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“They Shall Purify Themselves”: Essays on Purity in Early Judaism
Susan Haber; Adele Reinhartz, editor
EJL 24
Publication Date
September 2008



Recent decades have witnessed numerous studies of the role of purity in early Judaism, from ancient Israel to the rabbinic period, covering a variety of topics and approaches. The essays in this volume address three less-studied areas of this broader field: the connection, if any, between purity and the synagogue; Jesus’ observance of purity laws; and women’s relationships with purity in the first century. By providing a new perspective on the role of purity in first-century Judaism, this stimulating and refreshing collection illuminates ancient practice and informs our understanding of the role of purity in the contemporary world.

The late Susan Haber was a doctoral student in religious studies at McMaster University. Much of her work was on purity in early Judaism. Adele Reinhartz is Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa. She is the author of Jesus of Hollywood (Oxford University Press) and Befriending the Beloved Disciple: A Jewish Reading of the Gospel of John (Continuum), and co-editor of Jesus, Judaism, and Christian Anti-Judaism: Reading the New Testament After the Holocaust (Westminster John Knox).