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This is a concise introduction to the contemporary challenges and key issues facing Judaism. For nearly four millennia, Judaism was essentially a unified religious system based on shared traditions. Despite the emergence of various sub-groups through the centuries such as the Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, Karaites, Shabbateans and Hasadim, Jewry was united in the belief in a providential God who had chosen the Jews as his special people and given them a code of law. In the modern period, however, the Jewish religion has fragmented into a series of separate denominations with competing ideologies and theological views. Despite the creation of the State of Israel, the Jewish people are deeply divided concerning the most fundamental issues of belief and practice. Judaism Today gives an account of the nature of traditional Judaism, provides an introduction to the various divisions that currently exist in the Jewish world and identifies and discusses contemporary issues with which the Jewish faith engages in the twenty-first century. This refreshing new approach focuses on how Judaism is actually perceived and practised by Jews themselves and the problems currently facing Jews worldwide. These useful guides aim to introduce religions through the lens of contemporary issues, illustrated throughout with examples and case studies taken from lived religion. The perfect companion for the student of religion, each guide interprets the teachings of the religion in question in a modern context and applies them to modern day scenarios.
Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Cambridge University (UK) and an honorary doctorate in divinity from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is currently Professor of Judaism at the University of Wales, UK, and is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Peer Review Council, UK. He has written numerous books, including The Paradox of Anti-Semitism, Dictionary of Jewish Biography, Messianic Judaism and Modern Judaism.