Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion)
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"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
- Publisher : University of Pennsylvania Press (October 26, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 392 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0812219864
- ISBN-13 : 978-0812219869
- Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.14 x 0.88 x 9.21 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #229,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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!
What I really found interesting was his expansion on Segal's "Two Powers" in Heaven doctrine that occurred in earlier versions of Judaism but later became condemned. He calls this Jewish "binitarianism". Many today often claim that the early Jews were rather "unitarian" but Boyarin dismisses this. This is not to say there weren't unitarian Jews but that unitarianism for them was not a fundamental part of their theology as it is now.
Boyarin is a Talmudic scholar. As such, his understanding of patristic theology is a little bit wanting at times. For instance, he hints that Nicaea did away with "Logos" theology especially in St Athanasius. But St Athanasius was also involved in the Alexandrian school of theology from Origen which also espoused the "deuteros theos" theology as well. The Logos theology is generally a part, not exclusive, of Trinitarian theology then.
Top reviews from other countries
However, this is a wonderfully detailed (and lavishly footnoted) scholarly analysis of a very credible path from one rather diverse Judaism to two much less diverse religions, and one which doesn't shirk confronting difficult texts by consigning them to "oh, this must not be original because it doesn't fit my thesis" but which assaults them head on and wins.
I recommend it to anyone not looking for a novice-level treatment.
Gros ouvrage pour spécialistes, écrit de manière dense et en petits caractères, difficile à lire, avec beaucoup de notes hélas reportées en fin d'ouvrage, ce qui ne facilité pas leur lecture.
Dans ce livre majestueux, l'auteur montre comment les premiers disciples de Jésus ont été longtemps des Juifs parmi les autres Juifs.
Ce n'est que dans les siècles suivants que les frontières que nous connaissons aujourd'hui entre les 2 religions ont été formulées progressivement, d'abord par les autorités ecclésiales et rabbiniques, avant de se matérialiser dans les faits.
Il existe un parallélisme étroit entre l'évolution du judaïsme et du christianisme pendant cette période, sans pouvoir déterminer qui a influencé qui.
L'auteur critique certains passages de la Mishnah (dont le début de Avot) et du Talmud de Babylone pour montrer leurs incohérences et leur réécriture postérieure aux évènements. Comment les prêtres (Saducéens), seules autorités religieuses reconnues pendant tant de siècles, ont-ils été soudain remplacés/évincés par les rabbins pharisiens ?
Autre exemple : pour lui le "concile" de Yavnéh est une légende inventée tardivement pour justifier la nouvelle autorité des rabbins.
Ce livre apporte un nouvel éclairage dans l'histoire des relations entre Juifs et Chrétiens. Ses thèses nouvelles seront sûrement commentées et critiquées, mais je suis prêt à parier qu'elles finiront pas prévaloir.
It took me a long time to go trough this book, and I am still reading it.
After 2000 years, what was written or what was said remains, and lead to the questions: Do we make religious partitions differently today?