Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel : The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life
Winner of the 2006 National Jewish Book Award in Scholarship awarded by the Jewish Book Council
2007 Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible given by the Biblical Archaeology Society
Selected as Finalist for the 2008 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion
This provocative volume explores the origins of the Jewish doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. Jon D. Levenson argues that, contrary to a very widespread misconception, the ancient rabbis were keenly committed to the belief that at the end of time, God would restore the deserving dead to life. In fact, Levenson points out, the rabbis saw the Hebrew Bible itself as committed to that idea.
The author meticulously traces the belief in resurrection backward from its undoubted attestations in rabbinic literature and in the Book of Daniel, showing where the belief stands in continuity with earlier Israelite culture and where it departs from that culture. Focusing on the biblical roots of resurrection, Levenson challenges the notion that it was a foreign import into Judaism, and in the process he develops a neglected continuity between Judaism and Christianity. His book will shake the thinking of scholars and lay readers alike, revising the way we understand the history of Jewish ideas about life, death, and the destiny of the Jewish people.
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Yale University Press
April 16, 2008
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