In this book contemporary Judaism is presented in all its rich diversity, including both traditional and modern theologies as well as secular forms of Jewish identity. While the focus of the book is on developments that have taken place in the past two hundred years, they are set against a historical background, going back to the Bible. Beginning with a description of the Jewish people as it exists in today's world, it studies the unique concept of Jewish peoplehood and its survival over the centuries in the face of many challenges. An account of the key texts is followed by studies of the different interpretations of the religion, and the ways that life is lived out both in the home and in the community. Jewish theology is described both historically and in terms of contemporary issues. An important and distinctive section considers the goals of Jewish life and faith.
Nicholas de Lange is Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies in the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge. A distinguished scholar and translator, he is author of The Penguin Dictionary of Judaism (2008), Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide (2005) edited with Miri Freud-Kandel, and of an edited translation of Colette Sirat's Hebrew Manuscripts of the Middle Ages (2002, 2008).
List of tables; List of illustrations; Preface; Chronology; Map of the Jewish world in 1930; Map of the Jewish world in the 2000s; 1. The Jews in the world; 2. The Jewish people and its past; 3. Jewish books; 4. The Jewish religion; 5. The family; 6. The community; 7. God and the Jewish people; 8. Objectives; 9. Judaism and the future; Glossary; Further reading; Index.