Edited by Paul F. Bradshaw and Lawrence A. Hoffman
Passover and Easter constitute for Jews and Christians respectively the most important festivals of the year. Although sharing a common root, the feasts have developed in quite distinct ways in the two traditions, in part independently of one another and in part in reaction against the other. Following the pattern set in earlier volumes in this series, these two volumes bring together a group of distinguished Jewish and Christian scholars to explore the history of the two celebrations, paying particular attention to similarities and connections between them as well as to differences and contrasts. They not only present a convenient summary of current historical thought but also open up new perspectives on the evolution of these annual observances.
Volume 5 in the series focuses especially on the origins and early development of the feasts and on the way that established practices have changed in recent years. Volume 6, also in the series, focuses on the contexts in which they occur—the periods of preparation for the feasts in the respective calendars and their connection to Shavuot/Pentecost—as well as to their traditional expression in art and music. At the same time, the essays raise some fundamental questions about the future. Have modern human beings so lost the sense of sacred time in their lives, for instance, that these great feasts can never again be what they once were for former generations of believers? And what about recent attempts by some Christians to enter into their heritage by celebrating a Jewish Seder as part of their annual Holy Week and Easter services?
Specialists and general readers alike will find much to interest and challenge them within these two additions to what has become a highly regarded series in the world of liturgical scholarship.
“In these companion volumes of essays, Jewish and Christian liturgical scholars examine, from historical, theological, and aesthetic perspectives, the practices and intricate interrelationships of Passover and Easter. Several essays lament the antisemitism that has infected the Easter liturgy, and one—Israel Yuval’s ‘Easter and Passover as Early Jewish-Christian Dialogue’—pushes beyond the oft-told tale of Jewish-Christian enmity to explore ways the development of worship patterns of the two faiths have influenced one another. Both volumes are required purchases for libraries supporting liturgical studies. Volume 5 would also be a good choice for broader collections in the history of Judaism and Christianity.” — Choice
“Continuing as in past volumes of this series, the editors present collections of essays from both Judaic and Christian scholars regarding these Holy Days. One question dealt with is ‘Have these two highest holy days lost some of their emphasis and practice in our modern day world?’ Volume 5 focuses on the origins and early development of the feasts and the ways that established practices have changed in recent years. Volume 6 deals with the contexts in which these Holy Days occur, the periods of preparations for them as feast days in the liturgical year, their traditional expression in art and music, and their connection to the succeeding season of Shavuot/Pentecost. Collectively they explore the ‘sense of sacred time’ and its meanings in relationship to modern day Judaism/Christianity. And what about attempts by some Christians to enter into their heritage by celebrating a Jewish Seder as part of their annual Holy Week and Easter services? These questions will be of import to specialists and general lay-persons alike as both take our religious practices into a new and more complex millennium.” — Church and Synagogue Libraries