The Jewish People: Their History and Their Religion (Penguin Religion & Mythology)

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9780140154917: The Jewish People: Their History and Their Religion (Penguin Religion & Mythology)

The first part of this illustrated volume offers a survey of Jewish history and literature. The second part presents what the preface describes as 'a thematic analysis of the teachings and practice of Judaism'.

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About the Author:

Rabbi Dr. David J. Goldberg OBE is Emeritus Rabbi of The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London, having served the congregation as Associate then Senior Rabbi since 1975. The Liberal Jewish Synagogue is one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious Progressive congregations in the world, with an eminent membership that includes many well-known figures in the Arts, theatre, academia and public life.Educated at Manchester Grammar School, Oxford University and Trinity College, Dublin, David Goldberg received his rabbinic ordination from Leo Baeck College, London in 1971.Widely known in Jewish and general circles for his radical theological views and trenchant criticisms of Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories, he is a regular contributor on religious and political topics to BBC programmes and leading newspapers such as The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Independent, etc. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Jewish People: Their History and their Religion (Viking,1987, Penguin,1989), Towards the Promised Land: A History of Zionist Thought (Penguin,1996), the Italian edition of which won the 1999 Premio Iglesias as best book in the Religion and Culture category (it is shortly to be reissued by Faber Finds), and The Divided Self: Israel and the Jewish Psyche Today (I B Tauris, 2006). A long-time advocate of Israel-Palestine peace, he was one of the first British Jews to be invited to meet President Arafat after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. In 1999, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the International Council of Christians and Jews for his 'outstanding contribution to interfaith harmony', having been the initiator of the first Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue meetings to be held in the UK. In 2004 he had the Order of Officer of the British Empire (OBE) conferred on him by HM the Queen in recognition of his services to interfaith work.

From Publishers Weekly:

For the overwhelming majority of Jews under Roman rule, Jesus of Nazareth was just one more tragic, fallible victim of the struggle against an oppressive regime. In this scholarly history by two London rabbis of the Progressive branch of Judaism, unfolding events are interpreted as they were felt and lived by the Jewish people. Ever since the French Revolution, when Judaism lost its hold as an all-embracing amalgam of faith and behavior, Jews' responses to the modern world have ranged from conversion or assimilation to fervent nationalism. The narrative, alternately brisk and dry, helps explain how a tiny, persecuted, exiled people maintained a distinctive cultural identity and sense of mission. In extensive sections on ethics, belief, literature and worship, the authors take a refreshingly unconventional approach. Reminding us that "Old Testament" is a Christian term alien to Judaism, they reexamine the Jewish Bible's sense of the cosmos as a unitary whole. Their view of Judaism as a set of mitzvoth (commandments), a code of conduct that each believer must rediscover, informs this challenging study.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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David F. Goldberg, John D. Rayner
Published by Penguin Books (1989)
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