From Hellenistic Judaism to Christian Hellenism

[RG #81] From Hellenistic Judaism to Christian Hellenism

September 1, 2000 - June 30, 2001

Organizers:

David Satran (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Daniel R. Schwartz (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

No problem has so stubbornly accompanied the investigation of Second Temple period Judaism and of early Christianity -- and the nature of the relationship between the two -- as that of "Hellenism". How deeply were both Judaism and Christianity in their formative stages influenced by the larger cultural and religious streams of the Greco-Roman age? To what extent did the phenomenon of "Hellenism" -- in its varied literary, social and political expression -- shape the defining characteristics of Jewish and Christian belief and practice in the period between Alexander and Constantine? What role did the medium of the Greek language and of Hellenistic cultural forms play in the translation of ideas and allegiances from Judaism to Christianity during the early centuries of the Common Era?

Our group will focus on precisely this problem and these questions, addressing the pendular tendency of modern scholarship to wholeheartedly affirm or passionately deny the hellenization of early Judaism and Christianity. The general orientation of recent research has been toward the Palestinian Jewish background of the early Church, with a clear proclivity for sources preserved in either Hebrew or Aramaic. In light of this trend, we will attempt to reassess the role of Greek-speaking, Hellenistic Judaism as a fertile context for Christian origins.

 

Members

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John G. Gager

FELLOW
Princeton University
John is a professor in the Department of Religion at Princeton University. His research interests are new interpretation of the apostle Paul.
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Jan Willem van Henten

FELLOW
University of Amsterdam
Jan is a professor in the Department of Theology & Religion at the University of Amsterdam.
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Hermann Lichtenberger

FELLOW
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Hermann is a professor in the Institute for Ancient Judaism and the History of Hellenistic Religions at Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.
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Tessa Rajak

FELLOW
University of Reading
Tessa is a professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Reading.
av

Adele Reinhartz

FELLOW
McMaster University
Adele is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University.
men

David Satran

FELLOW
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
David is a professor in the Department of Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
men

Daniel R. Schwartz

FELLOW
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Daniel is a professor in the Department of Jewish History at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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Gregory E. Sterling

FELLOW
University of Notre Dame
Gregory is a professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

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