Monday, September 03, 2018

Universalism and Joseph and Aseneth

Beyond “Universalism versus Particularism” in the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christianity: A Note on Aseneth[1]

The story devises what we might call a “strategy” of gentile inclusion, providing a synthetic argument in favor of gentile incorporation through its creative appropriation of theological language from Jewish scriptures. The text fashions Israel’s “living God” as the universal, life-giving, creator God who may bestow (new) life to all creatures, including those originally excluded.

See Also: Arguing with Aseneth: Gentile Access to Israel’s Living God in Jewish Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2018).

By Jill Hicks-Keeton
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
University of Oklahoma
August 2018
For my part, I remain unconvinced that Joseph and Aseneth is a first-century Jewish work rather than a late-antique Christian one. It could be either. Or something else. Therefore I am hesitant about any argument that uses it as a basis for evaluating universalism in ancient Judaism. I have more comments on the question of the provenance of the work here.

Then again, I have not read Dr. Hicks-Keaton's book. Perhaps it would persuade me. I noted the publication of the book here and a related (and relevant) article here.

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