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Hezser, Catherine (2021) 'Neighbour, Townsperson, and Fellow Creature: The Regulation of Inter-Human Relationships in Palestinian Rabbinic Texts.' In: Bjelland Kartzow, Marianne, (ed.), The Ambiguous Figure of the Neighbour in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions. London: Routledge, pp. 60-77. (Intersectional studies of Jewish, Christian and Islamic texts and receptions)

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This chapter examines the representation of “others” in Palestinian rabbinic texts from late antiquity in the form of concentric circles from the immediate space of the residential neighborhood to fellow local townspeople to all humans as God’s creatures. It shows that, in rabbinic discussions of neighborly relations and dealings with local business partners, the ethnicity and religion of the “other” is usually not specified but sometimes implied. Only in particular halakhic and social contexts did the non-Jewishness and Romanness of the “other” become relevant. Two Biblical ideas served as guiding principles in rabbinic concepts of interhuman relations, namely, the idea that humans were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) and the commandment to “love your neighbor like yourself” (Lev. 19:18). Rabbis understood both of these notions in a universalistic way, that is, they believed that they applied to all human beings, irrespective of their religious or ethnic backgrounds. This led to an anthropology grounded in theology: the treatment of other humans was seen as a direct reflection of one’s relationship to God.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of Religions & Philosophies
ISBN: 9780367637835
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 18:08

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