Jörg Rüpke, Pantheon: A New History of Roman Religion, Translated by David M. B. Richardson. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018.
I am a student of rabbinic literature, and my subjects are observers and critics of Roman practice of all kinds — including the practices which are lumped together under the heading of “Religion.” My interest in what is called Roman religion stems from a need to understand the relationships my subjects, the rabbis and their followers, had with it. What did they “borrow” from the Romans in their religion? What did they reject? In what ways was rabbinic worship a Roman cult, and how was it decidedly not Roman? How did Jews who were not rabbis perform “Roman-ness” in their religion, how did the rabbis do so, and what did they have to say about it?
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