the two faiths--how Judaism structures the whole world in all of its details and finds the mind of God in the Torah, while Christianity is a metasocial religion that subverts social structures from the perspective of a grace that is always surprising and always changing. For example, Neusner has a helpful discussion of the Jewish calendar, and Chilton nicely explains why Christians have rarely agreed on a liturgical calendar. A wonderful and engaging book for all audiences, from undergraduates to scholars. S. H. Webb; Wabash College