chapter
Introduction
Holistic study of Judaism
WithEhud Benor
Pages 20

The Introduction argues that Judaism should be considered a holistic totality that falls between modernist essentialist reification, on the one hand, and postmodernist historicist fragmentation, on the other hand. It outlines a modest phenomenology that presents Judaism as a transhistorical entity, encompassing and transcending all its intersections with history – past, present, and future. Like the totality of a life, which is never an available datum, the totality of Judaism cannot be captured either by reducing it to analytic propositions or by merely describing its historical manifestations. The methodological alternative is a conceptually focused examination of select “snapshots” of Judaism that are studied as fragments of a hologram.