Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Anders Runesson
The present study explores the relevance of ethnic boundary maintenance for the development of Diaspora synagogues in the Graeco-Roman world. By investigating the possible relationship between ethnicity and synagogue development, the synagogue will be analyzed as a communal and ‘religious’ institution that contributed to the maintenance of a specific ethnic identity within a Diaspora context that challenged its very survival and existence. The main goal of the present study is to provide a new perspective of development and maintenance for Diaspora synagogues that eschews the idea of a dichotomous relationship between these synagogues and the Jerusalem Temple. Instead, a socio-historical approach will be presented that focuses on Jewish communities as a distinctive ethnic group that existed alongside other similar groups in the Graeco-Roman world and sought to maintain their collective ethnic identity. The synagogue served as a key driving force within this process of maintenance.
Ross, Whitney, "Ethnicity, Identity, and Institution: The Relevance of Ethnic Identity for the Development of Diaspora Synagogues" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7372.
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