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The Emergence of Theology and the Parting of the Ways

Emanuel Fiano

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A fresh look at how Christianity and Judaism became two distinct religions through the parting of their intellectual traditions
How, when, and why did Christianity and Judaism become separate religions? This book reinterprets the parting of the ways between Jews and Christians in late antiquity as a split between two intellectual traditions, a split that took place in the context of Christian theological debates. By demonstrating that the constitution of communal borders coincided with the elaboration of different ways of producing religious knowledge, Emanuel Fiano shows that Christian theological controversies, often thought to teach us nothing beyond the history of dogma, can cast light on the broader religious landscape of late antiquity.
Fiano marks not only a historical but also a methodological intervention in the study of the parting of the ways and in the study of late ancient religion more broadly. In his thought-provoking book we observe Christianity fall away from Judaism through the constitution of its own intellectual tradition, sustained by new practices for religious inquiry.

Emanuel Fiano is assistant professor of Syriac studies at Fordham University. He lives in New York City.

“A groundbreaking study on the intellectual and cultural history of early Christianity, this book will serve as a new starting point for any study on the subject of the parting or never-parting of the ways.”—Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

“In this thrilling book, Fiano’s arguments re-place the development of Christianity and its practice of establishing separation from something they call ‘Judaism’ in the very invention of theology as an intellectual discipline. This argument requires the Talmud skills of a Yeshiva student and the patristic knowledge of a monk. Fiano has both.”—Daniel Boyarin, author of The No-State Solution: A Jewish Manifesto

“This learned and adventurous book breathes new life into the Christian controversies of late antiquity. It shows how Jews and Christians created a dynamic view of intellectual endeavor itself, as they each, in their different way, struggled to tease out the mystery of their shared God.”—Peter Brown, author of Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350–550 AD

“A significant contribution to the new intellectual history of late antiquity, at once generous and provocative. Fiano’s sociological framing of the issues gives his readings real traction.”—Mark Vessey, editor of A Companion to Augustine
ISBN: 9780300263329
Publication Date: June 20, 2023
416 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
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