Recent social-scientific study has explored the role of boundaries in the construction and maintenance of identity as points of transformation and negotiation as well as of exclusion. Applied to Judaism, her boundary-markers are shown to be more fluid and subject to selection and transformation than is often recognized. Patterns of continuity and of discontinuity with these produce different and even competing understandings of early Christianity. Different contexts and different genres also highlight different boundary lines, while in all cases there is evidence that socially these boundaries between groups were regularly crossed or negotiated.
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