Religions of a Single God - A Critical Introduction to Monotheisms from Judaism to Baha'i - Zeba A. Crook

Religions of a Single God - A Critical Introduction to Monotheisms from Judaism to Baha'i - Zeba A. Crook

Chapter 2: History of Judaism

Religions of a Single God - A Critical Introduction to Monotheisms from Judaism to Baha'i - Zeba A. Crook

Zeba A. Crook [+-]
Carleton University
Zeba A. Crook is Professor of Religious Studies at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada. He is a specialist in early Christianity and Graeco-Roman culture, but was drawn to the study of religion more broadly, and the study of these three religions in particular by teaching it. That his course on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam at Carleton University has attracted an average of six hundred students per year since he arrived there in 2003 shows the enduring interest in this material among young adults.

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That no religion has an essence is a feature of contemporary theory of religion. To say that we cannot speak of Judaism in the past until monotheism has been developed is not to say that monotheism is the essence of Judaism. But it is suggest that monotheism is the most innovative theological development before the common era, and that until its development, the religion of Israel is one among many competing national religions devoted to a national god. It is monotheism that sets them apart from the religions around them, and that allows us to suggest a shift from “Israelite Religion” to Judaism. The development of monotheism occurs as a response to the Babylonian exile, and so we begin there. The rest of the history of Judaism is one of interaction and interchange with non-Jews, minorities always living among Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Egyptians, Byzantine Christians, Muslims, and then European Christians. This is a history of diaspora and eventually nationhood.

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Crook, Zeba. Chapter 2: History of Judaism. Religions of a Single God - A Critical Introduction to Monotheisms from Judaism to Baha'i. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 27-55 May 2019. ISBN 9781781798065. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=36411. Date accessed: 15 Nov 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.36411. May 2019

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