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A History of Judaism by Martin Goodman
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A History of Judaism (edition 2019)

by Martin Goodman (Autor)

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1052211,133 (3.5)None
"Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it has preserved its distinctive identity despite the extraordinarily diverse forms and beliefs it has embodied over the course of more than three millennia ... In this ... book, Martin Goodman takes readers from Judaism's origins in the polytheistic world of the second and first millennia BCE to the temple cult at the time of Jesus. He tells the stories of the rabbis, mystics, and messiahs of the medieval and early modern periods and guides us through the many varieties of Judaism today."--Dust jacket flap. "Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it has preserved its distinctive identity despite the extraordinarily diverse forms and beliefs it has embodied over the course of more than three millennia. A History of Judaism provides the first truly comprehensive look in one volume at how this great religion came to be, how it has evolved from one age to the next, and how its various strains, sects, and traditions have related to each other. In this magisterial and elegantly written book, Martin Goodman takes readers from Judaism's origins in the polytheistic world of the second and first millennia BCE to the temple cult at the time of Jesus. He tells the stories of the rabbis, mystics, and messiahs of the medieval and early modern periods and guides us through the many varieties of Judaism today. Goodman's compelling narrative spans the globe, from the Middle East, Europe, and America to North Africa, China, and India. He explains the institutions and ideas on which all forms of Judaism are based, and masterfully weaves together the different threads of doctrinal and philosophical debate that run throughout its history."--Publisher's description.… (more)
Member:Grijndvar
Title:A History of Judaism
Authors:Martin Goodman (Autor)
Info:Penguin (2019), Edition: 01, 656 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:History, Politics, Philosophy, Religion

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A History of Judaism by Martin Goodman

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Very well done indeed--Goodman's book is structured a little oddly, but once you get used to that (one overview chapter per section followed by a series of deeper dives), there's nothing to hold you back. If, like me, you've got pieces of this history floating around your mind, but no way to organize them, this will give you one way to organize them. I'm particularly impressed that he consciously avoided turning this into an all-roads-lead-to-Auschwitz story, but also doesn't minimize the pogroms and hatred that lead precisely to that camp. This is a long book, but the history is longer, and there are surely pieces missing. Unfortunately, the suggested further readings pages aren't particularly helpful. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
As advertised, an exploration into the history of Judaism from the Second Temple Period until the modern day.

The author is very thorough; he begins with Josephus and works through what can be known about Second Temple Judaism, and does not spend much time attempting to ascertain what might have come before it. Over a third of the work is dedicated to this early story.

He then covers Roman and early medieval period, the late medieval period, the early modern era, and we are introduced to the modern era in terms of the movement toward Reform in Germany, and envisioning other modern "denominations" of Judaism as responses to it. Perhaps this understanding is provocative; I do not have the range of understanding of the history of the time to challenge it.

Overall the author does well at keeping to his lane and provides a lot of details. One can tell the author is British; more emphasis is given to Judaism in England than might otherwise be imagined, and one intrusion that is certainly noticeable is his denunciation of the idea that 2TP Jews saw themselves in a kind of exile. OK, he certainly is aware of N.T. Wright's premise, and sufficiently bothered to bring it up, yet never really makes any kind of significant and coherent argument against it beyond a few points which I would imagine Wright and others could easily brush away. Quite odd, really.

Nevertheless, if you're looking for a good primer for the history of Judaism across the Western and Middle Eastern world, this works well.

**--galley received as part of early review program ( )
  deusvitae | Dec 27, 2019 |
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"Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it has preserved its distinctive identity despite the extraordinarily diverse forms and beliefs it has embodied over the course of more than three millennia ... In this ... book, Martin Goodman takes readers from Judaism's origins in the polytheistic world of the second and first millennia BCE to the temple cult at the time of Jesus. He tells the stories of the rabbis, mystics, and messiahs of the medieval and early modern periods and guides us through the many varieties of Judaism today."--Dust jacket flap. "Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it has preserved its distinctive identity despite the extraordinarily diverse forms and beliefs it has embodied over the course of more than three millennia. A History of Judaism provides the first truly comprehensive look in one volume at how this great religion came to be, how it has evolved from one age to the next, and how its various strains, sects, and traditions have related to each other. In this magisterial and elegantly written book, Martin Goodman takes readers from Judaism's origins in the polytheistic world of the second and first millennia BCE to the temple cult at the time of Jesus. He tells the stories of the rabbis, mystics, and messiahs of the medieval and early modern periods and guides us through the many varieties of Judaism today. Goodman's compelling narrative spans the globe, from the Middle East, Europe, and America to North Africa, China, and India. He explains the institutions and ideas on which all forms of Judaism are based, and masterfully weaves together the different threads of doctrinal and philosophical debate that run throughout its history."--Publisher's description.

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