1st Edition

The Ambiguous Figure of the Neighbor in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions

Edited By Marianne Bjelland Kartzow Copyright 2021
    242 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines an undertheorized topic in the study of religion and sacred texts: the figure of the neighbor. By analyzing and comparing this figure in Jewish, Christian and Islamic texts and receptions, the chapters explore a conceptual shift from "Children of Abraham" to "Ambiguous Neighbors."

    Through a variety of case studies using diverse methods and material, chapters explore the neighbor in these neighboring texts and traditions. The figure of the neighbor seems like an innocent topic at the surface. It is an everyday phenomenon, that everyone have knowledge about and experiences with. Still, analytically, it has a rich and innovative potential. Recent interdisciplinary research employs this figure to address issues of cultural diversity, gender, migration, ethnic relationships, war and peace, environmental challenges and urbanization. The neighbor represents the borderline between insider and outsider, friend and enemy, us and them. This ambiguous status makes the neighbor particularly interesting as an entry point into issues of cultural complexity, self-definition and identity. This volume brings all the intersections of religion, ethnicity, gender, and socio-cultural diversity into the same neighborhood, paying attention to sacred texts, receptions and contemporary communities.

    The Ambiguous Figure of the Neighbor in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions offers a fascinating study of the intersections between Jewish, Christian and Islamic text, and will be of interest to anyone working on these traditions.

    Introduction: The Ambiguous Figure of the Neighbor in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions

    Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

    Part 1: Intersectional Biblical Neighbors

    1 The Ambiguous Neighbor in the Hebrew Bible: A Survey of the Language of Neighbourship and the Narrative Function of the Neighbour in Hebrew Bible Texts,

    Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme

    2 When Bethlehemites and Moabites Meet: Ambiguous Neighbors in the Book of Ruth, Kristin Joachimsen

    3 Neighbour, Townsperson, and Fellow Creature: The Regulation of Inter-Human Relationships in Palestinian Rabbinic Texts

    Catherine Hezser

    4 Monsters and Angels: The Function and Evaluation of the Intersectional Neighbors in the Gospels

    Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

    Part 2: Islamic Neighbors, Near and Far

    5 Aw qala: ‘Li-jarihi‘. Some Observations on Brotherhood and Neighborly Love in Islamic Tradition

    Oddbjørn Leirvik

    6 The Ambiguous jār: Towards a Qurʾanic Neighborhood Ethics

    Nora S. Eggen

    Part 3 Negotiating the ambiguous neighborhood in peace and war, conflict and coexistence

    7 Neighbour in the war: Saviour or murderer? Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia

    Safet Bektovic

    8 The childless woman and her neighbours: Exploring neighbourliness within a rural community in Cameroon

    Gladys Ekone Wang

    9 Imagining the Everyday Life of Jewish and Christian "Neighbors" in Late Antique Capernaum: Beyond Church and Synagogue—and Back Again

    Wally V. Cirafesi

    10 Narratives of the suburb as religious neighbourhood: How a local church and mosque in an Oslo suburb negotiate Muslim-Christian neighbourly relations

    Anne Hege Grung


    Marianne Bjelland Kartzow is Professor of New Testament Studies at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo, Norway.