Encyclopaedia of Judaism

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Subject: Jewish Studies

General Editors: Jacob Neusner, Alan J. Avery-Peck and William Scott Green

The Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online offers more than 200 entries comprising more than 1,000,000 words and is a unique reference tool.  The Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online offers an authoritative, comprehensive, and systematic presentation of the current state of scholarship on fundamental issues of Judaism, both past and present. While heavy emphasis is placed on the classical literature of Judaism and its history, the Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online also includes principal entries on circumcision, genetic engineering, homosexuality, intermarriage in American Judaism, and other acutely contemporary issues. Comprehensive and up-to-date, it reflects the highest standards in scholarship. Covering a tradition of nearly four thousand years, some of the most distinguished scholars in the field describe the way of life, history, art, theology, philosophy, and the practices and beliefs of the Jewish people.

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Mysticism, Judaism and

(9,179 words)

Author(s): Wolfson, Elliot R.
It is a commonplace in the history of religions to assume that most, if not all, religions have a tradition of mysticism associated with them. Generally speaking, the mystical element is linked to intense and often extreme forms of consciousness that relate one way or another to an encountering of ultimate reality, identified in theisitc religions as God. But can we really speak of a universalist phenomenon called “mysticism”? Or is it better to speak of mysticism relative to the specific contex…

Mythology, Judaism and

(14,987 words)

Author(s): Breslauer,S. Daniel
The renowned historian of religion and student of religious myth, Mircea Eliade, commented that the term “myth” as used today has become “somewhat equivocal.” In ordinary usage the term means a false idea, a story that lacks truth. By contrast, as used by “ethnologists, sociologists, and historians of religions” the term indicates a “sacred” story, a narrative that serves as an “exemplary model.” The two definitions conflict. While the second emphasizes myth's positive characteristics, the first…