The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion

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9780195086058: The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion

This comprehensive dictionary of the Jewish religion contains nearly 2,400 alphabetically arranged entries ranging from short definitions to lengthy essays on major topics. It is the most accessible and complete one-volume resource available for information on the concepts, beliefs, and practices of historical and contemporary Jewish religious practice.
The combined effort of Israeli, American, and European scholars, this dictionary reflects the great variety of Jewish religious expression, from the traditional approaches to such recent variations as Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist Judaism. It covers all aspects of Jewish practice, law, and theology as expressed in the Bible and the Talmud and by philosophers throughout history. The work also includes biographical sketches of important personalities associated with the development of the Jewish religion over the centuries, articles on the mystical tradition and folklore, and entries addressing the more recent religious issues posed by the existence of the State of Israel.
Whether brief definitions, historical sketches, or explanatory essays, all entries in the dictionary are clearly and concisely written. All Hebrew words and phrases are defined for students and general readers. Numerous cross- references within the text are designed to lead users to entries on related subjects, and useful bibliographies are provided as aids to further reading and research. Offering comprehensive coverage in an easy-to-use format, The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion is the ideal introduction to the Jewish religion and an indispensable resource for students, scholars, and general readers.

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About the Author:

R.J.Z. Werblowsky and Geoffrey Wigoder are both at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

From Booklist:

Intended to be a reference source for those with an interest in the Jewish religion, this volume is designed as a companion to The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3d ed., Oxford, 1997). The editors also worked on the out-of-print Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion, which was the basis for this expanded work. Subjects and people are included because of their religious significance, and not their cultural or historical impact on Judaism. All entries are written from a religious perspective, including those on subjects such as divorce and homicide. Even for topics such as the Holocaust and Israel, the emphasis is on religious rather than historical or political aspects. The Holocaust is found under Holocaust, Religious Responses During The and Holocaust Theology. The modern nation of Israel is entered under Israel, State of, Jewish Religious Life In and Israel, State of Theological Aspects.

Articles, which vary in length from one paragraph to a full page, are arranged alphabetically. Signed articles indicate those newly written for this volume; most of the unsigned articles were retained from Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion. Entry titles are either English or transliterations. English terms are used when they accurately reflect a Hebrew term and would be more accessible to the user. Transliterated titles are followed by Hebrew and English translations. Exceptions to the form of transliteration used occur with personal and place-names. Where appropriate, biblical references appear in parentheses within the article. Cross-references are noted by see references within or at the ends of entries or by an asterisk next to a word indicating an entry title. Bibliographies, which contain mostly English-language works, can be found at the ends of articles. The volume contains a list of abbreviations used, a Hebrew transliteration table, and a list of contributors and affiliations.

Public and academic libraries with Judaic collections will find this quick reference source a valuable addition.

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