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A Baptist Among the Jews [Hardcover]

By Mary Blye Howe (Author)
Our Price $ 18.66  
Retail Value $ 21.95  
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Item Number 147617  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   203
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.28" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.85"
Weight:   0.98 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 7, 2003
Publisher   Jossey-Bass
ISBN  0787965588  
EAN  9780787965587  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
Like most Christians, Mary Blye Howe was uninformed about Jewish ritual and tradition. To satisfy her curiosity she joined a Jewish study group held in the home of a Hasidic rabbi. A Baptist Among the Jews is Howe's first-person account of her eye-opening experience of studying with that welcoming group and how this experience led her to a deeper, richer relationship with her God. While learning about the traditions of Judaism and studying the Torah, Howe discovered a new world of worship and ritual that expanded her experience to include several different Jewish groups, among them Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox. She reveled in the joys of arguing with God (even though God always wins), synagogue-hopping on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, and dancing with a sefer torah through the streets of Dallas. Page after page, we join Howe on her religious quest and discover how her once-narrow concept of God has expanded with her ability to read the scriptures and understand this new faith. Howe's profound and transforming experiences helped her develop a new sense of worship- one that eschews spectatorship in favor of participation.

Publishers Description
Like most Christians, Mary Blye Howe was uninformed about Jewish ritual and tradition. To satisfy her curiosity she joined a Jewish study group held in the home of a Hasidic rabbi. "A Baptist Among the Jews" is Howe's first-person account of her eye-opening experience of studying with that welcoming group and how this experience led her to a deeper, richer relationship with her God. While learning about the traditions of Judaism and studying the Torah, Howe discovered a new world of worship and ritual that expanded her experience to include several different Jewish groups, among them Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox. She reveled in the joys of arguing with God (even though God always wins), synagogue-hopping on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, and dancing with a sefer torah through the streets of Dallas. Page after page, we join Howe on her religious quest and discover how her once-narrow concept of God has expanded with her ability to read the scriptures and understand this new faith. Howe's profound and transforming experiences helped her develop a new sense of worship-- one that eschews spectatorship in favor of participation.

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More About Mary Blye Howe

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mary Blye Howe is a cradle Southern Baptist who has found a warm, welcoming second home among several Jewish congregations in the Dallas, Texas, area. She has published over 100 articles in more than 60 diverse periodicals, including Entrepreneur, the Dallas Morning News, and the Chicago Tribune.

Mary Blye Howe currently resides in Duncanville. Mary Blye Howe has an academic affiliation as follows - Duncanville, Texas.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Not Exactly a Baptist Among the Jews   Sep 7, 2005
A Baptist Among the Jews is a great starter book for Christians interested in almost all forms of Judaism. The only 'denomination' she leaves out is Reconstructionism, explaining that this is because she had no access to it.

Howe takes the reader through study groups, Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform synagogue services, Torah retreats, and even spends time explaining her experiences with Chabad Jews, who are known for their black coats, fedoras, and their loyalty to a particular rabbi. By the time the reader finishes A Baptist Among the Jews he or she will have a lot of positive, in depth information about modern Jewish thought.

On the other hand (there's always another hand, isn't there?), the title leads one to believe that Howe is a conservative, born-again Christian (The Baptist part of the title) who is transformed through her experiences with some Jewish people. She is actually a pretty liberal Christian who enjoys "re-imagin[ing] scripture."

She attends and lauds a feminine re-imagining of a Passover seder with a Haggadah written from a feminist perpective, and says on page 102, "In my not-so-distant past, I, along with the churches I attended, feared seeing God as feminine, even while we hurried to add that God was not male. Translations of scripture that used feminine - or even inclusive - pronouns angered us because we believed that this was somehow changing God. No one, however, is changing God. We're merely expanding our *images* of God."

I am not saying anything is wrong with this, I am merely saying that the title of the book is disingenuous to portray the author as a Baptist-- The Baptist denomination takes the Bible literally, does not allow women in positions of power over men, they cannot be pastors, and they have spoken out against gender-inclusive languge in the Bible. Howe states several times in the book that she has belonged to several churches, each different from the last, and I did not get the impression that more than one of them was Baptist or even conservative. I could be wrong; that is just the impression I get.


I enjoyed this book - the writing is clear and the author is not overly wordy or bombastic. She writes almost like a reporter, weaving facts in with interesting personal stories. The only pet peeve I have is that she consistently says, "The Jews," rather than "some Jews," or "Jewish group." She says things like, "When I study with the Jews..." "..worshipping with the Jews..." as though there are about 20 of them. Most Jews are secular and do not study Torah or follow halakha, so the term "the Jews" felt weird when I read it every time. I don't think she would have said, "When I studied with the Baptists," or "When I worshiped with the Mormons," since it makes it sound like they are part of some little group that meets in a clubhouse once a week. Anyway, it just struck me as odd.
 
Approaching God  Oct 23, 2003
"A Baptist Among the Jews" is a passionate blueprint for achieving ecumenical understanding and cooperation. The author has managed to transcend the confines of her narrow fundamentalist origins and allow herself to experience other approaches to the Divine. And "experience" is the key issue in this fascinating story of the author's acceptance and inclusion by the Jewish community. Howe isn't overly concerned with doctrine or dogma. She doesn't bring a list of theological preconceptions or doctrinal preconditions to her relationship with reform, conservative, orthodox, and even hasidic Jews. That a person can actually come closer to God in a faith tradition other than her own is perhaps the central lesson of her book and one that more people would do well to emulate.
 
Fantastic book... very informative and filled with heart  Oct 22, 2003
This book is so filled with spirit and heart. As it unfolds, the reader is drawn into a deep understanding about spirituality with a sense of humor and feeling.
Great reading for everyone.
 
Baptist Among the Jews  Oct 17, 2003
I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting and informative and gave an easy to read insight into the Jewish faith.
 
Loved it!  Oct 15, 2003
From the first page to the last, this book captivated me with Ms. Howe's experience among the Jewish religion and culture. This book is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand their own faith, be it Christianity or Judaism.
 

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