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Execution and Invention
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Execution and Invention: Death Penalty Discourse in Early Rabbinic and Christian Cultures

Beth A. Berkowitz

Abstract

Execution and Invention: Death Penalty Discourse in Early Rabbinic and Christian Cultures argues that ancient rabbis and Christians used death penalty discourse to invent themselves as figures of authority. This approach runs counter to much previous scholarship on the subject, which claims that ancient Jews opposed the death penalty and would have abolished it if not for its presence in the Bible. The book explores this scholarship and shows it to have been fueled by modern anti-Semitism, polemics with the the Jewish Enlightenment’s inheritance of anti-rabbinism, as well as contr ... More

Keywords: criminal execution, death penalty, authority, Rabbinic culture, Christian culture, ritual theory, postcolonial theory, capital punishment

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780195179194
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006 DOI:10.1093/0195179196.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Beth A. Berkowitz, author
Jewish Theological Seminary
Author Webpage