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Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity

Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity
The Reception of Enochic Literature


  • Date Published: March 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521853781

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About the Authors
  • This book considers the early history of Jewish-Christian relations focussing on traditions about the fallen angels. In the Book of the Watchers, an Enochic apocalypse from the third century BCE, the 'sons of God' of Gen 6:1–4 are accused of corrupting humankind through their teachings of metalworking, cosmetology, magic, and divination. By tracing the transformations of this motif in Second Temple, Rabbinic, and early medieval Judaism and early, late antique, and Byzantine Christianity, this book sheds light on the history of interpretation of Genesis, the changing status of Enochic literature, and the place of parabiblical texts and traditions in the interchange between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. In the process, it explores issues such as the role of text-selection in the delineation of community boundaries and the development of early Jewish and Christian ideas about the origins of evil on the earth.

    • Wide-ranging scope, spanning over 1,000 years of Jewish and Christian history and integrating findings from traditionally distinct fields
    • Interdisciplinary approach, combining textual analysis with social history
    • Innovative approach to the history of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a book that will intrigue the interest of scholars working in biblical studies, Second Temple Judaism, rabbinic Judaism, Judaism in the early medieval period, Dead Sea Scrolls, and the history of Christianity (until the medieval period) … It is a must publication.' Loren Stuckenbruck, University of Durham

    'Reed has written a superb piece of scholarship. In my experience it is rare for someone to be able to examine such a diversity of texts with such impressive skill and insight. … It is really an excellent, impressive contribution.' James C. VanderKam, The University of Notre Dame

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521853781
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    1. Angelic descent and apocalyptic epistemology: the teachings of Enoch and the Fallen Angels in the Book of Watchers
    2. From scribalism to sectarianism: the angelic descent myth and the social settings of Enochic pseudepigraphy
    3. Primordial history and the problem of evil: Genesis, the Book of Watchers, and the fallen angels in pre-Rabbinic Judaism
    4. The parting of the ways? Enoch and the Fallen Angels in Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity
    5. Demonology and the construction of Christian identity: approaches to illicit angelic instruction among proto-Orthodox Christians
    6. The interpenetration of Jewish and Christian traditions in late antiquity: the exegesis of genesis and the marginalization of Enochic literature
    7. The apocalyptic roots of Merkabah Mysticism? The reemergence of Enochic traditions in post-Talmudic Judaism

  • Author

    Annette Yoshiko Reed, University of Pennsylvania
    Annette Yoshiko Reed is presently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University, where she teaches courses on the Hebrew Bible, early Judaism, and early Christianity. Her publications span the fields of Biblical Studies, Jewish Studies, and Patristics, and include articles in Journal of Biblical Literature, Jewish Studies Quarterly, Journal for the Study of Judaism, Vigiliae Christianae, and Journal of Early Christian Studies. She has co-edited two volumes, The Ways that Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (with Adam H. Becker, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003) and Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (with Ra'anan S. Boustan; Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004). She is presently working on a book about 'Jewish-Christianity' and the diversity of late antique Judaism.

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