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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of this book presents an overview of the concepts discussed in the various chapters of this book. The book offers snapshots of a living world of references, which we call generalizing and therefore historically distorting, Judaism. It is divided into four parts which reflect different methodological approaches and source material. The first part discusses the construction of the body in specific historical and social contexts. The second part discusses normative texts and examines the construction of the ideal Jewish body in law codes and responsa. The third part includes four articles with a particular focus on Jewish mysticism, thought, and philosophy with reference to body, mind and soul and their correlation. The fourth part deals with Jews in a Christian environment and the impact of their traditions on Christianity.

Keywords: Christianity; ideal Jewish body; Jewish mysticism; Jewish pilosophy; Jewish thought; Judaism

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