Fortress Press

The Emergence of Judaism: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective

The Emergence of Judaism

Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective

Christine Hayes (Author)


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This brief survey text tells the story of Judaism. Through the lens of modern biblical scholarship, Christine Hayes explores the shifting cultural contexts--the Babylonian exile, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine period, the rise of Christianity--that affected Jewish thought and practice, and laid the groundwork for the Talmudic era and its modern legacy. Thematic chapters explore the evolution of Judaism through its beginnings in biblical monotheism, the Second Temple Period in Palestine, the interaction of Hellenism and Judaism, the spread of rabbinic authority, and the essence of ethno-religious Jewish identity. Biographical sketches of key figures from patriarchs to prophets, and primary selections from the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Talmud, and others, allow for a greater understanding of an ancient movement, and provide a solid introduction to the origins of one of the world's most influential religions.

The text's chapters integrate key pedagogy, including introductions, study questions, textboxes, photos, maps, suggested readings, and a glossary and timeline.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800697495
  • Dimensions 7.5 x 9.25
  • Pages 200
  • Course Level Introductions
  • Textbook Survey Texts
  • Publication Date October 8, 2010


  Chapter 1;   Adobe Acrobat Document
  Preface;   Adobe Acrobat Document
  Contents;   Adobe Acrobat Document

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"Hayes has produced a readable, informative, and well-informed introductory text. With clear prose and focused pedagogy, she expertly guides readers through the complex thicket of conceptual issues that face scholars working on the reconstruction of the early history of Judaism. Distinctive features of this textbook include translations and commentaries on central texts, ample bibliographical guidance, and a thorough glossary."
—Martin S. Jaffee
Professor of Comparative Religion and Jewish Studies
University of Washington

"With such insights as that the Hebrew Bible is a document of compromise and with such descriptions as that the early rabbinic movement was slow, informal, chaotic, and marginal, this wide–ranging introduction is a significant tour de force. In just a few carefully crafted chapters, Christine Hayes manages astutely to convey something of the rich diversity of Judaism through the ages as well as drawing attention to key ideas, identifying its basic practices, and describing its major figures. With its multiple study resources this volume should quickly find its way onto basic reading lists for courses in the field."
—George J. Brooke
Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis
University of Manchester, England

"Marvelously clear and richly insightful, The Emergence of Judaism offers a panoramic view of Jewish history, culture, and religion from its origins until the end of its classical, formative period. Christine Hayes is a brilliant pedagogue and one of the world's leading authorities on ancient Judaism. Her book is a splendid introduction to one of the world's most important and influential religious traditions. It is perfect for undergraduates and educated non-specialists."
—Richard Kalmin
Theodore R. Racoosin Chair of Rabbinic Literature
Jewish Theological Seminary, New York

"A clear, balanced, and nuanced mix of background narrative and textual exegesis characterize Christine Hayes' topical approach to major events, personalities, and trends of classical Judaism (biblical and rabbinic) and its legacy through the ages. An erudite and reader friendly introduction to the matrix of Judaism, providing an exploration on the great cultural and religious ideas of the Jewish People. An enriching and exacting read."
—Zev Garber
Professor Emeritus and Chair of Jewish Studies and Philosophy
Los Angeles Valley College


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  How to teach this book;   Adobe Acrobat Document
  Sample syllabus;   Adobe Acrobat Document
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Introduction for students;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Reading tips;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Research guide;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Study guide;   Adobe Acrobat Document

Table 51 p 113;   Adobe Acrobat Document

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