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Daniel Boyarin - Author

About the Author

Books by Daniel Boyarin

The Jewish Gospels The Story of the Jewish Christ

The Jewish Gospels The Story of the Jewish Christ

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/09/2019

Judaism The Genealogy of a Modern Notion

Judaism The Genealogy of a Modern Notion

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2018

Judaism makes the bold argument that the very concept of a religion of `Judaism' is an invention of the Christian church. The intellectual journey of world-renowned Talmud scholar Daniel Boyarin, this book will change the study of Judaism -an essential key word in Jewish Studies-as we understand it today. Boyarin argues that although the world treats the word Judaism as appropriate for naming an alleged religion of the Jews, it is in fact a Christian theological concept only adopted by Jews with the coming of modernity and the adoption of Christian languages.

A Traveling Homeland The Babylonian Talmud as Diaspora

A Traveling Homeland The Babylonian Talmud as Diaspora

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/06/2015

A word conventionally imbued with melancholy meanings, diaspora has been used variously to describe the cataclysmic historical event of displacement, the subsequent geographical scattering of peoples, or the conditions of alienation abroad and yearning for an ancestral home. But as Daniel Boyarin writes, diaspora may be more constructively construed as a form of cultural hybridity or a mode of analysis. In A Traveling Homeland, he makes the case that a shared homeland or past and traumatic dissociation are not necessary conditions for diaspora and that Jews carry their homeland with them in diaspora, in the form of textual, interpretive communities built around talmudic study. For Boyarin, the Babylonian Talmud is a diasporist manifesto, a text that produces and defines the practices that constitute Jewish diasporic identity. Boyarin examines the ways the Babylonian Talmud imagines its own community and sense of homeland, and he shows how talmudic commentaries from the medieval and early modern periods also produce a doubled cultural identity. He links the ongoing productivity of this bifocal cultural vision to the nature of the book: as the physical text moved between different times and places, the methods of its study developed through contact with surrounding cultures. Ultimately, A Traveling Homeland envisions talmudic study as the center of a shared Jewish identity and a distinctive feature of the Jewish diaspora that defines it as a thing apart from other cultural migrations.

Socrates and the Fat Rabbis

Socrates and the Fat Rabbis

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/06/2012

What kind of literature is the Talmud? To answer this question, Daniel Boyarin looks to an unlikely source: the dialogues of Plato. In these ancient texts he finds similarities, both in their combination of various genres and topics and in their dialogic structure. But Boyarin goes beyond these structural similarities, arguing also for a cultural relationship. In Socrates and the Fat Rabbis , Boyarin suggests that both the Platonic and the Talmudic dialogues are not dialogic at all. Using Mikhail Bakhtin's notion of represented dialogue and real dialogism, Boyarin demonstrates, through multiple close readings, that the give-and-take in these texts is actually much closer to a monologue in spirit. At the same time, he shows that there is a dialogism in both texts on a deeper structural level between a voice of philosophical or religious dead seriousness and a voice from within that mocks that very high solemnity. Boyarin ultimately singles out Menippean satire as the most important genre through which to understand both the Talmud and Plato, emphasizing their seriocomic peculiarity. An innovative advancement in rabbinic studies, as well as a bold and controversial new way of reading Plato, Socrates and the Fat Rabbis makes a major contribution to scholarship on thought and culture of the ancient Mediterranean.

Border Lines The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity

Border Lines The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/10/2006

The historical separation between Judaism and Christianity is often figured as a clearly defined break of a single entity into two separate religions. Following this model, there would have been one religion known as Judaism before the birth of Christ, which then took on a hybrid identity. Even before its subsequent division, certain beliefs and practices of this composite would have been identifiable as Christian or Jewish.In Border Lines, however, Daniel Boyarin makes a striking case for a very different way of thinking about the historical development that is the partition of Judaeo-Christianity. There were no characteristics or features that could be described as uniquely Jewish or Christian in late antiquity, Boyarin argues. Rather, Jesus-following Jews and Jews who did not follow Jesus lived on a cultural map in which beliefs, such as that in a second divine being, and practices, such as keeping kosher or maintaining the Sabbath, were widely and variably distributed. The ultimate distinctions between Judaism and Christianity were imposed from above by border-makers, heresiologists anxious to construct a discrete identity for Christianity. By defining some beliefs and practices as Christian and others as Jewish or heretical, they moved ideas, behaviors, and people to one side or another of an artificial border-and, Boyarin significantly contends, invented the very notion of religion.

Border Lines The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity

Border Lines The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/06/2004

The historical separation between Judaism and Christianity is often figured as a clearly defined break of a single entity into two separate religions. Following this model, there would have been one religion known as Judaism before the birth of Christ, which then took on a hybrid identity. Even before its subsequent division, certain beliefs and practices of this composite would have been identifiable as Christian or Jewish.In Border Lines, however, Daniel Boyarin makes a striking case for a very different way of thinking about the historical development that is the partition of Judaeo-Christianity. There were no characteristics or features that could be described as uniquely Jewish or Christian in late antiquity, Boyarin argues. Rather, Jesus-following Jews and Jews who did not follow Jesus lived on a cultural map in which beliefs, such as that in a second divine being, and practices, such as keeping kosher or maintaining the Sabbath, were widely and variably distributed. The ultimate distinctions between Judaism and Christianity were imposed from above by border-makers, heresiologists anxious to construct a discrete identity for Christianity. By defining some beliefs and practices as Christian and others as Jewish or heretical, they moved ideas, behaviors, and people to one side or another of an artificial border-and, Boyarin significantly contends, invented the very notion of religion.

Queer Theory and the Jewish Question

Queer Theory and the Jewish Question

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/11/2003

The essays in this volume boldly map the historically resonant intersections between Jewishness and queerness, between homophobia and anti-Semitism, and between queer theory and theorizations of Jewishness. With important essays by such well-known figures in queer and gender studies as Judith Butler, Daniel Boyarin, Marjorie Garber, Michael Moon, and Eve Sedgwick, this book is not so much interested in revealing-outing- queer Jews as it is in exploring the complex social arrangements and processes through which modern Jewish and homosexual identities emerged as traces of each other during the last two hundred years.

Queer Theory and the Jewish Question

Queer Theory and the Jewish Question

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/11/2003

The essays in this volume boldly map the historically resonant intersections between Jewishness and queerness, between homophobia and anti-Semitism, and between queer theory and theorizations of Jewishness. With important essays by such well-known figures in queer and gender studies as Judith Butler, Daniel Boyarin, Marjorie Garber, Michael Moon, and Eve Sedgwick, this book is not so much interested in revealing-outing- queer Jews as it is in exploring the complex social arrangements and processes through which modern Jewish and homosexual identities emerged as traces of each other during the last two hundred years.

Dying for God Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism

Dying for God Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/11/1999

Not long ago, everyone knew that Judaism came before Christianity. More recently, scholars have begun to recognize that the historical picture is quite a bit more complicated than that. In the Jewish world of the first century, many sects competed for the name of the true Israel and the true interpreter of the Torah-the Talmud itself speaks of seventy-and the form of Judaism that was to be the seedbed of what eventually became the Christian Church was but one of these many sects. Scholars have come to realize that we can and need to speak of a twin birth of Christianity and Judaism, not a genealogy in which one is parent to the other.In this book, the author develops a revised understanding of the interactions between nascent Christianity and nascent Judaism in late antiquity, interpreting the two new religions as intensely and complexly intertwined throughout this period. Although the officials of the eventual winners in both communities-the Rabbis in Judaism and the orthodox leaders in Christianity-sought to deny it, until the end of late antiquity many people remained both Christians and Jews. This resulted, among other things, in much shared religious innovation that affected the respective orthodoxies as well.Dying for God aims to establish this model as a realistic one through close and comparative readings of contemporary Christian texts and Talmudic narratives that thematize the connections and differences between Christians and Jews as these emerged around the issue of martyrdom. The author argues that, in the end, the developing discourse of martyrology involved the circulation and exchange of cultural and religious innovations between the two communities as they moved toward sharper self-definition.

Dying for God Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism

Dying for God Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/1999

Not long ago, everyone knew that Judaism came before Christianity. More recently, scholars have begun to recognize that the historical picture is quite a bit more complicated than that. In the Jewish world of the first century, many sects competed for the name of the true Israel and the true interpreter of the Torah-the Talmud itself speaks of seventy-and the form of Judaism that was to be the seedbed of what eventually became the Christian Church was but one of these many sects. Scholars have come to realize that we can and need to speak of a twin birth of Christianity and Judaism, not a genealogy in which one is parent to the other.In this book, the author develops a revised understanding of the interactions between nascent Christianity and nascent Judaism in late antiquity, interpreting the two new religions as intensely and complexly intertwined throughout this period. Although the officials of the eventual winners in both communities-the Rabbis in Judaism and the orthodox leaders in Christianity-sought to deny it, until the end of late antiquity many people remained both Christians and Jews. This resulted, among other things, in much shared religious innovation that affected the respective orthodoxies as well.Dying for God aims to establish this model as a realistic one through close and comparative readings of contemporary Christian texts and Talmudic narratives that thematize the connections and differences between Christians and Jews as these emerged around the issue of martyrdom. The author argues that, in the end, the developing discourse of martyrology involved the circulation and exchange of cultural and religious innovations between the two communities as they moved toward sharper self-definition.

A Radical Jew Paul and the Politics of Identity

A Radical Jew Paul and the Politics of Identity

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/11/1997

Daniel Boyarin turns to the Epistles of Paul as the spiritual autobiography of a first-century Jewish cultural critic. What led Paul - in his dramatic conversion to Christianity - to such a radical critique of Jewish culture? Paul's famous formulation, 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, no male and female in Christ', demonstrates the genius of Christianity: its concern for all people. The genius of Judaism is its validation of genealogy and cultural, ethnic difference. But the evils of these two thought systems are the obverse of their geniuses: Christianity has threatened to coerce universality, while ethnic difference is one of the most troubled issues in modern history. Boyarin posits a 'diaspora identity' as a way to negotiate the pitfalls inherent in either position. Jewishness disrupts categories of identity because it is not national, genealogical, or even religious, but all of these, in dialectical tension with one another. It is analogous with gender: gender identity makes us different in some ways but not in others. An exploration of these tensions in the Pauline corpus, argues Boyarin, will lead us to a richer appreciation of our own cultural quandaries as male and female, gay and straight, Jew and Palestinian - and as human beings.

Unheroic Conduct The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man

Unheroic Conduct The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/06/1997

In a book that will both enlighten and provoke, Daniel Boyarin offers an alternative to the prevailing Euro-American warrior/patriarch model of masculinity and recovers the Jewish ideal of the gentle, receptive male. The Western notion of the aggressive, sexually dominant male and the passive female reaches back through Freud to Roman times, but as Boyarin makes clear, such gender roles are not universal. Analyzing ancient and modern texts, he reveals early rabbis - studious, family-oriented - as exemplars of manhood and the prime objects of female desire in traditional Jewish society. Challenging those who view the 'feminized Jew' as a pathological product of the Diaspora or a figment of anti-Semitic imagination, Boyarin argues that the Diaspora produced valuable alternatives to the dominant cultures' overriding gender norms. He finds the origins of the rabbinic model of masculinity in the Talmud, and though unrelentingly critical of rabbinic society's oppressive aspects, he shows how it could provide greater happiness for women than the passive gentility required by bourgeois European standards. Boyarin also analyzes the self-transformation of three iconic Viennese modern Jews: Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis; Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism; and Bertha Pappenheim (Anna O.), the first psychoanalytic patient and founder of Jewish feminism in Germany. Pappenheim is Boyarin's hero: it is she who provides him with a model for a militant feminist, anti-homophobic transformation of Orthodox Jewish society today. Like his groundbreaking Carnal Israel , this book is talmudic scholarship in a whole new light, with a vitality that will command attention from readers in feminist studies, history of sexuality, Jewish culture, and the history of psychoanalysis.

Carnal Israel Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture

Carnal Israel Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/1995

Beginning with a startling endorsement of the patristic view of Judaism - that it was a 'carnal' religion, in contrast to the spiritual vision of the Church - Daniel Boyarin argues that rabbinic Judaism was based on a set of assumptions about the human body that were profoundly different from those of Christianity. The body - specifically, the sexualized body - could not be renounced, for the Rabbis believed as a religious principle in the generation of offspring and hence in intercourse sanctioned by marriage. This belief bound men and women together and made impossible the various modes of gender separation practiced by early Christians. The commitment to coupling did not imply a resolution of the unequal distribution of power that characterized relations between the sexes in all late-antique societies. But Boyarin argues strenuously that the male construction and treatment of women in rabbinic Judaism did not rest on a loathing of the female body. Thus, without ignoring the currents of sexual domination that course through the Talmudic texts, Boyarin insists that the rabbinic account of human sexuality, different from that of the Hellenistic Judaisms and Pauline Christianity, has something important and empowering to teach us today.

Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash

Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash

Author: Daniel Boyarin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/1994

Proceeding by means of intensive readings of passages from the early midrash on Exodus The Mekilta, Boyarin proposes a new theory of midrash that rests in part on an understanding of the heterogeneity of the biblical text and the constraining force of rabbinic ideology on the production of midrash. In a forceful combination of theory and reading, Boyarin raises profound questions concerning the interplay between history, ideology, and interpretation.