Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-67wsf Total loading time: 0.297 Render date: 2022-05-24T00:42:41.272Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

5 - Who was considered an apostate in the Jewish Diaspora?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2010

Graham N. Stanton
Affiliation:
King's College London
Guy G. Stroumsa
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Get access

Summary

Tolerance has its limits in any community which wishes to preserve its identity. Boundaries which create distinctions between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ have to be established and maintained if a community is to survive, especially a minority community in a pluralist environment. Most Jewish communities in the Diaspora appear to have been successful in preserving their social and religious identity, in many cases over hundreds of years. Where, then, did they fix the boundaries which defined the distinction between members and non-members? This question has often been addressed in enquiring how Gentiles were considered to have crossed the boundary and come into the Jewish community; but remarkably little attention has been paid to the opposite phenomenon, that is, how Jews were considered to have crossed the boundary and passed out of Judaism. Recent studies have rightly emphasized the variety within Second Temple Judaism, its multifarious strands making it difficult to define universal standards of ‘acceptability’ within Judaism. Yet individual Jewish communities, however diverse they may have been, must have preserved some sense of ‘proper’ behaviour which made it possible to castigate actual or potential ‘apostasy’. To detect where the boundaries lay in this regard would not only shed light on the maintenance of Jewish identity in the Diaspora; it would also provide some hints as to how the fateful division between early Christianity and Judaism took shape in the cities of the Graeco-Roman world.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1998

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
3
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×