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Die Judenfrage and the construction of ancient judaism: Toward a foregrounding of the backgrounds approach to early christianity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is concerned with modern concepts and the colonial context of nationalism and racism, particularly as these pertain to the development of methods for analyzing and classifying Judaism in the past from within a decidedly Christian analytic. Walter Grundmann in his attempts to eradicate the influence of Judaism on German religious and cultural life offered highly problematic constructions of the historical Jesus. To what degree do the configurations that enabled Grundmann?s analysis persist by virtue of modern scholarly lack of engagement of the social and cultural structures embodied in and reified by the received methods and models of historical investigation and interpretation? The chapter focuses on the methods and intellectual practices of Christian biblical scholarship, particularly those scholars who focused on the ?backgrounds? of early Christian literature and history for the purposes of illuminating its concepts and ideas in historical context.

Keywords: biblical scholarship; colonial context; Die Judenfrage; early Christian literature; Judaism; nationalism; racism; Walter Grundmann



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