The Stranger within Your Gates: Converts and Conversion in Rabbinic Literature (BOK)

Gary G. Porton

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If the people of Israel understood themselves to share a common ancestry as well as a common religion, how could a convert to their faith who did not share their ethnicity fit into the ancient Israelite community? While it is comparatively simple to declare religious beliefs, it is much more difficult to enter a group whose membership is defined in ethnic terms. In showing how the rabbis struggled continually with the dual nature of the Israelite community and the dilemma posed by converts, Gary G. Porton explains aspects of their debates. This text analyzes references to converts in the full corpus of rabbinic literature. The intellectual dilemma in discussions of marriage, religious practice, inheritance of property and much else are explored here. Reviewing the rabbinic literature text by text, Porton exposes the rabbis' frequently ambivalent and ambiguous views. The text focuses upon the opinions of the community into which the convert enters, rather than on the testimony of the convert. By approaching data with various methods, Porton aims to increase the reader's understanding of conversion and the nature of the people of Israel in rabbinic literature.


Språk Engelsk Engelsk Innbinding Innbundet
Utgitt 1994 Forfatter Gary G. Porton
University of Chicago Press
ISBN 9780226675862
Antall sider 424 Dimensjoner 20cm x 25cm x 3,3cm
Vekt 792 gram Leverandør Bertram Trading Ltd
Emner og form Anthropology, Jewish studies, Judaism, Literary theory