A journal of academic theology

Jewish Understandings of the Religious Other

[That Judaism is specifically the religion of one people, Israel, shapes its entire discourse about the religious other. Halakhah (Jewish law) defines permitted interactions between Jews and non-Jews, thus setting the parameters for the traditional Jewish theology of the “other.” Applying biblical concerns, Jews are absolutely prohibited from any activity that might generate idolatrous behavior by any human. Rabbinic halakhah expands this discussion to permitted positive interactions with those who obey God’s laws for all human civilization, the seven Noahide laws which include a prohibition of idolatry. For non-Jews, fulfillment of these laws is the prerequisite for salvation. The author offers a preliminary analysis of these traditional categories of discourse about identity and their theological implications. She also suggests ways that this may be modified in light of new directions in Jewish-Christian relations.]

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