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Galilee: History, Politics, People
From The Publisher:
Two major religions originated in Galilee: rabbinic Judaism and Christianity. Both of these religions stem from and lay claim to ancient Israelite traditions that were cultivated in Galilee as well as in Judea and Samaria. According to the Christian Gospels, Jesus, whose hometown was Nazareth, carried out his ministry primarily in Galilee. Following the Roman suppression of two widespread revolts in Judea, rabbinic traditions indicate that the rabbis and other Judeans relocated to Galilee where they established academies and compiled first the Mishnah and later the Jerusalem Talmud. The rise of Islam, of course, produced yet another religion whose faithful value this territory.
In recent times, renewed quests for the historical Jesus, critical studies of rabbinic literature, and intesified archaeological explorations have led to a revived interest in Galilee. Questions about Jesus' teachings and activities require information regarding the social context of his ministry. Similarly, the rulings of the rabbis are no longer deemed satisfying when taken as abstract teachings apart from their context. And archaeologists have found new material evidence of urban and rural life in Galilee, Greek as well as Hebrew and Aramaic languages, and pagan as well as Jewish symbols in the decor of synagogues. All of this together has made possible a greater awareness of social structures in Galilee and more in-depth analyses of the area.
Horsley (classics and religion, U. of Mass.-Boston) studies the basic political and economic relations that prevailed in Roman Palestine, focusing on implications for the residents of Galilee. He looks at the roots of Galilean independence, the city between Roman conquests, and Roman imperial rule, as well as family structures, village economy, synagogues as village assemblies, and popular unrest in the city. For scholars and general readers interested in the historical Jesus and the Christian Gospel traditions. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
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About the Author
Richard A. Horlsey is Professor of Classics and Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is author of Galilee: History, Politics, People; Archaeology, History, and Society in Galilee: The Social Context of Jesus and the Rabbis; and editor of Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society, all published by Trinity Press.
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