Origins of the Synagogue
A Socio-Historical Study

By Anders Runesson
December 2001
Almqvist & Wiksell International
ISBN: 91-22-01946-4
576 pages, illustrated
$87.50 paper original


In the first century CE, synagogues existed not only in the land of Israel but in all parts of the Roman Empire where Jews lived. Although incorporating a number of activities, the most characteristic features of this institution were the public reading and teaching of torah, making the synagogue an unparalleled institution in the ancient world.

But how, when, where and why did this unique institution originate? Which historical, social, or political factors determined its rise and development? Taking into account literary, epigraphic and archaeological material, and adopting a socio-political perspective towards the sources, the present study constitutes a new approach to the old enigma.

Religion; History
Coniectanea Biblica, New Testament Series No. 37

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