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The Encyclopaedia of Judaism: Volumes 1-5

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 religionЧits world view, way of life, theory of the social entity constituted by the faithfulЧare addressed here.

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."

The Logos edition of Encyclopaedia of Judaism includes all five published volumes of this award-winning overview of JudaismЧcomprising nearly 2,500 pages and more than 150 entries!

Additional Information

Edited by: Jacob Neusner, Alan J. Avery-Peck, and William Scott Green
Publisher: Brill
5 volumes; 2,484 pages

Published by Brill Academic Publishers in collaboration with the Museum of Jewish Heritage and Continuum.

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 anthropologyЧall are expounded in detail. Topics of acute contemporary interestЧmedical ethics, women and Judaism, Zionism, and othersЧare 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.

Benefits of the Electronic Edition

The Libronix DLS-compatible edition of this encyclopedia integrates all entries from Supplements I and II (Volumes IV and V in print) into the main body of the text. That is, the electronic edition presents the encyclopedia as a unified whole, with all entries sorted alphabetically from A-Z.

The electronic edition also includes the kind of advanced features our users have come to expect. Bible references and footnotes are tagged as hotspots; one click opens your preferred Bible version directly to the passage cited or pops open the footnote, without moving you away from the text you're reading. Hovering the mouse pointer over these hotspots brings up a temporary window with a preview of the same information.

Of course, the full text (and footnotes) are searchable. You are able to search the encyclopedia for every reference to a particular Bible passage or topic, or references to Josephus and Philo. And the work is easy to navigate via the table of contents pane or the Current Reference box.

What's more, the added functionality of the electronic edition comes at a far lower price than the print edition! Right now the best price we could find on the complete 5 volume print set is $429.99 on sale!

Praise for the Print Edition

"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 JudaismЧeverything 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 Grunwald, 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 Kung, Professor Emeritus of Ecumenical Theology, University of Tubingen

"It has been 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 under 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

"...This 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, Review of Biblical Literature 01/2005, reviewing Volume 5, Supplement 2

Table of Contents

What follows is a sample of the articles included.

  • Art and Material Culture of Judaism
  • Conservative Judaism
  • Dead Sea Writings
  • Practice of Judaism in Eastern Europe
  • Ethics of Judaism
  • Halakhah; Law in Judaism
  • The Practice of Judaism During the Holocaust
  • Islamic Doctrines of Judaism
  • Land of Israel in Classical Judaism
  • Jerusalem in Judaism
  • Masculine and Feminine in Judaism
  • Medical Ethics of Judaism
  • Judaism and Mysticism
  • Practice of Judaism in North America
  • Passover Haggadah
  • Judaism and Psychology
  • Purity and Impurity in Judaism
  • Rabbi
  • Reform Judaism
  • Scripture in Classical Judaism
  • Soul in Judaism
  • Medieval and Modern Synagogues
  • Judaism and Zionism

About the Editors

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.

Sample Screenshot and Illustrations

The following screenshot is taken from the Logos edition of The Encyclopedia of Judaism.


Sample photos included in the encyclopedia as illustrations. These are taken from the electronic edition. Click an image to see it at 500 pixels wide, the size it appears in the electronic edition.


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