Jewish Studies Lecture Notes

Jewish Studies Lecture Notes - JewishStudiesLectureNotes...

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Jewish Studies Lecture Notes 18:17 Studying religion and defining Judaism What is  religion ? Presumption: religion is a human creation Not an assumption about the absolute truth of this presumption Problems with: beliefs, meaning in ritual, first order vs. second order  definitions o First order: we [Jews] o Second order: they [Jews] What is Judaism? Am yisrael = biological notion of extended family Normative claims ("us" vs. "them") Heratic: someone violating my laws (nonbeliever) "Family of traditions" Polythetic definition Judaism itself has no history; no "Judaism believes…" statements Essentialism : a central truth, the "Adam Sandler problem" How do you connect Jews? Cultural, not religion Three maps Self-identification Textual tradition o Canonical (ex: Facebook is what to have, not myspace; pop-culture)
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o Conversation Religious practice (fasting, going to services, etc.) Normative vs. essentialism Essentialist definitions can't explain diversity of Jewish religious lives Destruction of second temple 70 CE Polythetic definition focuses on overlapping characteristics Fresh perspective, not to challenge faith, but expand intellectual limits “The” bible Old testament o Called this b/c new testament came out Tanakh/tanak/ T-N-K Hebrew bible Septuagint (LXX) Vulgate o Vulgar/ street language (translated into Latin) King James bible Impact of different texts Isaiah 7:14 “Assuredly, my lord will give you a sign of his own accord! Look the _____is  with child and about to give birth to a son. Let her name him Immanuel o HB: almah=young woman
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o LXX: parthenos=virgin Biblical religion vs. “Judaism” Numbers 5:11-31 (HB pp. 294-295) o A married man having sex with an unmarried woman is not considered  adultery in the Jewish bible 1. Sacrificial rules, polygamy, dietary rules, etc. Historical issues Authorship-who wrote bible? (Example: song “1985”) How do you know “1985” wasn’t written in 1985? o Look at tenses o Look at date references Historicity Dramatic claims require dramatic evidence Search for reliability Hermeneutic of suspicion Strong evidence is necessary Monotheism/monolatry Monotheism=only one god Monolatry=”there might be other gods, but ours is the best” Bible is monolatrys Covenants Like a contract
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Theodicy Why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good  people? Ex: In war, people fought with their god to see who had the most powerful 
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2012 for the course JEWISH 211 taught by Professor Rosenblum during the Fall '12 term at University of Wisconsin.

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Jewish Studies Lecture Notes - JewishStudiesLectureNotes...

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