Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity

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University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006 - Religion - 374 pages
4 Reviews

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.

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Review: Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity

User Review  - Paul - Goodreads

This was academic and thus a slow read, but I can see why it is highly recommended. Boyarin is a top scholar in Judeo-Christian studies, and his insights into the ancient vs. modern worldivew a ... Read full review

Review: Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity

User Review  - Zacharygs - Goodreads

Boyarin is always an interesting read, but having read through Le Boulluec's treatment of Heresiology, it became clear that Boyarin is really just riffin/ripping off of Le Boulluec's Foucauldian ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Daniel Boyarin is the Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture in the Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Dying for God: Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity, Judaism and A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity, and other books.

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