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An Ancient List of Christian Festivals in Toledot Yeshu: Polemics as Indication for Interaction*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2009

Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra*
Affiliation:
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Université Aix-Marseille

Extract

Calendars, liturgy, and especially festivals offer a convenient vantage point from which to analyze collective identities. They can provide access to group mentalities rather than to the ideas of individual intellectuals, which are often more or less confined to ivory towers.1 Ritual addresses the whole human being—the intellect, emotions, and body—and it does so by establishing and defining relations between the individual, his or her in-group, and the out-group.2 Every collective identity is formed and reformed in a continuous process encompassing exchange with, as well as distinction from, other possible collective identities.3 Sometimes, this construction of a “we” in distinction from “them” is explicit, while at other times it takes place in a more clandestine and encrypted fashion.

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ARTICLES
Copyright
Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 2009

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