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By Shmuel N Eisenstadt

This quantity brings jointly a number of of Prof. S.N. Eisenstadt's essays written through the years on Jewish background and identification. the key argument of the essays follows the Weberian view of Jewish historic adventure as that of a special civilization, as a special nice faith, the 1st monotheistic civilization - with no, in spite of the fact that, accepting lots of Weber's concrete analyses. The middle of the argument that underlies those essays is, that the right way to comprehend the Jewish adventure is to seem on Jews not only as a spiritual or ethnic staff, state or "people," even supposing they've been all of those, yet as bearers of a special civilization. those essays research the historic adventure of the Jewish humans and groups in old medieval and sleek occasions within the framework of such civilizational research during which designated realization is given to the research of Israeli society and to the continuous altering position of Israel in a significant component to Jewish id, in keeping with the various historic adventure and collective agendas of the Jewish groups.

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Gaster, The Dead Sea Scriptures in English, Translation with Introduction and Notes (New York, 1964); the secondary sources on the Essenes, of course, are immense. 42 See on this point J. Katz, Tradition and Crisis (New York, 1961), ch. VIII. 43 M. N. Eisenstadt, The Protestant Ethic and Modernization, op. , pp. 109-135; H. N. Eisenstadt, op. , pp. 87-109. 44 XXII Accordingly, the institutional manifestation of these various orientations and molds in general, and of the tendencies to rationalization in particular, while greatly differing from those characteristic to the period of the First Temple, were also rather different from those implied by Weber’s analysis or explicitly stated by him.

Political Sociology, op. , pp. 121-126, and in comparison to city-states, pp. 178185. 16 chapter one The first such characteristic was that almost all of them constituted, within their broader setting, structural enclaves which were often, especially before the era of the Monarchy, but to some degree even during that era (especially in the Kingdom of Israel), short-lived and did not develop into permanent, distinct, ecological settings with continuous populations and identities of their own.

24 The groups, schools or sects of prophets singled out by Weber constituted an integral part of the panorama of carriers of models of cultural order and elites which entered into alliances with one another. It is of course true, as Weber emphasized, that the prophets were, within this broad framework, the carriers of the more “ethical” universalistic conception of God and His relation to the people of Israel. Yet 24 See B. Uffenheimer, Ancient Prophecy in Israel (Jerusalem, 1973) (Hebrew). On the transformation of monotheistic conceptions under the impact of prophetic visions see M.

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