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Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion) Paperback – October 26, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0812219869 ISBN-10: 0812219864

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Product Details

  • Series: Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion
  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (October 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812219864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812219869
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Encourages us to see historic Christianity as but one expression of a universalistic potential in Jewish monotheism. . . . In a fruitful career not yet nearly over, Border Lines, the culmination of many years of work, may well remain Daniel Boyarin's masterpiece."—Jack Miles, Commonweal



"Boyarin's book challenges the ordinary usage of the terms 'Judaism' and 'Christianity' and juxtaposes the formation of orthodoxy as it is formulated within rabbinic tradition and among Christians of the patristic period. His bold thesis will no doubt prove controversial and important."—Elaine Pagels, author of Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas



"Boyarin proposes that by constructing the categories of religious orthodoxy and heresy, second-century Gentile Christians created the concept of religion which pervades the Western world to this day. The work is intensely provocative and innovative and is destined to take its proper place as a modern classic among Boyarin's previous works."—Shofar

About the Author

Daniel Boyarin is the Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture in the Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Dying for God: Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity, Judaism and A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity, and other books.

More About the Author

Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. His books include A Radical Jew, Border Lines, and Socrates and the Fat Rabbis. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Dustin Atlas on April 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
While I have no doubt that this book has (and will) ruffle a few feathers, it is ultimately a thorough work that engages with contemporary textual analysis and history in order to present a surprising, but compelling, picture of the processes through which Rabbinic Judaism is formed, processes often of a polemic nature. Simply put, the thesis of the text is this: Christianity and (Rabbinic) Judaism are two tendencies that emerge out of the religion of the ancient Israelites at around the same time; these tendencies are consolidated in opposition to each other.

As basic (and obvious) as this thesis may be, it severely undercuts the myth of 'Jews first, Christians after' that guides much religious speculation. As such, it will irritate both Christians who believe they have transcended, or improved Judaism, and Jews who consider themselves to represent a pure, untainted, tradition. Both are, essentially, strands of Hellenic Judaism, even if they proceed in radically different directions.

While there are problems with this work, to consider Boyarin's scholarship "suspect" as another reviewer has, is ridiculous. Like him or not, Boyarin is easily one of the greatest thinker's working in Religious Studies today.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Walker on January 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in the origins of Christianity and its development into the Patristic era will, at some point, have to account for the parting of ways between Christianity and Judaism. It is this popular notion of "parting ways" that Daniel Boyarin contests in his book, Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity. As the subtitle makes clear enough, Boyarin detects, not a peaceful, inevitable split between these two "religions", but a partition - an enforced dissolution.

Readers be warned, this is a rather complex work. Boyarin approaches the phenomena as a post-colonial historian. Which, if I were to summarize, means that he walks into the past holding everyone suspect. Any historical event is an opportunity to dig up an underlying conspiracy. And not the kind of conspiracy that consists of bizarre, extraordinary events. But the kind that lurks within seemingly mundane actions. No one is innocent - all are participating within the power structures of the day and often unknowingly marginalizing the weak and uneducated. The sociological theories that contribute to the post-colonial project are quite sophisticated. The terminology will likely be new for those who are unfamiliar with PC thought; it certainly was for me.

In an attempt to present clearly and briefly Boyarin's central thesis, I will have to limit the comprehensiveness of this review. Many of the smaller arguments and sub-points will regretfully be unstated.

Boyarin's reconstruction of the interaction between Christianity and Judaism is as follows. Christianity began as a sect within Judaism - and continued so throughout the New Testament period. It was not until the time of Justin Martyr, the mid 2nd century, that Christianity began to truly become "other" than Judaism.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Julian of Norwich on May 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Border Lines is the richest and most stimulating book I have read in years--and I've read some excellent ones. But this one breaks new ground for me, theologically and intellectually. For the first time, I can really see "Christianity" in its a fully "Jewish" mileau, as a "school" which had much in common with other "schools", especially regarding the Logos and Two Powers in Heaven. It was not just Philo who expounded the Logos: there was a whole context out of which these ideas arose and were shaped and debated and taught. And then, as both "Judaism" and "Christianity" chose normative identities which repudiated the other AS Other, that common ground was lost. To my mind, Boyarin has recaptured it, in all its rich possibilites.

Boyarin's elucidation of the Prologue of John as a midrash almost took my breath away, it was so brilliant and illuminating. I would read it for that alone.

This absolutely stupendous book is a truly seminal contribution to human knowledge and understanding, for both Jews and Christians.

And it bears re-reading, as one pass-through of this very demanding and scholarly book would not be enough to absorb it. But it's my desert island book for sure!
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hoffman on January 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Daniel Boyarin is a formidable scholar and while there is much to disagree with here, there can be no question that he breaks new ground with what is a significant study of that bewildering oxymoron, "Judaeo-Christianity." Almost anything Boyarin writes about Judaism is worthy of notice and an investment in the time it takes to ponder his theses. He cannot be completely or easily dismissed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tammy on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many references to a body of knowledge that it is assumed you already have so it is not a light read. Still I really like the book because it contains information I have been looking for for more than a decade. It definitely stretches my vocabulary
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