For almost two thousand years, various images of Jesus accompanied Jewish thought and imagination: a flesh-and-blood Jew, a demon, a spoiled student, an idol, a brother, a (failed) Messiah, a nationalist rebel, a Greek god in Jewish garb, and more.
This volume charts for the first time the different ways that Jesus has been represented and understood in Jewish culture and thought. Chapters from many of the leading scholars in the field cover the topic from a variety of disciplinary perspectives - Talmud, Midrash, Rabbinics, Kabbalah, Jewish Magic, Messianism, Hagiography, Modern Jewish Literature, Thought, Philosophy, and Art – to address the ways in which representations of Jesus contribute to and change Jewish self-understanding throughout the last two millennia. Beginning with the question of how we know that Jesus was a Jew, the book then moves through meticulous analyses of Jewish and Christian scripture and literature to provide a rounded and comprehensive analysis of Jesus in Jewish Culture.
This multidisciplinary study will be of great interest not only to students of Jewish history and philosophy, but also to scholars of religious studies, Christianity, intellectual history, literature and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction Neta Stahl 1. A Jewish Reader of Jesus: Mark, the Evangelist Daniel Boyarin 2. The Magical Jesus in Ancient Jewish Literature Michael Swartz 3. Where is Jonah from? Avigdor Shinan 4. Celsus’ Jew and the Theological Threat from Christianity Adam Gregerman 5. Abraham Abulafia: A Kabbalist "Son of God" on Jesus and Christianity Moshe Idel 6. From Joshua through Jesus to Simeon bar Yohai: Towards a Typology of Galilean Heroes Elchanan Reiner 7. The Salvation of Jesus and Jewish Messiahs Matt Goldish 8. Jacob Frank and Jesus Christ Pawel Maciejko 9. "Christus secundum spiritum": Spinoza, Jesus and the Infinite Intellect Yitzhak Melamed 10. Harry Austryn Wolfson on the Jews’ Reclamation of Jesus Warren Zev Harvey 11. Jesus in Modern Jewish Thought Leora Batnitzky 12. The Crucified Brother: Uri Zvi Greenberg and Jesus Glenda Abramson 13. ‘We left Yeshu’: On Three Twentieth Century Hebrew Poets’ Longing for Jesus" Neta Stahl 14. Jesus of the Sabra Thorns - The figure of Jesus in Israeli Art Amitai Mendelsohn
Neta Stahl is Assistant Professor in the Humanities Center and Jewish Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University, USA. She works primarily in the fields of Literary Theory and Modern Hebrew Literature, and has serious interest in the intersection of religion and literature, theories of the Other, and modern Jewish thought.