The Encyclopaedia of Judaism provides a full and reliable account of Judaism, beginning in ancient Israelite times and extending to our own day. These five volumes encompass much of what we know about Judaism, the religion, its diverse history, literature, beliefs past and present, observances and practices, and place in the context of society and culture. All principal topics required for the systematic description of Judaism as a religion—its world view, way of life, theory of the social entity constituted by the faithful—are addressed here.
The Encyclopaedia of Judaism provides a definitive account of contemporary Judaism and a reliable picture of a tradition of nearly four thousand years. A full and detailed index provides ready-reference for facts, and the systematic articles set forth highly readable accounts of the entire range of Judaic systems of belief and behavior put forth over time and in our own time. It is written for people from all backgrounds, scholars and general readers alike. The work offers neither a defense nor a critique of Judaism, or religion in general.
For its distinguished international board of contributors, the editors have sought a broad and representative variety of viewpoint so that objectivity and academic authority characterize the presentations. The encyclopedia is the work of many experts from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, continental Europe, Australia, and the Middle East, and has more than 150 signed, self-contained, and cross-referenced essays and articles.
The history of Judaism is laid out both by chronological periods and geographical regions. The holy books from ancient Israelite Scripture to the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish mysticism, ethics, law, synagogue design, relation to other religions, politics, natural sciences, sociology, and anthropology—all are expounded in detail. Topics of acute contemporary interest—medical ethics, women and Judaism, Zionism, and others—are also treated in a comprehensive manner. In short, The Encyclopaedia of Judaism is a definitive work on what is a living religion, and not merely an ethnic culture or a historical tradition.
When the editors completed the initial three volumes of The Encyclopaedia of Judaism, they found satisfaction in having covered the more than one hundred topics. But they also realized that many other important topics remained to be set forth in a systematic way. This led to Supplements One and Two (Volumes 4 and 5), offering new inquiries into the history, practices, and theology of Judaism.
The Logos edition of Encyclopaedia of Judaism includes all five published volumes of this award-winning overview of Judaism—comprising nearly 2,500 pages and more than 150 entries!
The Encyclopaedia of Judaism was selected as CHOICE's "Outstanding Academic Title for 2000" and chosen by the American Library Association as "Outstanding Reference Source 2001."
What follows is a sample of the articles included.
With more than 100 lengthy essays, this exceptional work on Judaism covers more than its historical framework. The Encyclopedia of Judaism provides complete and accurate coverage of Judaism—everything from its history, beliefs, and observances, from the beginning to modern times. It is an excellent source written by scholars.
—"Outstanding Reference Sources," American Libraries, May 2001
It is actually more than an ordinary encyclopedia. It is a substantial reference book. I recommend the Encyclopaedia of Judaism to everyone who wants to get reliable information about major subjects in Judaism in a compact . . . usefully detailed, format.
—Ithamar Grünwald, Tel Aviv University
I warmly recommend this new Encyclopedia of Judaism also to Christian readers. The names of the editors and authors guarantee not only high academic standards, but also an intimate understanding of the worldview, the way of life, and the social reality of Judaism both past and present.
—Hans Küng, Professor Emeritus of Ecumenical Theology, University of Tübingen
It has been recently said that 'the Christian ignorance of Judaism is one of the great tragicomedies of history.' . . . The Encyclopedia of Judaism will be a splendid resource to combat that epidemic of ignorance, not only for Christians and for neutral observers, but also, I suspect, for an American Judaism that is increasingly in need of finding ways, as the prophet Isaiah admonished, to 'look unto the rock whence ye are hewn.'
—Jaroslav Pelikan, Sterling Professor Emeritus, Yale University
The Encyclopaedia of Judaism is an essential resource for those interested in learning more about Jewish life.
—Dr. Alfred Gottschalk, President of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York
Alan J. Avery Peck is a fine co-editor, responsible for useful and sometimes ground-breaking authority. Avery Peck gives us the state of scholarship and useful bibliographies at the end of his many fine articles. I also admire Mendes-Flohr on modern philosophies and theologies of Judaism, Hoffman on Liturgy, Salkin on New Age Judaism, Wolfson on Jewish Mysticism, and Ravitsky on Zionism and Judaism. . . . Neusner himself offers a brilliant, highly original treatment of the Conservative Judaism in which he was trained. . . . The illustrations are breathtaking and important.
—Review of Biblical Literature
...[T]his is a fine reference work on a mosaic of topics informed by competent scholarship and spouting a wellspring of Jewish knowledge and attitudes.
—Zev Garber, Los Angeles Valley College
Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. He is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, and a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ.
Alan J. Avery-Peck is Kraft-Hiatt Professor of Judaic Studies in the Religious Studies Department of the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts.
William Scott Green is Professor of Religion, Philip S. Bernstein Professor of Judaic Studies, and Dean of the College at the University of Rochester.