Page 102 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 51

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
serious, scholarly work challenges the thesis propounded by such
Jewish scholars as Bamberger and such Christian scholars as
George Foot Moore that Jews actively sought to win converts. The
book joins other efforts by non-Jewish scholars who have consid­
ered this subject. Some o f these let their religious views color their
interpretations o f Jewish history, while others have provided val­
uable contributions to research and interpretation. Some o f the
important Christian authors and their principal works include:
W.D. Davies’s
P au l and Rabbinic Judaism: Some Rabbinic Elements
in Pauline Theology.
4th Edition. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press,
1980); Richard De Ridder’s
The Dispersion o f the People o f God,
re­
printed as
Discipling the Nations
(Grand Rapids: Baker Book House,
1975); Joachim Jeremias’s
Jesus’ Promise to the Nations
(London:
SCM, 1958); and George Foot Moore’s
Judaism in the First Centuries
o f the Christian Era; The Age o f the Tannaim
(Cambridge, Mass.: Har­
vard University Press, 1927-30), among many others.
J a c o b
S.
R a i s in ’s
Gentile Reactions to Jewish Ideals With Special Reference
to Proselytes
(New York: Philosophical Library, 1953) is a very schol­
arly, difficult but intellectually-rewarding work.
J o s e p h R. R o s e n b l o o m ’s
Conversion to Judaism: From the Biblical Period
to the Present
(Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1978) has
an extended bibliography and proceeds chronologically to explain
how the idea o f conversion developed in Jewish life. An important
work in the field.
J a c o b S a v in ’s
Judaism fo r Non-Jews
(N ew York : V a n ta g e P re ss ,
1975).
A n e x t e n d e d s e c t io n o f th is b o o k d is c u s se s h ow th e J ew ish p e o p l e
h a v e th o u g h t ab o u t c o n v e r s io n . S a v in ’s is n o t a sch o la r ly a p p ro a c h .
L a w r e n c e H . S c h i f fm a n ’s
Who Was A Jew?: Rabbinic and Halakhic Per­
spectives on the J ewish-Christian Schism
(H o b o k e n , N .J .: K tav,
1985).
S c h if fm a n p r o v id e s a s ch o la r ly ana ly s is o f th e h a lak h ic d e f in i t io n
o f J ew ish id en t ity . H e ha s a lo n g ch a p t e r o n c o n v e r s io n to J u d a ism .
For shorter works, the essays by Robert Goldenberg and Rob­
ert M. Seltzer in
Pushing the Faith: Proselytism and Civility in a
Pluralistic World,
edited by Martin E. Marty and Frederick E.
Greenspahn (New York: Crossroad, 1988), are excellent. There
are important essays by Martin A. Cohen and Daniel F. Polish
in
Christian Mission—Jewish Mission,
edited by Martin A. Cohen
and Helga Croner (New York: Paulist Press, 1982), and by Ben
Zion Bokser in
Issues in the J ewish-Christian Dialogue: Jewish Per­
spectives on Covenant, Mission and Witness,
edited by Helga Croner
and Leon Klenicki (New York: Paulist Press, 1979). There are
several important essays about Orthodox attitudes toward con­
version in David Ellenson’s
Tradition in Transition: Orthodoxy,