Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus

Paperback | April 11, 1998

bySusannah Heschel

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Was Jesus the founder of Christianity or a teacher of Judaism? When he argued the latter based on the New Testament, Abraham Geiger ignited an intense debate that began in nineteenth-century Germany but continues to this day.

Geiger, a pioneer of Reform Judaism and a founder of Jewish studies, developed a Jewish version of Christian origins. He contended that Jesus was a member of the Pharisees, a progressive and liberalizing group within first-century Judaism, and that he taught nothing new or original. This argument enraged German Protestant theologians, some of whom produced a tragic counterargument based on racial theory.

In this fascinating book, Susannah Heschel traces the genesis of Geiger's argument and examines the reaction to it within Christian theology. She concludes that Geiger initiated an intellectual revolt by the colonized against the colonizer, an attempt not to assimilate into Christianity by adopting Jesus as a Jew, but to overthrow Christian intellectual hegemony by claiming that Christianity—and all of Western civilization—was the product of Judaism.

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From Our Editors

Was Jesus the founder of Christianity or a teacher of Judaism? When 19th-century German religious reformer Abraham Geiger argued the latter, he began a debate that continues to this day. Here Susannah Heschel traces the genesis of Geiger's contention and examines the reaction to it within Christian theology. 3 photos

From the Publisher

Was Jesus the founder of Christianity or a teacher of Judaism? When he argued the latter based on the New Testament, Abraham Geiger ignited an intense debate that began in nineteenth-century Germany but continues to this day.Geiger, a pioneer of Reform Judaism and a founder of Jewish studies, developed a Jewish version of Christian ori...

Susannah Heschel is the Eli Black Associate Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College. She is the coeditor of Insider/Outsider: Multiculturalism and American Jews and the editor of On Being a Jewish Feminist: A Reader and Moral Grandeur and Spirited Audacity: Essays on Abraham Joshua Heschel.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:332 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:April 11, 1998Publisher:University Of Chicago Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226329593

ISBN - 13:9780226329598

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Reversing the Gaze
Ch. 1: The Creation of a Historical Theologian
Ch. 2: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Prelude of Revisionist Configurations
Ch. 3: Reconceiving Early Judaism
Ch. 4: D. F. Strauss, the Tubingen School, and Albrecht Ritschl
Ch. 5: The Jewish Jesus and the Protestant Flight from the Historical Jesus
Ch. 6: From Jesus to Christianity: Geiger on the Postapostolic Era
Ch. 7: Fixing the Theological Gaze: The Reception of Geiger's Work
Conclusion
Notes
Index

From Our Editors

Was Jesus the founder of Christianity or a teacher of Judaism? When 19th-century German religious reformer Abraham Geiger argued the latter, he began a debate that continues to this day. Here Susannah Heschel traces the genesis of Geiger's contention and examines the reaction to it within Christian theology. 3 photos