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The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies



Martin Goodman, Jeremy Cohen, and David Sorkin, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies new edition (Oxford University Press, 2005) 1056 pages.

What would you like to know about the Jewish people? Whatever it may be, there is a high probability that you will find information about it in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies. With forty-five different scholars contributing, and Oxford’s reputation for accuracy and reliability, this tome is a library of resources for your desk.

With 1,037 printed pages on subjects from history to language; literature to mysticism; and women’s studies to archeology are all covered. Even the arts: music, theatre, and film are included. Want an overview of Yiddish? It starts on page 541. Interested in how the Jewish people fared under Islamic rule? Read pages 193-218. There is a lot of talk about post-modernism in Christian circles. What about its affect on Judaism? See “Rabbinic Literature and Postmodern Literary Theory” on page 133.

If you are looking for in-depth information, The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies may not be your answer. This collection provides solid, basic overviews. However, each section contains pages of bibliography—citing a total of 133 other books—helping you in your own research.

Oxford did not cut corners on scholarship, with Princeton, Yale, and Tel Aviv Universities in the roster, to name only a few, the line up is impressive.

If you are looking for a concise and trustworthy source for information on our Jewish brethren, yesterday and today, then the $45 investment (for the paperback edition) will be worth it.

Reviewed by Kevin M. Williams


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Category: In Depth, Winter 2006

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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