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    Publications   Books by Donniel Hartman  
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JUDAISM AND MODERNITY
RELIGIOUS PLURALISM
JEWISH AND DEMOCRATIC ISRAEL
JEWISH PEOPLEHOOD
JUDAISM AND THE WORLD
 
 
 
The Boundaries of Judaism
By Donniel Hartman

The factionalism and denominationalism of modern Jewry makes it supremely difficult to create a definition of the Jewish people. This book aims to take readers beyond the divisions that characterize modern Jewry, and explores the ever contentious question, ‘Who is a Jew.’

Through a historical survey of the shifting boundaries of Jewish identity and deviance over time, the book provides new insights into how Jewish law over the centuries has erected boundaries to govern and maintain the collective identity of the Jewish people. Drawing on these historical strategies the book identifies the causes and reasons that underlie them, and employs these in order to help construct a guide for creating a structure of boundaries relevant for contemporary Jewish existence.

Table Of Contents
Introduction
Chapter 1: Pluralism, Tolerance and Deviance
Chapter 2: Deviance, Boundaries and Marginalization in Rabbinic Literature
Chapter 3: Intolerable Deviance and its Forms of Marginalization in Medieval Halakhic Writing
Chapter 4: Deviance, Boundaries and Marginalization in the Responsa of the Hatam Sofer
Chapter 5: Deviance, Boundaries and Marginalization in the Responsa of Moshe Feinstein
Chapter 6: Towards a Modern Theory of Boundaries

Reviews

“With great learning and high intelligence, Donniel Hartman wrestles with the hardest questions about Jewish identity: Whose identity is this? Who is a Jew? He gives us the most inclusive and generous answers that a boldly reconceived Orthodox tradition allows. And for that, all of us who are included (but might not have been) will be grateful."

- Michael Walzer, Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey

The Boundaries of Judaism is a brilliant book, rich in scholarly erudition and contemporary insight. Hartman provides a sophisticated presentation and analysis of classical and modern rabbinic texts on identity and status, and employs contemporary sociological theory as well as philosophical and theological understandings to confront and illuminate the issues regarding contemporary Jewish peoplehood that these texts address. No discussion of the contemporary state of Jewish unity and community can afford to ignore this book. It will be a treasure for scholars, Jewish professionals and laypeople alike that should inform and enrich present-day Jewish communal dialogue."

- Professor David Ellenson, President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Read about Donniel Hartman.

 

 
 
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