The Ambiguous Figure of the Neighbor in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions (Intersectional Studies of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Texts and Receptions) 9780367637835, 9780367637842, 0367637839

This book examines an undertheorized topic in the study of religion and sacred texts: the figure of the neighbor. By ana

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The Ambiguous Figure of the Neighbor in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions (Intersectional Studies of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Texts and Receptions)
 9780367637835, 9780367637842, 0367637839

Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Series Page
Title Page
Copyright Page
Dedication
Contents
Illustrations and Figures
Contributors
Foreword and Acknowledgments
Introduction: The ambiguous figure of the neighbour in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts and receptions
Why study the neighbor?
Studying the "three traditions": Comparative intersectional exegesis
From "children of Abraham" to "ambiguous neighbors"
The figure of the neighbor: Main theoretical framework
The intersectional neighbor
The neighbor as the monster and the destabilizing other
The neighbor as the ambiguous Nebenmensch
About this volume
Neighbors near and far, facing the future
Notes
Bibliography
Online sources
Part I: Intersectional biblical neighbors
1. The ambiguous neighbor in the Hebrew Bible: A survey of the concept of neighborship in Hebrew Bible texts
Introduction: The social neighbor and the spatial neighbor
The neighborship memoirs of an academic nomad
The ambiguity of the spatial neighbor: The stranger next door
The rēaʿ in the Hebrew Bible
The šākēn in the Hebrew Bible
Robbed by your neighbors: The despoliation of Egypt in Exodus 3:22 and 11:2
Conclusion: The ambiguous neighbor in the Hebrew Bible
Notes
Bibliography
2. When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet: Ambiguous neighbors in the book of Ruth
Versions of Neighbors
Cultural imaginations of self and others
When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet
A Bethlehemite family showed ḥeseḏ "kindness" in Moab
A Moabite seeking ḥēn "favor" and facing risk in the fields of Bethlehem
The Moabite and the townswomen of Bethlehem
Cultural imaginations of Moab in the Hebrew Bible
Ambiguous neighbors in the book of Ruth
Moab and Bethlehem as ambiguous neighbors
Notes
Literature
3. Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature: The regulation of inter-human relationships in Palestinian rabbinic texts
Maintaining good neighbourly relationships
Relationships amongst local townspeople
Respect for other human creatures
Conclusions
Notes
Bibliography
4. Monsters and angels: The function and evaluation of the intersectional neighbours in the Gospels
Introduction
Neighbor in theory and practice
Intersectional neighbors in the Jesus tradition
1 Parabolic neighbors
The Samaritan and other male neighbors: Surprise, limit-case and the naked uncircumcised victim
Dining and celebrating neighbors: Acceptable according to economy, status and gender
2 Are all synoptic groups of women necessarily neighbors? Mapping potential female neighbors
Travelling neighbors
Wise and foolish young, female neighbors
3 Intersectional neighbors who hear and rejoice
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Part II: Islamic Neighbours, Near and Far
5. Aw qāla: 'Li-jārihi': Some observations on brotherhood and neighbourly love in Islamic tradition
Brother or neighbor?
Communal solidarity versus universal obligation?
Semantics and conceptual history
Kinship, brotherhood and neighborhood in the Qur'an
Classical tafsīr discussions: close in kinship or religion?
Brotherhood and neighborly love in Hadith
Brotherhood and neighborhood in modern usage (including modern commentaries)
The neighbor in modern commentaries
The relation between brotherhood and neighborhood in contemporary usage
Interreligious perspectives
Gender perspectives
Conclusion: texts and contexts
Acknowledgements
Notes
References
6. The ambiguous jār: Towards a Qurʾanic neighborhood ethics
Introduction
The semantics of jār
The distribution of j-w-r in the Qurʾān
Neighborliness and asylum
The jār in the Qurʾanic social web of beneficiaries
The differentiated jār in Q. 4:36
The ṣāḥib as beneficiary
The literary context of Q. 4:36
The Qurʾanic and the extra-Qurʾanic jār
The Devil as jār
Concluding remarks: Towards a neighborhood ethics
Notes
Bibliography
Part III: Negotiating the ambiguous neighbourhood in peace and war, conflict and coexistence
7. Neighbour in the war: Saviour or murderer? Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia
A land of encounters and tensions
Personal and methodological-theoretical assumptions
Open door, coffee drinking, and next-door violence
From atheism to religious nationalism
Examples of evil and good
The problem of ethnic-religious homogenisation
Conclusion: Dehumanisation, cognitive dissonance and the narcissism of minor differences
Notes
Bibliography
8. The childless woman and her neighbours: Exploring neighbourliness within a rural community in Cameroon
Introduction
The childless woman and her neighbour
Good neighbours and bad neighbours
Neighbourliness and reciprocity
Towards a theology of neighbourly love
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
9. Imagining the everyday life of Jewish and Christian "neighbors" in Late Antique Capernaum: Beyond church and synagogue - and back again
Introduction
"Neighborhood" and "neighbor" in Michel de Certeau's and Pierre Mayol's social theory
Jews and Christians in the "neighborhood" in Late Antique Capernaum
Capernaum's houses and the domestic landscape
Imagining the everyday life of Jewish - Christian relations
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
10. Narratives of the suburb as religious neighbourhood: How a local church and mosque in an Oslo suburb negotiate Muslim-Christian neighbourly relations
Introduction
The local church and mosque as a place for identity refuge
Intercultural or interreligious encounters?
Christian and Muslim belonging and neighbourly relations in the suburb
Christian and Muslim narratives of neighbourhood in the suburb: Conclusive remarks
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

Intersectional Studies of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Texts and Receptions

THE AMBIGUOUS FIGURE OF THE NEIGHBOUR IN JEWISH, CHRISTIAN, AND ISLAMIC TEXTS AND RECEPTIONS Edited by Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

The Ambiguous Figure of the Neighbour in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions

This book examines an undertheorized topic in the study of religion and sacred texts: the figure of the neighbor. By analyzing and comparing this figure in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts and receptions, the chapters explore a conceptual shift from “Children of Abraham” to “Ambiguous Neighbors.” Through a variety of case studies using diverse methods and material, the chapters in the book explore the neighbor in these neighboring texts and traditions. The figure of the neighbor seems like an innocent topic at the surface. It is an everyday phenomenon that everyone has knowledge about and experiences with. Still, analytically, it has rich and innovative potential. Recent interdisciplinary research employs this figure to address issues of cultural diversity, gender, migration, ethnic relationships, war and peace, environmental challenges, and urbanization. The neighbor represents the borderline between the insider and the outsider, friend and enemy, us and them. This ambiguous status makes the neighbor particularly interesting as an entry point into issues of cultural complexity, self-definition, and identity. This volume brings all the intersections of religion, ethnicity, gender, and socio-cultural diversity into the same neighborhood, paying attention to sacred texts, receptions, and contemporary communities. The Ambiguous Figure of the Neighbor in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions offers a fascinating study of the intersections between Jewish, Christian, and Islamic text, and will be of interest to anyone working on these traditions. Marianne Bjelland Kartzow is Professor of New Testament Studies at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Intersectional Studies of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions Editorial board: Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, Oslo University, Norway (chair) Bernadette Brooten, Brandeis University, USA Jennifer Glancy, Le Moyne College, USA Catherine Hezser, SOAS University of London, UK Jerusha Rhodes, Union Theological Seminary, USA

Intersectional Studies of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions draws together the growing amount of scholarship where texts from the three traditions are read with intersectional perspectives. The aim is to create a critical and cutting-edge space for studies that employ different intersecting perspectives (gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, disability, etc.), in their approaches to texts and receptions. The series covers both in-depth readings of one tradition with intersectionality, or different texts and receptions in comparative analysis; and also theoretical or methodological studies, with cases from the three texts traditions and their receptions. The series gives due attention not only to ancient texts that are central to religious communities today, but also non-canonical material, and the variety, tension, and diversity to be found in sources and interpretations. The Ambiguous Figure of the Neighbor in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions Edited by Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

The Ambiguous Figure of the Neighbour in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions Edited by Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

First published 2022 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2022 selection and editorial matter, Marianne Bjelland Kartzow; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Marianne Bjelland Kartzow to be identified as the author[/s] of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record has been requested for this book ISBN: 978-0-367-63783-5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-367-63784-2 (pbk) ISBN: 978-1-003-12067-4 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by MPS Limited, Dehradun

For all our neighbors, near and far

Contents

Illustrations and Figures List of contributors Foreword and Acknowledgments Introduction: The ambiguous figure of the neighbour in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts and receptions

ix x xii

1

M ARIANNE B J E L L AN D KA R TZ O W

PART I

Intersectional biblical neighbors 23 1 The ambiguous neighbor in the Hebrew Bible: A survey of the concept of neighborship in Hebrew Bible texts

25

ANNE KATRI N E D E HE M M E R GU D M E

2 When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet: Ambiguous neighbors in the book of Ruth

44

KRIST IN JOAC HIM SE N

3 Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature: The regulation of inter-human relationships in Palestinian rabbinic texts

60

CATHE RINE HE ZS E R

4 Monsters and angels: The function and evaluation of the intersectional neighbours in the Gospels M ARIANNE B J E L L AN D KA R TZ O W

78

viii

Contents

PART II

Islamic neighbours, near and far 103 5 Aw qāla: Li-jārihi’: Some observations on brotherhood and neighbourly love in Islamic tradition

105

ODD BJ ØRN L E I RV I K

6 The ambiguous jār: Towards a Qur’anic neighborhood ethics

126

NORA S. EGG E N

PART III

Negotiating the ambiguous neighbourhood in peace and war, conflict and coexistence 151 7 Neighbour in the war: Saviour or murderer? Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia

153

S AFE T B E KTO VI C

8 The childless woman and her neighbours: Exploring neighbourliness within a rural community in Cameroon

172

GL AD YS E KO N E W A N G

9 Imagining the everyday life of Jewish and Christian “neighbors” in Late Antique Capernaum: Beyond church and synagogue – and back again

189

W ALL Y V . C IR A FE S I

10 Narratives of the suburb as religious neighbourhood: How a local church and mosque in an Oslo suburb negotiate Muslim–Christian neighbourly relations

213

ANNE HE G E G RU N G

Index

221

Illustrations and Figures

Illustrations 7.1 Vlakovo cemetery in Sarajevo: A mixed neighbourhood 7.2

7.3

157

Baljvine (North-western Bosnia): The Orthodox-Muslim neighbourhood, where hate never triumphed

160

The town of Olovo (2018): A peaceful handshake

166

Figures 9.1

Town plan of the Franciscan site of Capernaum

190

9.2

Segmentation of Capernaum’s Byzantine houses and shops

197

All illustrations are published with permission.

Contributors

Safet Bektović is associate professor of Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. He has published a number of articles in different books and journals. Among his publications are Islamisk filosofi (2012) and Kulturmøder og religion (2004). Wally V. Cirafesi is currently Visiting Researcher at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Moody Theological Seminary in Chicago. He is the author of the forthcoming volume John within Judaism: Religion, Ethnicity, and the Shaping of JesusOriented Jewishness in the Fourth Gospel (2021) and is currently working on a major research project on the history of Jews and Christians in Capernaum from the time of Jesus to the rise of Islam in Palestine. Nora S. Eggen is a researcher in Arabic and Islamic studies, currently associated with the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo. Among her recent articles are: “al-Qadi ‘Iyad’s Defence of the Prophet and of scholarly tradition: al-Shifā’,“ in Freedom of Expression in Islam: Challenging Apostasy and Blasphemy Laws, eds. Christian Moe, Kari Vogt, Lena Larsen, Khalid Muhammad Masud, 53–73. London: I.B. Tauris, in print 2020; “On the Periphery: Translations of the Qur’ān in Sweden, Denmark and Norway,” in Routledge Handbook of Arabic Translation, eds. Sameh Hanna, Hanem ElFarahaty, Abdel-Wahab Khalifa, 68–80. London: Routledge, 2019. Anne Hege Grung is Professor of Interreligious Studies at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway. Her list of publications includes the book Gender Justice in Muslim Christian Readings: Muslim and Christian Women Making Meaning of Texts from the Bible, the Koran and the Hadith (2016), and numerous book chapters and articles related to her fields of research. Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme is Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo, Norway. She is the author of Before the God in This Place for Good Remembrance: A Comparative Analysis of the Aramaic Dedicatory Inscriptions from Mount Gerizim (2013). Gudme is currently preparing a monograph on hospitality in the Hebrew Bible.

Contributors xi Catherine Hezser is Professor of Jewish Studies at SOAS, University of London. Amongst her publications are Bild und Kontext. Jüdische und christliche Ikonographie der Spätantike (2018), Rabbinic Body Language: Non-Verbal Communication in Palestinian Rabbinic Literature of Late Antiquity (2017), and Jewish Travel in Antiquity (2011). Kristin Joachimsen is Professor in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at MFNorwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society. She is the author of Identities in Transition: The Pursuit of Isa. 52:13-53:12 (2011). Her current project is on perceptions and receptions of Persia in the Hebrew Bible and in biblical scholarship. Marianne Bjelland Kartzow is Professor of New Testament Studies at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo, Norway. In addition to several articles and edited volumes, she has published three monographs: Gossip and Gender: Othering of Speech in the Pastoral Epistles (2009); Destabilizing the Margins: An Intersectional Approach to Early Christian Memory (2012); and The Slave Metaphor and Gendered Enslavement in Early Christian Discourse: Double Trouble Embodied (2018). Oddbjørn Leirvik is Professor of Interreligious Studies at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. He has published widely in the field of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations and on Interreligious Studies. His books include Interreligious Studies. A Relational Approach to Religious Activism and the Study of Religion (2014); Images of Jesus Christ in Islam (2010) and Human Conscience and Muslim–Christian Relations. Modern Egyptian Thinkers on al-damir (2006). Gladys Ekone Wang is a lecturer in practical theology, pastoral care, and counseling at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary Kumba, Cameroon, and ordained Minister of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC). She has written articles in the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon’s magazine (the Messenger); “Church and Politics: The prophetic role of the Church in the society” (2012) and “When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden” (2014).

Foreword and Acknowledgments

The idea of highlighting the figure of the neighbor in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts, receptions, and practices came from my experiences in the neighborhood where I live. In our backyard, you can find some of the most privileged urban dwellers, with abundant cultural, economic, social, and political capital – but also those who score lowest on all these parameters. Still, we are all neighbors. People from all over the world, with all variations of religion, tradition, language, habits, skin color, gender, food, attire, etc., try to live together, for better or for worse. Some of my neighbors I just love, and in the morning I wake up thanking God for them; others make my life so miserable that I sometimes, in my most desperate moments, hope they die (or at least move away). But I am stuck with them, and they are stuck with me. Am I grateful to all neighbors? In a way, yes: They bring a stabilizing factor into my life. They may not be of my choice, but there they are, side-by-side, a fixed component of my everyday life. They are fellow human beings. So, how to deal with the neighbor? How to love thy neighbor? In what way has the notion of the neighbor been constructed, treated, and evaluated in the past? How have neighbor ideals changed from place to place and over time? Neighbors are not a new thing. At some point, I became curious about the genealogy of the neighbor, especially in religious discourses. My hope was that the ambiguity of the neighbor of yesterday might offer some resources for becoming better neighbors today and tomorrow. Being a good neighbor is always contextual. Sitting together and chatting over coffee can be a sign of good neighborliness, while sometimes interfering with a neighbor’s life as little as possible can also be the ideal. A neighbor with an open door can be a threat to my personal integrity or a welcomed invitation to friendship. Or: “neighbor” can be an abstract figure, living far away, but still someone I am called to love. While this volume was being finished, Covid-19 came and disturbed our neighborhoods. It was a great achievement that all authors were able to finish their chapters and continue working focused on scholarship in the midst of the pandemic. I want to thank each and every one of you for being

Foreword and Acknowledgments xiii so creative and enthusiastic. Without you and your inspiring work, this volume would never have seen the light of day. As many of us have experienced, studying the figure of the neighbor in a time of extreme social distancing provided some unexpected insights. Sitting in our home offices, facing new challenges, some of us came to realize that the neighbor is not just a figure in texts and history. Perhaps the person next door is the only human being you’ll see for a whole day, maybe a whole week. The pandemic has potentially opened up new spaces for neighborliness, where we experience that we are indeed dependent on each other, to cooperate and to survive. Or the neighbor may be infected, isolated, potentially someone who might make you and your family sick. Still, someone needs to go shopping for that neighbor. How to be a good neighbor in a time of crisis? How much risk are you willing to take? How to be safe and keep a distance if you share doors, stairs, even washing machines in the basement? This volume does not give answers to all of these – pressing – questions, but rather brings some stories about neighbors to the table and hopefully contributes resources for learning and reflecting more in depth. We are reminded that those living before us and elsewhere probably had and have ambiguous relationships with their neighbors, too. In fact, many of the authors of this volume are, or have been, neighbors at some point in time. Some of us work at neighboring schools in Oslo, Norway; or we are office neighbors; or we stem from neighboring countries; or we belong to neighboring disciplines. Some of us have even slept in neighbor beds. Still, all together, with our family histories, our source materials and our patterns of travel and mobility, we end up covering so many different times and places, in at least four different continents. Our highlighting of the figure of the neighbor led us to discover that the local is complexly connected to the global. Each neighborhood belongs to the planet Earth. So, in the end, we are all neighbors, either near or far. In addition to thanking all contributors deeply and warmly, others also deserve my thanks. A preparing workshop in Oslo in October 2019 was sponsored by The Research Council of Norway (NFR), through the HumEval Fund. Also, generous support was offered by the host institution, The Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. In particular, I want to express my gratitude to the Dean Aud Valborg Tønnessen and the research coordinator Ingunn Maria Gjørva, for their encouragement and valuable help. In a critical period in the Spring term of 2020, Gladys Ekone Wang served as the research assistant for this project. I am grateful for her qualified comments and general academic competence that contributed to the birth of this book. A whole set of reviewers and external experts who evaluated the book proposal and the individual chapters deserve a wholehearted thank you. Also, several proofreaders have helped each of us to finalize our respective chapters. Thank you all! The publisher Routledge, and in particular the

xiv

Foreword and Acknowledgments

Commissioning Editor Amy Davis-Poynter and Senior Editorial Assistant Elizabeth (Lizzi) Risch deserve much credit: You have always been supportive and helpful, and I extend my appreciation for being patient with us in a most difficult year. Being able to publish in the new series Intersectional Studies of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts and Receptions is indeed an honor. Thanks to the Editorial Board and the reviewers for recommending this volume for publication under such an innovative headline. By highlighting the figure of the neighbor in a variety of texts, receptions, and practices, as this volume does, we hope to contribute to the important conversation initiated by the series. When this volume was about to be finished, I co-chaired a research project at the Centre for Advanced Studies at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, together with Liv Ingeborg Lied. I would like to thank her and the administrative staff and leadership as well as all our fellows and guests for their support and encouragement – and for organizing a fantastic celebration when the manuscript finally was submitted. As always, my family and friends, those alive and those who have passed, are those to whom I owe the most. I am so grateful that you showed and show me love and interest, whatever nerdy or narrow scholarly phenomenon I happen to fall in love with. This time I feel I have found a topic that engages all, potentially opening up the conversation, and helps build a bridge between academics and the rest of the world. After all, we are all neighbors. Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

Introduction: The ambiguous figure of the neighbour in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts and receptions Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

“Love thy neighbor” is a commandment shared by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. What it means, however, and how it has been discussed, challenged, or practiced have varied throughout history. Who is my “neighbor” and what is “love”? This volume explores texts, receptions, and practices pertaining to the figure of the neighbor, both as a concrete next-door person and as an abstract figure. Our task has not been to define what a neighbor is, once and for all, but to engage with a set of sources that can help us reflect more deeply and more nuanced about the figure of the neighbor – and to find a route to being good neighbors ourselves. Using a variety of theoretical tools and source materials, such as ancient texts, archeological remains, historical cases, political discourse, and contemporary practices, we want to invoke the figure of the neighbor to rethink the interrelatedness of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. We suggest a conceptual shift from “Children of Abraham” to “Ambiguous Neighbors.” New contexts and changing times demand new models of coexistence. This volume offers studies that may contribute to such a shift, by challenging the patriarchal nuclear family model as the primary image for conceptualizing contemporary complexity and religious diversity. Instead of sharing a forefather, we become neighbors, with all the ambiguity inherent to that relationship. “Stay home and in your neighborhood and take care of your friends and neighbors,” was the basic message from the Mayor of Oslo to all inhabitants during the pandemic.1 In times of crisis, the figure of the neighbor is charged with new attention, new expectations, and new relevance. Indeed, social distancing may have created a new space for the neighbor.2 Although the neighbor has always been there, “neighbors have earned astonishingly little scholarly attention.”3 In this volume we will take up this very task: We highlight the figure of the neighbor, past, and present. As quickly becomes clear, the neighbor is a useful object of observation. Sometimes belonging to us, sometimes to them, both self and other, friend or enemy, as murder or savior, as monster or angel – the figure of the neighbor is and always will be essential to identity building and social

2 Introduction interaction. In all three religious traditions, the neighbor takes up considerable space in texts, reception, and practices. Accordingly, it has the potential to become a resource for contemporary discussions of community and coexistence, to address both varieties within each tradition and the relationship between them. As the editor of this volume who collected the essays during 2019 and 2020, I am surprised how rich and complex the figure of the neighbor became. I have observed how creative and challenging it can be to study this figure. I have also learned what it means to be a neighbor. In a year when traveling and mobility, as well as previous ideas of community and globality, have been completely turned upside down by Covid-19, it appears even more important to scrutinize the idea of neighbor, both as someone concretely living next door or nearby us and as the more abstract fellow human being. Religious texts and receptions have much to contribute to that conversation, as this volume shows. Neighbors belong to everyday life. There is nothing controversial or contested about being a neighbor. Almost all of us have neighbor experiences, from living next door to someone or being fellow human beings. Although it is not always easy to talk with the neighbor, everyone can tell stories about their neighbor. The figure of the neighbor is an inclusive category, at least conventionally, open for all sexes, races, ethnicities, ages, statuses, etc. Although this volume disturbs the harmonious image and reputation of the neighbor, I shall take the risk and start by telling two stories about myself: My neighbor recently took me for a walk, one of the few activities allowed under lockdown. She showed me her ancestors’ grave at the nearby church. Our Oslo apartment building lies next to an old graveyard, surrounding the local church, where I sometimes go to Sunday service. Reading the names of her grandmother and an uncle, I realized how much she belongs to our neighborhood, in a much different way than I do. Her life story is literally written on the gravestone. I nevertheless feel that her family and relatives six feet under the soil are somehow my neighbors. Simultaneously, being a neighbor to the old and beautiful church confirms my belonging and identity. She has a long line of family in the neighborhood, while I have her and the church to help me define my roots and feel at home. Next story: My husband and I lived in downtown Beirut for a while, as a newlywed couple. We had rented a two-room flat, with a small private outdoor space reachable only from our living room. Next door lived a Syrian family with three small kids, all together in one room. There were no parks or playing grounds nearby in the postwar city, so the kids played all day long, and sometimes at night, in the stairways. They were not allowed to go out, since the street was heavily trafficked. Why did we not open our home so the kids could play in our backyard? There were so many good reasons! Our Arabic was rusty, and they knew no English. We were afraid it

Introduction 3 would be too naïve, too generous, too intimate, too noisy. We also feared they would more or less invade us – what might happen if we let total strangers inside our house? Neither they nor we were from around there; we were not familiar with the local neighbor codes. So, we took no risk and shunned misunderstandings. The result was: Nothing happened. Love thy neighbor? Absolutely! So here we are, that’s me, the neighbor. In my experience, being a neighbor has everything to do with past and present, life and death, faith and family, religion and graveyard; with space, bodies, relationship, joy, fear, irritation, potential misunderstanding, open and closed doors. I am probably representative.

Why study the neighbor? Why employ the figure of the neighbor to talk about the relationship between and among texts, people, and religious traditions, as this volume suggests? The starting point is this: The neighbor is an important figure in the sacred texts of all three religions. When the synoptic Gospels of the New Testament present the famous words of Jesus: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31 par.), he is basically quoting Leviticus 19:18 from the Hebrew Bible, a text shared by Jews and Christians.4 In the Qur’an, the love-thy-neighbor formulation presents the neighbor as two figures or a double-figure (as this ambivalent term likely connotes5): “… and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess …” (Sure 4:36). Accordingly, the neighbor is a shared concern, a key figure to address a variety of issues in texts and receptions. Let me highlight four reasons why the neighbor may serve as a lens to contribute new perspectives: First: On the surface, the figure of the neighbor seems like an innocent subject. It is an everyday phenomenon, something literally everyone has knowledge about and experiences with. Neighbors live next door, on the block, on the other side of the fence, or so far away that we hardly notice them, but still next to us. Neighbors share their and our space, air, smell, sounds, weather, and potentially much more. In addition, the neighbor has a second definition: It can also mean a fellow human being. To be a neighbor means sharing space, whether concretely or metaphorically. Analytically speaking, it has a rich and complex potential: Recent interdisciplinary research employs this figure to address issues of cultural diversity, ethnic relationships, integration, war and peace, terror and migration, environmental challenges, and urban planning.6 Some talk about “neighborhood,” while others highlight the more active elements, conceptualizing “neighborship.” “Neighbor” is not something you are, but something you do; it is an activity more than a

4 Introduction state of being.7 By studying the neighbor in texts and practices, we highlight aspects of lived religion, focusing less on dogma, ideal behavior, or correct interpretation and more on everyday life, interaction, and exchange. Second: The neighbor can be a monster or an angel.8 The neighbor lies at the borderline between insider and outsider, friend and enemy, us and them. Neighbors can have a great deal in common with us and share a lot, or lie far below the level of sameness and similarity. Some neighbors eat together and share their table (and even their bed), while in other contexts such intimacy means certain death. A neighbor can be family, sibling, relative, kin, lover, or a complete stranger. Friendly neighbors can even turn bad. The ideals of the neighbor change over time, and what makes a good neighbor depends on the context. This ambiguous status makes the neighbor particularly interesting as an entry point for issues of selfdefinition, intersubjectivity, and identity. In Jewish, Christian, and Islamic discourses, the neighbor has multiple faces, and what they are portrayed as doing can bring both life and death. Third: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam themselves can be called neighbors, both throughout history and today. Studying neighbor texts containing neighbor traditions brings an analytical double tension to the discussion: What do neighbors think about neighbors? How are old and new stereotypes about the neighbor – and how they treat their neighbors – generated by religious texts and discourses? How did, and do, different neighbors deal with the fact that some of their authoritative texts or traditions are shared, while also disagreeing or conflicting on what or who a good neighbor truly is? Fourth: The figure of the neighbor is flexible, crossing space and time, as is the category. Will the ongoing discussion within religious studies and theology on immigration and refugees find resources in this neighbor study to rethink what comes after, and what came before, leaving? Yes, indeed. The immigrant is a future neighbor, temporarily or long term, and they were someone else’s neighbor before becoming a migrant. A migrant is looking for a new home as well as a new neighborhood. There is a potential tension between neighbors and immigrants, as several ancient texts are witness to. What normally characterizes a neighborhood is the given space of proximity, but neighbors can also exist while traveling, they can be next to each other for a moment, even in asymmetry, as the homeless man becomes a kind of a neighbor to the house owner, outside whose property he sleeps. So, how to deal with the neighbor? And what have religious traditions, from ancient times to the present day, done with the neighbor? What about generations to come, our future neighbors? What about our past neighbors – how does the time aspect come into play as well? The neighbor can also be an abstract figure, representing fellow human beings, either part of our group/clan/community, live at the borderline, or belong to a different category altogether, being a total stranger. The person next door may, or may not, be seen as a fellow human being. The figure of the neighbor,

Introduction 5 accordingly, is flexible and can assume many roles, related to space, time, and category. As argued above, there are many good reasons to study the figure of the neighbor in texts and practices: It is an innocent concept, but one still relevant and complex, revealing much about everyday life and lived religion. The neighbor can be placed on a continuum, from monster to angel, a figure helpful for discussing identity issues of insider and outsider, us and them. Studying ideas about neighbors in the texts of neighboring religions can reveal a paradoxical and explorative analytical landscape. The neighbor is a flexible figure. Studying the figure of the neighbor in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, accordingly, adds new knowledge to the overall discussion of neighbors in general, and to the study of religious texts and practices in particular.

Studying the “three traditions”: Comparative intersectional exegesis Over the last 15 years, several anthologies have been published in which a given topic is explored concerning Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, for example, on the characters of Sarah and Hagar,9 on children and parents,10 on slavery11 or on sexual violence in the three traditions.12 All these studies are critical and sensitive to issues of power, diversity, and authority, and they are concerned with how ancient texts continue to play a role in contemporary receptions and practices. In all their diversity, these volumes represent a scholarly innovation very much welcomed to the field. For Biblical interpretation, they contribute essential perspectives where Islamic texts and receptions are also involved in the overall conversation. Although each volume of this new genre chooses different models for dialogue between each contribution, they do not share a conceptual framework or interact substantially with a broader interdisciplinary field. For the most part, they present and analyze each tradition in separate chapters, with some overall exchange in the Introduction or the Conclusion, but lacking a strong comparative discussion. They primarily pay attention to ancient texts, with little dialogue with reception or contemporary practices. As a neighboring genre, within Biblical studies, it is commonplace that a group of authors band together and dedicate themselves to highlighting specific topics, such as the city or the family/household, with all their different relationships (marriage, brothers, mothers, widows, etc.).13 This study of neighbors brings many of these relational challenges and categories of people into the same neighborhood. However, we consider the figure of the neighbor as something worthy of a separate study. It is different from a household or a city, a separate social unit where specific tasks and activities take place. In addition, the neighbor can also be a more abstract figure, a human being with whom I can or cannot have in my physical proximity. With this “neighbor-book,” we place textual scholarship in a more open

6 Introduction and interdisciplinary conversation, not only paying attention to Biblical texts in their historical context. By including studies of other sacred texts and of contemporary contexts, where the neighbor is embedded in various engagements with religious texts and traditions, we can add new perspectives to the historical-critical focus. This volume thus introduces intersectional comparative exegesis as part of an interdisciplinary discourse of the neighbor. Accordingly, this book aims to be innovative in method, source material, thematic approach, and theory. This comprises the three traditions and a small selection of texts, receptions, and practices. The perspective is both historical and contemporary, paying attention also to studies of everyday life, material culture, and autobiography. The theoretical tools are interdisciplinary, building on scholarship from as diverse disciplines as gender studies, urban planning, geography, archeology, war history, philology, and philosophy, among others. And finally, this volume is comparative by bringing different types of source material into play, such as archeological remains, texts from the Qur’an, and contemporary neighbor stories. I envision that this approach to doing intersectional comparative exegesis may have a potential for future studies of Biblical texts as well as other sacred texts. This volume is being published in an academic series and is aimed at readers with an interest in neighbors in religious texts and receptions. The academy too has neighbors, those not so familiar with reading, interpreting, and writing, with less time and privilege to do intellectual and conceptual work. We are all neighbors, we give and take. Perhaps a volume like this, paying attention to intersections, can help us see our neighbors in new ways, even those with whom we share little. We need to continue to search for methods to translate what we as researchers have discovered to the everyday life of our neighborhoods, and to bring the perspectives of the neighbors into the academy.

From “children of Abraham” to “ambiguous neighbors” As mentioned above, this volume suggests a conceptual shift from “Children of Abraham” to “Ambiguous Neighbors.” The various articles contribute to such a shift, challenging the family model as the privileged image for coexistence.14 We may not share forefathers, but we are neighbors, which can mean different things in different contexts. Abraham has always been a central character to Biblical scholarship and in recent discussions on religious dialogue.15 After reading the volume Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives edited by Phyllis Trible and Letty Russel, I started to critically look at the presumed shared and inclusive concept of “Children of Abraham.”16 The story in the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible, where everything started, has some very problematic elements. How to deal with

Introduction 7 the fact that slavery, forced pregnancy, and female rivalry are central to a story that aims at facilitating fellowship and inclusion? With this story as the preferred master-narrative, the risk is that intersectional oppression is silenced, since the overall aim was to create a conceptually shared community and foster good interreligious relations.17 In the Genesis story in the Bible, Abraham and his wife Sarah were originally childless, but the Egyptian slave woman Hagar is forced to give Abraham his firstborn son, Ishmael (Gen 16:21). Later Sarah gives birth to her own son, Isaak, by God’s intervention, and Hagar is forced into the desert. Christian sources, such as the New Testament or the church fathers, discuss and reinterpret the various characters in this family, often leaving a very marginal role to Hagar and her son Ishmael.18 Hagar (Hajira in Arabic) is not mentioned in the Qur’an, but in the Hadith (the oral traditions of the Prophet Muhammad) she plays a prominent role as the mother of monotheism.19 All three traditions share that Hagar was the mother of Abraham’s/Ibrahim’s oldest son Ishmael, and that at one point she, together with her baby son, was left alone in the wilderness to struggle for their common survival. Instead of paying attention to the male forefather Abraham, who unites all through patriarchal reproduction and blood, the ambiguous figure of the neighbor may provide a different and much-needed change in perspective. This approach is located in the verbal echo between what Edward Said calls filiation and affiliation. His point is that the first represents continuity in reproduction and biological terms, while the latter deals with institutions, associations, and community.20 Moving from filiation to affiliation may be a journey from biology to world vision, from nature to culture, as Said sees it.21 The neighbor represents a different myth and symbol than Abraham: He is a typical filiation figure, being “the father of all,” either to his first wife’s offspring or to Hagar’s. If he is “biology,” the neighbor is world vision.22 The figure of the neighbor does not provide an illusion of a harmonious and static line or a shared family origin like the concept of Abraham’s children and thereby better corresponds to challenges present in our global context of cultural complexity.23 Shifting the focus from the children of Abraham to the neighbor, therefore, represents a major shift in meaning. It also has the potential to challenge the shared – although differently articulated and practiced – male dominance in all three traditions.24 Identity construction tends to draw heavily on stories from the past. Religious images and figures play a significant role in identity work. The polarized and often aggressive discussion concerning religion in the media often deals with gender and sexuality, revealing a need for models of coexistence that can accommodate controversial issues. Accordingly, this volume, by highlighting the ambiguous neighbor, aims to develop new models for future conversations and interactions which can bridge differences and account for complexity.

8 Introduction

The figure of the neighbor: Main theoretical framework According to social scientist Joe Painter, the neighbor is a “neglected figure in public debate and political theory”; in the Western tradition, “much of our understanding of neighbors and neighborliness comes from the Christian Bible.”25 Our study examines the three traditions explored on equal footing and is accordingly a contribution to filling that gap, both by highlighting the figure of the neighbor, but also in destabilizing the concept of “the Christian Bible” as the exclusive religious text for contemporary neighbor scholarship. The Bible is not just Christian, but also a text shared by religious neighbors. It is not the only text in which wisdom can be found. For example, without anticipating the complex discussions in this volume, Islamic texts and the various ways of making sense of the double concept “Neighbors near and far” may contribute with new reflections to the overall discussion of neighbors. Further, by reimagining the figure of the neighbor, as a person living nearby and as a fellow human being, we are looking for resources from the broad interdisciplinary field. I would like to highlight three dimensions of the neighbor: first, the role of power and privilege in the intersectional figure of the neighbor; second, the neighbor as a monster and destabilizing Other; and third the neighbor as Nebenmensch, related to space, time, and embodiment. The intersectional neighbor Few studies of neighbors include critical attention to categories such as gender, class, race, age, etc. Why are only the figure of “brother” – male, free, adult subjects – represented in the figure of the neighbor? How can each discourse include in their concept of neighbor intersectional elements, mentioning, for example, children, ethnic strangers, slaves, or the disabled? And if women are mentioned, what diversity can be found within that category, related to their age, family status (daughter, sister, virgin, wife, widow, etc.), whether as a mother or childless? In order to rethink these aspects of the neighbor, we need intersectional theories.26 The core idea is that social categories such as gender, class, race, etc., do not operate in isolation but are mutually dependent.27 In order to tease out intersectional dimensions, Mari Matsuda suggests a method of asking the “other question”28: If gender is visible or obvious, we have to ask about race; if the social status is given, we have to ask about gender or age.29 Posing the “other question” to ancient texts or contemporary practices as a heuristic tool may reveal nuances and gaps otherwise hidden from us.30 The idea in this volume is to employ intersectionality to pose questions to the figure of the neighbor: Are the neighbors found in archeological remains, texts, receptions, or social exchange given a gender, an age, a social status, an ethnic background, and so forth? The figure of the neighbor is

Introduction 9 never neutral; intersectionality can help us see and identify the complexity of the neighbor.31 The neighbor as the monster and the destabilizing other This second dimension of the neighbor includes some obvious tensions. Slavoj Žižek’s thought-provoking essay, “Neighbors and Other Monsters: A Plea for Ethical Violence,” comes up with an alternative suggestion to the command to love your neighbor: What if the ultimate function of the (Jewish) law is not to enable us not to forget the neighbor, to retain our proximity to the neighbor, but, on the contrary, to keep the neighbor at a proper distance, to serve as a kind of protective wall against the monstrosity of the neighbor?32 For him, the neighbor “is not displayed in a face; it is … in his or her fundamental dimension a faceless monster … with whom no empathetic relationship is possible.” The neighbor in Žižek’s way of reasoning is not an equal or a double who can work as a partner or friend; rather, the neighbor represents all the bad and all the evil in both you and him – and accordingly someone or something we need protection from. Your neighbor is too close and can potentially kill you. The neighbor’s “vulnerable nakedness overlaps with pure evil.”33 The neighbor, however, is there and is not going away: To eliminate the neighbor would be an illusion since you would ultimately also eliminate yourself. The point is to stop being romantic or sentimental about the neighbor and rather find ways to stay at a life-saving distance. The aim is to accept proximity and think of the neighbor as someone with whom you stand side-by-side and avoid standing face-to-face.34 This approach to the figure of the neighbor reworks the concept and interacts with many disciplines, among them Jewish theology and philosophy.35 Žižek himself, with his background in former Yugoslavia, bases his analyses on what can happen to neighbors in war and conflict situations. The neighbor can turn from being your friend or family to being your enemy overnight. In a recent publication, related to the 2015 European immigration crises, Žižek blames Europe for not accepting new neighbors by closing the borders to the newcomers.36 Complaining about “trouble with neighbors,” commonplace in several countries, is an excuse for continuing to privilege insiders by blocking out outsiders, to protect the illusion of civilization.37 To follow a slightly different, but still related, line of thought where the neighbor – monster or not – also becomes a necessity: Because the neighbor is there, so close but not of your own choosing, this may give the neighbor the role of being the destabilizing other. The embodied but also ambiguous neighbor in the physical space next door is needed to fill and stabilize essential cultural, social, and psychological functions. Hannah Arendt warns

10 Introduction that, if the relationship to one’s neighbor is destroyed, we face totalitarianism, since the neighbor is the breathing space that keeps subjects in proper relationships to the Other, neither too close nor too far, yet in proximity.38 A modern exhibition in the Rathaus Schöneberg in Berlin echoes these ambiguous neighbor-perspectives: By documenting memories of the neighborhood before WW2, the exhibit tries to understand how neighbors became enemies and contributed to the death of millions of Jews. They had lived side by side for generations in this part of Berlin, inhabiting the parks, shops, and theatres together. “Wir waren Nachbarn!” – we were neighbors, how could you? We were perhaps different in some respect, but we shared doors, stairs, and walls: We shared space. We gossiped; we borrowed from each other; we heard each other quarrel through the walls. So why kill your neighbor?39 In a time of war, neighbors who for many years had been each other’s destabilizing others, became monsters and killers. The neighbor as the ambiguous Nebenmensch40 The third dimension of the figure of the neighbor deals with space, time, and embodiment. The neighbor is next to me, whether concretely or symbolically, but beyond my choice. Some may have the privilege of choosing neighborhood, but few are allowed to pick their own neighbors. Neighbors share space, and their bodies live in the same, or closely related, places.41 The nearness of the neighbor can be challenging. When proximity is emphasized, it “thereby opens up the concept of neighbor … to ambiguity, difference, and agonism.”42 The person next door is the materialization of the uncertain division between friend/family/self and the enemy/stranger/ other, symbolizing complexity as well as danger: “The vicious gossip and penetration gaze of the neighbor become the site of overwhelming effect – love, hate, and fear commingled in fragments of the social relationship.”43 He or she may be a former stranger, a traveler, or a recently arrived immigrant, but at that moment part of the neighborhood. Homeless persons or permanent travelers accordingly may be without the privilege of being neighbors, but they are still fellow human beings.44 The Nebenmensch, with all their ambiguity and difference, is nevertheless there, as an adjoinedperson, sharing embodied space and time, real or symbolic, for example, a childless woman living next door in Cameron, a slave living in an ancient Jewish-Christian neighborhood, an imagined ideal Samaritan neighbor or a young man in a present-day multicultural Oslo suburb. With all these different theories available to study the neighbor, it becomes clear that this figure has the potential of being a rich but rather complex analytical figure. In the following, the neighbor as such appears on different but overlapping levels. Since many of the authors in this book work with texts, the neighbor often appears as primarily a literary construct. We look at how texts construct, describe or project a neighbor.

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Furthermore, a neighbor is not just a textual construct, but also a living person, a body, a human being, situated and embodied, both historically and today. In our studies of texts, archeological remains or contemporary contexts, we ask who these fellow human beings were or are and how neighbor-ness is preformed, although the limitations inherent to our sources often reduce our chances of finding proper answers. In our sources, the neighbor can be a concrete or an imagined, metaphorical and abstract character. The imagined neighbor is someone toward whom religious regulations require good treatment or love, but also someone who can behave badly and become a monster. In some languages, this imagined figure is called “the next person” (for instance, in Norwegian Neste, in German Nächste). All these different types of neighbors are studied in what follows. Intersectionality, various theories of the neighbor as an angel or monster, and the ambiguity inherent in the figure of the neighbor, are important analytical tools.

About this volume This book addresses various aspects of texts, spaces, traditions, and people related to the figure of the neighbor in an explorative and experimental manner. Each article employs its own specific analytical tools, relevant to its study object and disciplines, and in close dialogue with the overall framework. Our aim, accordingly, is not to define what a neighbor is or should be, but to employ a variety of case studies to offer a thick description of the figure of the neighbor.45 In addition to this Introduction, many of the other chapters also address issues of theory and method. Each author chose different levels of involvement with neighbor research outside their field. (Auto)biographic perspectives: We acknowledge that researchers are embedded and embodied, and that everyday situations and experiences influence and perhaps even determine research. We are also neighbors, some maybe the worst neighbor ever, while others have a very mixed experience of being or having neighbors. Therefore, in all its complexity, whether in war, conflict or peaceful coexistence, in religion, life and death, our own stories of neighbors and neighborship are also relevant sources in the conversation. Some of the authors include stories about themselves as neighbors or build on their own life stories related to neighbor experiences. Text and material interpretations, historical and today: An essential part of this volume consists of textual interpretation. Concepts, vocabulary, terminology, and language are explored, some of them inherently ambivalent. Comparative aspects: Comparing authoritative texts, interpretations, receptions, traditions, and practices among and between neighbors is one of the purposes of this volume as well as pointing to further directions for interdisciplinary

12 Introduction neighbor research. What can happen in a neighborhood when those living there have different connections? Religion may be one dimension, but what about ethnic connections, culture, gender? Does a neighborhood possess a sense of religion in itself, across other parameters? Or can mainstreaming and sameness be a disaster for neighbors, resulting in closed ghettoes instead? As a group, the authors represent a diversified and global academic neighborhood, stemming from Bosnia, Cameroon, Denmark, Germany, Norway, UK, and the United States, with interests in a whole set of different academic disciplines, such as Religious studies, Biblical studies, Islamic studies, feminist theology, archeology, and interreligious studies. In the first part, entitled “Intersectional Biblical Neighbors,” Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme’s article, “The Ambiguous Neighbor in the Hebrew Bible: A Survey of the Concept of Neighborshipin Hebrew Bible Texts” starts the conversation. She argues that in the Hebrew Bible, the neighbor (rēaʿ in Hebrew) is best known as the stereotypical close other, the fellow co-residing Israelite male head of a household, whose property one must leave well alone according to the Decalogue (Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5). The Decalogue’s neighbor is defined by his wealth, his membership of the people of Israel and his gender. He is a neighbor with whom other landowning male Israelites can safely initiate a reciprocal relationship, and presumably a mirror image of the second person singular masculine ‘you’ addressed in the text. In this chapter, Gudme calls this type of neighbor a ‘social’ neighbor. Another less well-known kind of neighbor in the Hebrew Bible is the person next door, the person, who lives close by (šākēn in Hebrew). The person next-door is a ‘spatial’ neighbor, a kind of neighbor that is defined on the basis of geography and spatial proximity and not by gender, ethnicity and social class. The purpose of this study is to conduct a survey of the two kinds of neighbors in the Hebrew Bible, the social and the spatial, and to pay attention to how far these two kinds of neighbors overlap with regard to gender, ethnicity and social status. Gudme is particularly interested in the spatial neighbor in the Hebrew Bible and to investigate how spatial neighbors and spatial neighborship is described as ambiguous in these texts. She concludes her study with a neighbor-focused reading of the story of the Exodus from Egypt, where the Israelites, aided by Yahweh, rob their Egyptian neighbors blind on the eve of departure (Exodus 3:21-22; 11:2-3). In Kristin Joachimsen’s article, “When Bethlehemites and Moabites Meet: Ambiguous Neighbors in the Book of Ruth,” we stay in the Hebrew Bible, albeit highlighting a different text. This chapter analyzes versions of neighbors in the book of Ruth, a story in which Bethlehem and Moab become interconnected by migration, death, intermarriages, and procreation. A Bethlehemite family is received in the fields of Moab while fleeing famine, and the townswomen, the harvesters, and the people at the gate of

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Bethlehem meet the Moabite Ruth when she enters the fields and the town, seeking sustenance for her Bethlehemite mother-in-law and herself. While the Bethlehem fields have good connotations for many readers, and memories of Moab as an enemy of Israel are frequently evoked as part of a broader context, a closer examination will show that in this story the picture is more complicated. The analysis will elaborate on both the concept of cultural imagination, stressing the interconnectedness between self and others, as well as the complexity of hospitality which comes to expression in the encounters of neighbors in this story. Catherine Hezser continues, shifting the attention to rabbinic material, in her article “Neighbour, Townsperson, and Fellow Creature: The Regulation of Inter-Human Relations in Palestinian Rabbinic Texts.” This chapter examines the representation of “others” in Palestinian rabbinic texts from late antiquity in the form of concentric circles from the immediate space of the residential neighborhood to fellow local townspeople to all humans as God’s creatures. It shows that, in rabbinic discussions of neighborly relations and dealings with local business partners, the ethnicity and religion of the “other” is usually not specified but sometimes implied. Only in particular halakhic and social contexts did the non-Jewishness and Romanness of the “other” become relevant. Two Biblical ideas served as guiding principles in rabbinic concepts of interhuman relations, namely, the idea that humans were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) and the commandment to “love your neighbor like yourself” (Lev. 19:18). Rabbis understood both of these notions in a universalistic way, that is, they believed that they applied to all human beings, irrespective of their religious or ethnic backgrounds. This led to an anthropology grounded in theology: the treatment of other humans was seen as a direct reflection of one’s relationship to God. In the next chapter, entitled “Monsters and Angels: The Function and Evaluation of the Intersectional Neighbors in the Gospels,” I examine the Gospel of Luke as a test case in a search for the ambiguous and intersecting figure of the neighbor, in conjunction with recent interdisciplinary neighbor research. In particular, I ask for what function of the neighbor that is important, but also I want to see how the neighbor is evaluated, whether good or bad, angel or monster. The story of the Good Samaritan, starting with the core question “Who is my neighbor?” is clearly given significant attention, as it plays such an important role in New Testament scholarship and the overall neighbor discourse. Neighbors are favorite characters in parables who dine and celebrate with friends and relatives. Both men and women can be neighbors, and probably also slaves, children and the disabled. Toward the end of the chapter, I look at one specific text in detail which presents an intersectional neighborhood. This serves to get some idea about what role neighbors played in the everyday life of the ancient world and how they were evaluated. The neighbor turns out to be a complex figure, both the abstract fellow human being and the concrete person living next door.

14 Introduction In the second section, entitled “Islamic Neighbors, Near and Far,” we move to Islamic texts and interpretations. Oddbjørn Leirvik’s article, “Aw qala: ‘Li-jarihi‘. Some Observations on Brotherhood and Neighborly Love in Islamic Tradition” takes its point of departure the quotation of two versions of the “Golden Rule” in Hadith. One version speaks of wishing for your brother what you wish for yourself; the other refers to “neighbor” instead of “brother”. In the methodological perspective of conceptual history, the article examines the notions of “neighbor” and “brother” in Hadith, in the Qur’an, in classical and modern tafsīr, and in contemporary usage (as reflected in some Muslim web pages). The article is organized as a textual study, but historical-contextual perspectives are also considered. The underlying question is whether the notions of brother and neighbor signal a tension between communal solidarity and universal obligation in Islamic tradition. In conclusion, the question of brotherhood and neighborhood is also discussed in a gender-critical and interreligious perspective. This article was first printed in 2010 in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 21(4):357–372, and reprinted in 2013 in Mona Siddiqui (ed.): The Routledge Reader in Christian-Muslim Relations. London: Routledge 2013, pp. 353-369. Permission for reprint given by the publisher. Nora S. Eggen’s article, “The Ambiguous jār: Towards a Qurʾanic Neighborhood Ethics,” continues along similar lines and aims at contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the inherently and exegetically ambiguous notion jār, commonly understood in Qurʾanic ethical discourse in the semitechnical sense of “neighbor.” She investigates the meaning, content and conceptualizations of the notion and its cognates in lexicographical and exegetical literature. The author examines these conceptualizations in their various literary and topical contexts in the Qurʾān, reflecting on the ethics of jār-hood or neighborhood. In the Qurʾanic text, the inherent reciprocity in the notion of jār is juxtaposed with the possible asymmetry of the social realities in which the jār relation functions. In Q. 4:36 a beneficiary entitlement list enlists two categories of jār. The verse asserts the obligation to treat the jār well, although exactly who is included in these two categories is a matter of interpretation. This ethical call to help, protect and treat well is reiterated elsewhere (Q. 9:6). However, in Q. 8:48, the treacherous Devil presents himself as a jār, only to betray the jār-hood obligation, thereby violating the conditions of the jār-hood (see also Q. 33:60). Thus, in addition to the Qurʾanic obligation to be a good neighbor, the text acknowledges the latent precariousness of shared common spaces. This implies a certain ambiguity and warrants a certain caution, something that also needs to be considered in the articulation of a neighborhood ethics. The four articles in the last part of the volume deal with contexts in which the figure of the neighbor is involved in war and conflict, discussions and quarrel, or peaceful coexistence. Part 3 is entitled “Negotiating the ambiguous neighborhood in peace and war, conflict and coexistence.”

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15

Here, we include contemporary and recent contexts, from such different places as Bosnia, Cameroon, and Oslo, but also a historical case from the Jewish-Christian neighborhood of ancient Capernaum. We start with Safet Bektovic’s article “Neighbour in the war: Saviour or murderer? Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia.” He argues as follows: A great deal of anthropological, historical, and social science research has been conducted on Bosnian neighbourhood before and during the war (1992–1995). The interpretation perspectives vary a lot, and in some cases, they contradict each other, especially when it comes to understanding the role of ethnicity and religious identity. This chapter discusses some of the analytical constructions that have dominated academic and political discourses, and pays particular attention to the ambiguity of neighbourhood during the war, and the scope of the characteristic interpretive perspectives. In her article “The Childless Woman and Her Neighbors: Exploring Neighborliness Within a Rural Community in Cameroon,” Gladys E. Wang starts with the question “Who is my neighbor?” posed by the lawyer to Jesus in The Gospel of Luke (10:29). She argues that this is still just as relevant a question today as it was 2000 years ago. So long as humankind keeps dividing their communities and world into friends and enemies, neighbors and strangers, we feel no moral responsibility to those whom we have already labeled as “others.” This human distinction between “us” and “them” creates a dualistic society that closes the door on viewing the “other” as a neighbor who deserves to be loved. She examines how the idea of neighbor is understood alongside how neighborliness plays out in women who reproduce (children) and childless women within a rural setting found in the Bakossi community in Cameroon. Having a good interpersonal relationship with every member in the community can be of great essence: Sharing of food as well as good and challenging moments, and considering children belonging to one’s neighbor as belonging to the community are acceptable norms within a significant number of communities in Africa. Using a narrative approach in conjunction with the story of the Good Samaritan, Wang shows that the question “Who is my neighbor?” not only lies at the heart of the human quest for a meaningful interpersonal relationship, it also lies at the heart of human pursuit for peace, love, and care. The next article, “Imagining the Everyday Life of Jewish and Christian ‘Neighbors’ in Late Antique Capernaum: Beyond Church and Synagogue—and Back Again” is written by Wally Cirafesi. Adapting several insights from the work of social theorists Michel de Certeau and Pierre Mayol on the concepts of “everyday life” and the “neighborhood,” as well as Cynthia Baker’s work on the architecture of gender in Late Antique Galilee, he explores how the neighborhood architecture of the ancient Galilean village of Capernaum contributes to the way in which we imagine Jews and Christians having lived together in this ancient village as “neighbors.” The chapter ties this discussion of neighborhood architecture

16 Introduction into the enduring question of the supposed “religious” boundary projected by the architecture of Capernaum’s famous octagonal church and basilical synagogue. Recognizing the limitations of the archaeological record, several contemporaneous and geographically proximate literary sources are mobilized that provide further hermeneutical insight into the entangled relationship between Capernaum’s monumental and domestic landscapes and that allow us to generate a more robust historical imagination of Jewish – Christian interaction in the town. We end where it all started: In Oslo. Anne Hege Grung’s article “Narratives of the suburb as a religious neighbourhood: How a local church and mosque in an Oslo suburb negotiate Muslim-Christian neighbourly relations” revisits a multi-ethnic neighbourhood in the capital of Norway. This contribution presents expressions of community within a church and a mosque in an eastside suburb. Empirical examples suggest that religious sameness is experienced as a stronger marker of community and neighbourship than co-habiting over time. While people may live close and share experiences of diversity, it appears more significant for the community to share a religious affiliation. What can this tell us about a possible relation between culture, religion, and co-habiting? How to identify religious elements in existing ideas about neighbourship? Grung ends her chapter by returning to the suggested shift from “Children of Abraham” to ambiguous neighbours, observing that “the concept of ambiguous neighbours seems much more inclusive than any reference to a shared ‘Abrahamic’ family tree.”

Neighbors near and far, facing the future I would like to end this Introduction with a third short story about myself and my neighbors. The morning my mother unexpectedly died, a neighbor woman called my father, having seen the ambulance arrive. Once he explained what had happened, the woman hung up. He stood there alone, looking out of the window, and immediately saw her rushing over to another neighbor, her coat open and her winter shoes untied. Instead of offering the newly widowed man company, comfort, or coffee, she felt the need to tell someone the latest news. She did not tend to the neighbor who needed her the most. The priorities of the neighbor can make a difference, in both life and death. This story still makes me sad. Having high expectations means risking being disappointed. Like other stories about neighbors, whether in religious texts, receptions, and practices – or elsewhere – we all tend to struggle to fulfill our role as good neighbors. It is hard to love, especially ambiguous neighbors. In a time of crisis, I think, we have no other choice than to try our best, again and again: Stay home and in your neighborhood and love thy neighbor.

Introduction

17

Notes 1 https://www.oslo.kommune.no/koronavirus/status-om-handteringen-av-korona/ brev-fra-ordforer-og-byradsleder-til-innbyggerne#gref 2 https://www.vi.no/familie/endelig-har-naboene-begynt-a-hilse-pa-meg-etter-23ar-i-samme-nabolag-jeg-haper-ikke-de-slutter-med-det-etter-dette/72412654 3 Galit Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2003), 8. 4 For more on what neighborly love can mean in a present-day context, see Karin Berber Neutel and Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “Neighbours Near and Far: How a Biblical Figure Is Used in Recent European Anti-Migration Politics,” Biblical Interpretation (2021, forthcoming). 5 As discussed in Nora Eggen’s article in this volume. 6 Anne-Marie Fortier, “Too Close for Comfort: Loving Thy Neighbour and the Management of Multicultural Intimities,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 25 (2005). Bernard Capp, When Gossips Meet: Women, Family, and Neighbourhood in Early Modern England. Oxford Studies in Social History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003). Slavoj Žižek, Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours (Penguin Books, 2016). 7 See Joe Painter, “The Politics of the Neighbour,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30 (2012). 8 Slavoj Žižek, “Neighbors and Other Monsters: A Plea for Ethical Violence,” in The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology, ed. Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013). Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “The Ambiguous Neighbour: Female Neighbourhood Networks and the Parable of the Lost Coin,” Neotestamentica 53 (2019). 9 Phyllis Trible and Letty Russel, eds., Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives (Louisville: Westminster, John Knox Press, 2006). 10 Marcia J. Bunge, ed. Children, Adults, and Shared Responsibilities: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). 11 Bernadette J. Brooten (with assistance of Jacqueline L. Hazelton), ed., Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies (New York: Palgrave, MacMillan, 2010). 12 Amy Kalmanofsky, ed., Sexual Violence and Sacred Texts (Cambridge: Feminist Studies in Religious Books, 2017). See also the ISBL Program Unit “Biblical Characters in Three Traditions,” which has addressed similar issues over the years (https://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/Congresses_CallForPaperDetails.aspx? MeetingId=14&VolunteerUnitId=318). 13 See for example the volume of family and household: Carolyn Osiek and David L. Balch, Families in the New Testament World: Households and House Churches, The Family, Religion, and Culture (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997). 14 The nuclear family model, where Abraham is symbolically the “father of all,” has some challenging aspects, for example, when seen from a gender or slave perspective; see Trible and Russel, Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives. 15 Among a number of examples, from a variety of genre and channels, see Ronald Hendel, Remembering Abraham: Culture, Memory, and History in the Hebrew Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005); György Benyik, “The

18 Introduction

16

17 18

19

20 21 22 23

24

25 26

27

Formation and Interpretation of the Bible and of the Qur’an,” Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyal LIII 2 (2008); R. W. L. Moberly, The Bible, Theology, and Faith: A Study of Abraham and Jesus (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and John Eposito, eds., Daughters of Abraham: Feminst Thought in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (University Press of Florida, 2001). Trible and Russel, Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives. See also important contributions to this conversation in Anne Hege Grung, Gender Justice in Muslim-Christian Readings: Christian and Muslim Women in Norway: Making Meaning of Texts from the Bible, the Koran, and the Hadith (Amsterdam: Brill Rodopi 2015). Anne Hege Grung and Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “Samtaler om Hagar: Tekster, fortellinger og religionsmøter,” Kirke og Kultur: Religion og samfunn 3 (2011). Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “On Naming and Blaming: Hagar’s God-Talk in Jewish and Early Christian Sources,” in In the Arms of Biblical Women, ed. John T. Greene and Mishael M. Caspi, Biblical Intersections 13 (Gorgias Press, 2013). Riffat Hassan, “Islamic Hagar and Her Family,” in Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives, ed. Phyllis Trible and Letty M. Russell (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006), 149. See also Phyllis Trible and Letty M. Russell, “Unto the Thousandth Generation,” ibid., ed. Phyllis Trible and Letty Russel, 10. Edward W. Said, The World, the Text, and the Critic (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), 17. Ibid., 19–20. This would turn the normal order of things upside down, since a female slave and mother in many ways is as close to nature as possible. Mieke Bal argues that the Genesis figure of Abraham as a model for religious life has a lot to account for: “He had cast out his first born son, Ishmael, and the lad’s mother, Hagar. Then (…) God asks Abraham to prove his faith by sacrificing his ‘only’ son - ‘the one you love.’” As a father he has in fact already sacrificed his son when he casts out Ishmael. How can Abraham work as a unifying figure for the three monotheistic religions? Mieke Bal, Loving Yusuf: Conceptual Travels from Present to Past (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008), 19. Hibba Abugideiri, “Hagar: A Historical Model for ‘Gender Jihad,’” in Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, ed. Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and John L. Esposito (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2001). See also Christina von Braun and Ulrike Auga, “Beyond Boundaries: Introduction,” in Gender in Conflicts: Palestina, Israel, Germany, ed. Christina von Braun and Ulrike Auga (Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2006), 5–6. Painter, “The Politics of the Neighbour,” 515, 19. Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan Shaw, Intersectional Theology: An Introductory Guide (Fortress Press, 2018). See also Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, “Introduction: Exploring the Intersections of Race, Gender, Status, and Ethnicity in Early Christian Studies,” in Prejudice and Christian Beginnings: Investigating Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in Early Christian Studies, ed. Laura Nasrallah and Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009). Lena Gunnarsson, “Why We Keep Separating the ‘Inseparable’: Dialecticizing Intersectionality,” European Journal of Women’s Studies 24, no. 2 (2017); Kathy Davis, “Intersectionality as Buzzword: A Sociology of Science Perspective on What Makes a Feminist Theory Successful,” Feminist Theory 9 (2008); Sumi

Introduction

28

29 30

31 32 33 34

35

36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44

45

19

Cho, Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, and Leslie McCall, “Toward a Field of Intersectional Studies: Theory, Applications, and Praxis,” Signs (Theme Issue: Intersectionality: Theorizing Power, Empowering Theory 38, no. 4 (2013). Mari J. Matsuda, “Beside My Sister, Facing the Enemy: Legal Theory out of Coalition,” Stanford Law Review 43 (1990). She asks: The way I try to understand the interconnection of all forms of subordination is through a method I call “ask the other question.” When I see something that looks racist, I ask, “Where is the patriarchy in this?” When I see something that looks sexist, I ask, “Where is the heterosexism in this?” When I see something that looks homophobic, I ask, “Where are the class interests in this?” More on method, see Catharine A. MacKinnon, “Intersectionality as Method: A Note,” Signs 38, no. 4 (2013). See Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “‘Asking the Other Question’: An Intersectional Approach to Galatians 3:28 and the Colossian Household Codes,” Biblical Interpretation 18, no. 4–5 (2010). See also Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “Intersectional Studies,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies, ed. Julia M. O'Brien (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014). Some studies concerned with neighbors have paid attention to gender, while I have not found any that explicitly employ intersectionality. See fx Capp, When Gossips Meet: Women, Family, and Neighbourhood in Early Modern England. Žižek, “Neighbors and Other Monsters: A Plea for Ethical Violence,” 162–163. Ibid. See discussion in Fortier, “Too Close for Comfort: Loving Thy Neighbour and the Management of Multicultural Intimities,” 110. See also the introduction in Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard, The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013). See “Preface 2013” and “Introduction” in Kenneth Reinhard, “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor,” in The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology, ed. Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013). See also JohannAlbrecht Meylahn, “Responsibility, God and Society: The Cry of the Other in the Sacred Texts as a Challenge Towards Responsible Global Citizenship,” HTS Theological Studies 65, no. 1 (2009). Žižek, Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours. See Introduction in ibid. See discussions of Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism in Reinhard, “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor,” 24–25. “Wir waren Nachbarn!” Berlin, Schöneberg Rathaus (http://www.wirwarennachbarn. de/index.php/ueber-uns.html). From Freud, translated “the next-man” or “adjoining-person” see Reinhard, “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor,” 29. Setha Low, Spatializing Culture: The Ethnography of Space and Place (London, New York: Routledge, 2017), 41. Fortier, “Too Close for Comfort: Loving Thy Neighbour and the Management of Multicultural Intimities,” 110. Reinhard, “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor,” 38–39. See fx 2017 Neighborhood Handbook from the City of Eugene in Oregon (USA) file:///C:/Users/marianbk/Downloads/2017%20NH%20Handbook%20for %20WEB1_201711091802233637%20(4).pdf. On neighborhood gentrification, see Low, Spatializing Culture: The Ethnography of Space and Place, 77. Or, perhaps a bit more philosophical: “One cannot define one’s neighbour; one

20 Introduction can only be a neighbour.” According to Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Friedrich, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, 10 vols. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985). On the entry to one of the Greek term for neighbor, πλησίον.

Bibliography Abugideiri, Hibba. “Hagar: A Historical Model for ‘Gender Jihad.’” In Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and John L. Esposito, 81–107. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2001. Bal, Mieke. Loving Yusuf: Conceptual Travels from Present to Past. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008. Benyik, György. “The Formation and Interpretation of the Bible and of the Qur’an.” Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyal LIII, no. 2 (2008): 36–58. Brooten, Bernadette J. (with the assistance of Jacqueline L. Hazelton), ed. Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies. New York: Palgrave, MacMillan, 2010. Bunge, Marcia J., ed. Children, Adults, and Shared Responsibilities: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Capp, Bernard. When Gossips Meet: Women, Family, and Neighbourhood in Early Modern England. Oxford Studies in Social History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Cho, Sumi, Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, and Leslie McCall. “Toward a Field of Intersectional Studies: Theory, Applications, and Praxis.” Signs (Theme Issue: Intersectionality: Theorizing Power, Empowering Theory 38, no. 4 (2013): 785–810. Davis, Kathy. “Intersectionality as Buzzword: A Sociology of Science Perspective on What Makes a Feminist Theory Successful.” Feminist Theory 9 (2008): 67–83. Fortier, Anne-Marie. “Too Close for Comfort: Loving Thy Neighbour and the Management of Multicultural Intimities.” Environment and Planning: D: Society and Space 25 (2005): 104–119. Friedrich, Gerhard. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Edited by Gerhard Friedrich. 10 vols. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1985. Grung, Anne Hege. Gender Justice in Muslim-Christian Readings: Christian and Muslim Women in Norway: Making Meaning of Texts from the Bible, the Koran, and the Hadith. Amsterdam: Brill Rodopi, 2015. Grung, Anne Hege, and Marianne Bjelland Kartzow. “Samtaler om Hagar: Tekster, fortellinger og religionsmøter.” Kirke og Kultur: Religion og samfunn 3 (2011): 202–215. Gunnarsson, Lena. “Why We Keep Separating the ‘Inseparable’: Dialecticizing Intersectionality.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 24, no. 2 (2017): 114–127. Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, and John Eposito, eds. Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: University Press of Florida, 2001.

Introduction

21

Hasan-Rokem, Galit. Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2003. Hassan, Riffat. “Islamic Hagar and Her Family.” In Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives, edited by Phyllis Trible and Letty M. Russell, 149–167. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006. Hendel, Ronald. Remembering Abraham: Culture, Memory, and History in the Hebrew Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Kalmanofsky, Amy, ed. Sexual Violence and Sacred Texts. Cambridge: Feminist Studies in Religious Books, 2017. Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. “The Ambiguous Neighbour: Female Neighbourhood Networks and the Parable of the Lost Coin.” Neotestamentica 53 (2019): 271–289. Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. “‘Asking the Other Question’: An Intersectional Approach to Galatians 3:28 and the Colossian Household Codes.” Biblical Interpretation 18, no. 4–5 (2010): 364–389. Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. “On Naming and Blaming: Hagar’s God-Talk in Jewish and Early Christian Sources.” In In the Arms of Biblical Women, edited by John T. Greene and Mishael M. Caspi. Biblical Intersections 13, 97–119: Gorgias Press, 2013. Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. “Intersectional Studies.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies, edited by Julia M. O’Brien, 364–389. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Kim, Grace Ji-Sun, and Susan Shaw. Intersectional Theology: An Introductory Guide.: Fortress Press, 2018. Low, Setha. Spatializing Culture: The Ethnography of Space and Place. London, New York: Routledge, 2017. MacKinnon, Catharine A. “Intersectionality as Method: A Note.” Signs 38, no. 4 (2013): 1019–1030. Matsuda, Mari J. “Beside My Sister, Facing the Enemy: Legal Theory out of Coalition.” Stanford Law Review 43 (1990): 1183–1192. Meylahn, Johann-Albrecht. “Responsibility, God and Society: The Cry of the Other in the Sacred Texts as a Challenge Towards Responsible Global Citizenship.” HTS Theological Studies 65, no. 1 (2009): 1–5. Moberly, R.W.L. The Bible, Theology, and Faith: A Study of Abraham and Jesus. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Neutel, Karin Berber, and Marianne Bjelland Kartzow. “Neighbours Near and Far: How a Biblical Figure Is Used in Recent European Anti-Migration Politics.” Biblical Interpretation (2021, forthcoming). Osiek, Carolyn, and David L. Balch. Families in the New Testament World: Households and House Churches. The Family, Religion, and Culture. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997. Osiek, Carolyn and Margaret Y. MacDonald (with Janet H. Tulloch). A Woman’s Place: House Churches in Earliest Christianity. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006. Painter, Joe. “The Politics of the Neighbour.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30 (2012): 515–533. Reinhard, Kenneth. “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor.” In The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology, edited by Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner and Kenneth Reinhard, 11–75. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013.

22 Introduction Said, Edward W. The World, the Text, and the Critic. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983. Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth. “Introduction: Exploring the Intersections of Race, Gender, Status, and Ethnicity in Early Christian Studies.” In Prejudice and Christian Beginnings: Investigating Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in Early Christian Studies, edited by Laura Nasrallah and Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, 1–23. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009. Trible, Phyllis, and Letty Russel, eds. Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives. Louisville: Westminster, John Knox Press, 2006. Trible, Phyllis, and Letty M. Russell. “Unto the Thousandth Generation.” In Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives, edited by Phyllis Trible and Letty Russel, 1–29. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006. von Braun, Christina, and Ulrike Auga. “Beyond Boundaries: Introduction.” In Gender in Conflicts: Palestina, Israel, Germany, edited by Christina von Braun and Ulrike Auga, 1–11. Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2006. Žižek 2016 Žižek, Slavoj. Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours. Penguin Books, 2016. Žižek Žižek 2013 Žižek, Slavoj. “Neighbors and Other Monsters: A Plea for Ethical Violence.” In The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology, edited by Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner and Kenneth Reinhard, 134–190. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013. Žižek 2013 Žižek, Slavoj, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard. The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Online sources https://www.oslo.kommune.no/koronavirus/status-om-handteringen-av-korona/ brev-fra-ordforer-og-byradsleder-til-innbyggerne#gref. Read December 4, 2020. https://www.vi.no/familie/endelig-har-naboene-begynt-a-hilse-pa-meg-etter-23-ar-isamme-nabolag-jeg-haper-ikke-de-slutter-med-det-etter-dette/72412654. Read December 4, 2020. ISBL Program Unit, “Biblical Characters in Three Traditions,” which has addressed similar issues over the years, https://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/Congresses_ CallForPaperDetails.aspx?MeetingId=14&VolunteerUnitId=318. Read December 4, 2020. Neighborhood Handbook from the City of Eugene in Oregon (USA), http://file:///C:/ Users/marianbk/Downloads/2017%20NH%20Handbook%20for%20WEB1_2 01711091802233637%20(4).pdf. On neighborhood gentrification, see Low, Spatializing Culture: The Ethnography of Space and Place, 77. Read December 4, 2020. “Wir waren Nachbarn!” Berlin, Schöneberg Rathaus, http://www.wirwaren nachbarn.de/index.php/ueber-uns.html. Read December 4, 2020.

Part I

Intersectional biblical neighbors

1

The ambiguous neighbor in the Hebrew Bible: A survey of the concept of neighborship in Hebrew Bible texts Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme

Introduction: The social neighbor and the spatial neighbor There are at least two kinds of neighbors in the Hebrew Bible. There is the neighbor known from the Decalogue (Exod 20:1–17; Deut 5:1–22), whose house, wife, slaves, ox, and donkey you shall refrain from coveting, and there is the neighbor as in the person, who lives next door or close by. In Biblical Hebrew, the term rēaʿ (‫ )רע‬is used both of the kind of neighbor we find in the Decalogue and of the person next door, but the person next door can also be called a šākēn (‫)שכן‬, a person who “dwells” close by. In English, both of these words are translated simply as neighbor. In German and in Scandinavian languages such as Norwegian and Danish, the neighbor in the Decalogue is called a Nächste/neste/næste, a fellow person, whereas the person next door is a Nachbar/nabo/nabo, literally a ‘near-dweller’, which is the same word etymologically as neighbor. These two meanings of the word neighbor in English may overlap, the person next door may also be your fellow and your fellow may also happen to be living next door, but they are not always and not necessarily the same. For the purpose of this study, I shall refer to the neighbor in the sense of fellow person as a ‘social’ neighbor, and to the neighbor in the sense of a person living next door as a ‘spatial’ neighbor. I use the term social neighbor here, because the stereotypical close other known from the Hebrew Bible is exactly a social mirror image of the second person singular masculine ‘you’ addressed in the text. The social neighbor is an ‘other’ that is exactly like oneself, a person of the same gender, rough age and social position, and who shares one’s world view and interests. Individual descriptions of social neighbors often reflect a certain degree of blindness to one’s own privilege and to life experiences that depart from one’s own.1 Social neighborship is demarcated by one’s social circle, by the group of individuals that one resembles. The social neighbor is the socially proximate other. Spatial neigborship on the other hand is demarcated by space and by geography. The spatial neighbor is the physically proximate other, and at least in principle this category of neighbor is defined only by spatial proximity and not by factors such as gender, ethnicity, and social

26 Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme class. In practice, of course, the place where people live is very much influenced exactly by their social class, and sometimes by their ethnicity and gender as well. In many neighborhoods, the categories of social and spatial neighbors overlap. In this study, I am particularly interested in the spatial neighbor and in how this kind of neighbor is described as ambiguous in the Hebrew Bible. My starting point is to take a closer look at the two terms rēaʿ and šākēn in the Hebrew Bible and in particular to see how they are used to describe the spatial neighbor. I shall move then to an analysis of the story of the Exodus from Egypt, where the Israelites, aided by Yahweh, rob their Egyptian neighbors blind on the eve of departure (Exod 3:21–22; 11:2–3). First, however, I shall dwell on the ambiguity of the spatial neighbor in contemporary Western urban communities and share my own experience of serial neighborships.2

The neighborship memoirs of an academic nomad Biographies are not a standard element in scholarly writing, but nevertheless, I have chosen to include a description of some selected neighborship experiences of my own in this part of my study. This was triggered by something I discovered when I started doing research on neighbors. When I mentioned what I was working on, people would respond with interest. People are usually kind and patient when you talk about work, and almost everyone responded with a story. A story about that time they experienced a neighboring conflict, or about that one neighbor who did them a good turn. My good friend Annette, who has recently had balconies put up in her building, reflected upon how the addition of an outdoor neighboring space posed new challenges to patterns of neighborly behavior, and she gave me several examples of balcony-related neighborship successes and fiascoes. All these stories made me realize that our individual understanding of spatial neighborship is very much influenced by our individual experiences of spatial neighborship, and that these, in turn will most likely influence the ways in which we theorize neighborship.3 Therefore, I attempt to put my cards on the table with this account of neighborship experiences, because it reveals my own assumptions about good neighboring, and I invite my readers to reflect upon their own experiences and preferences as they read. For many university researchers, occasional longer stays abroad are a common part of their work life. My first experience as an academic nomad was in Providence, New England, in the US. I had rented one of the university housing department’s flats. It was part of a large and beautiful wooden New England house with a columned front porch and a very stately hall with an elegant staircase to the first floor, a plush Persian carpet, and a gold and crystal chandelier. I spent long days in the library and came home rather late in the evening. I knew that I was not the only inhabitant in the large house. There were perhaps six apartments in total. I could hear my

Ambiguous neighbour in the Hebrew Bible 27 neighbors through the walls and through the ceilings, when they turned on the tap in the kitchen or watched television, but I never saw anyone. As the months progressed, I became slightly obsessed with the invisible strangers living next door. I started lingering a little bit longer in the common areas when I was on my way in or out just to see if I would run into another person, but I never did. My neighbors sometimes left laundry in the laundry room in the basement, and they picked up their mail in the pigeonholes in the hall, so the noises I heard them make in the big house were not just figments of my imagination. After six months, I traveled back home, without having encountered any of the other residents. In Göttingen in Germany, one of my next-door neighbors was a friendly male professor from Korea who always worked from home and was happy to receive packages on my behalf when I was away in my office. Normally I received only book packages, but once he knocked on my door holding a parcel from an online clothes shop, which I had completely forgotten that I had ordered, and I could feel my scholarly façade crumbling a bit. In Helsinki in Finland, my building was owned by the university, but there were a few apartments that were protected by law, and in those apartments, lived people who were not academic nomads like me and the other visiting researchers. One of these permanent residents was an elderly Finnish woman. I sometimes met her in the lift, and she seemed to know that my knowledge of Finnish did not go beyond ‘yes’, ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’, but nevertheless, she always talked and talked when she met me. I could tell from her tone of voice and from her body language that she was telling me about things that were not okay. I guess I will never know exactly, but I think it was sometimes about the bicycle that was often very haphazardly parked in front of the building’s entrance and sometimes about the young Italian man upstairs who had an unfortunate habit of burning cheese in his oven so that the smoke would set off the fire alarm. I thought these were very reasonable complaints, but we had no way to communicate properly, so I just said “moi” and “moi moi”, which means ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’, and smiled in a way that I hoped would impress upon her that I was certainly not a cheese-burning kind of neighbor. This rather long anecdote illustrates, I hope, some of the ambiguity of the spatial neighbor in modern urban society.4 Very often, neighbors are not family and they are not exactly friends, but they are the strangers next door with whom we prefer to be on reasonably good terms. Personally, I pride myself on being a ‘good neighbor.’ I never leave a mess in shared spaces, I always say hello and smile politely, and if people seem to want to chat I try to oblige, but I am conscious that I should not chat for too long and that I should not ask too many questions. This is my understanding of good neighboring, but studies show that this is by no means an original perception of neighborship. A good neighbor is frequently perceived as a person who manages to keep a good balance between privacy and availability.5

28 Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme The friendly professor in Germany was more or less the perfect neighbor for someone like me. He was helpful and valued privacy. The talkative Finnish lady made me feel that I had to prove that I was indeed a good neighbor and that I would never make a mess or set off the fire alarm, but I had no way of telling her this, and that nagged me much more than it probably should have. My invisible neighbors in New England made me feel that I had been surpassed with regard to valuing privacy. This was the only time in my life that I have haunted the corridors of a building in the hope of running into a neighbor, and at the time it made me feel like a ‘bad neighbor’, because it made me appear nosy and needy. In the large New England house, I ended up compromising my own ideal of being a good neighbor.

The ambiguity of the spatial neighbor: The stranger next door The ambiguity of the spatial neighbor is largely connected with the perception of home as a place of safety and autonomy.6 One may choose one’s neighborhood, but individual neighbors are generally beyond one’s own control. The proximity between spatial neighbors creates an opportunity for building social relationships over time, but the same proximity also poses a risk of having your privacy invaded and of having your peace disturbed. In some cases, even personal safety and property are perceived to be at risk.7 Spatial neighborship does not guarantee shared interests or values, and even one’s social neighbor, whose interests and values are likely similar to one’s own, may turn out to have a different concept of good neighboring than oneself. In this way, spatial neighbors who repeatedly overstep boundaries may “unmake” their neighbors’ sense of home, because they are perceived as a challenge to the autonomy of the home, basically, as an obstacle to feeling ‘at home’ in one’s own home.8 It is interesting to consider neighboring alongside another home-centered social interaction, namely hospitality. In general terms, hospitality is to welcome a stranger into one’s home. As such it carries a risk, of invasion, of theft, of assault, but it also carries the opportunity of turning a stranger into a friend.9 Hospitality is an expression of social reciprocity. Quite frequently, it is direct reciprocity between the host and the guest, who establish and maintain a social relationship by exchanging the gift of mutual hospitality over time. Hospitality also occurs, however, in circumstances where any kind of direct reciprocity is highly unlikely, and in those cases, hospitality may rather express an expectation of indirect reciprocity, or even a notion of an altruistic ideal, which carries a reward in itself and is thus not entirely detached from other kinds of social reciprocity.10 With regard to social reciprocity, hospitality and neighboring are quite similar. Good neighboring is explained by social actors with reference to both direct reciprocity, a conscious exchange of favors, indirect reciprocity, a general

Ambiguous neighbour in the Hebrew Bible 29 sense of neighborly generosity and/or gratitude, and to a concept of altruism, where it feels good to do the right thing.11 Like most social interactions, both hospitality and neighboring are continuously negotiated, and this means that the ‘script’ for an act of neighboring may change from altruism to direct reciprocity or vice versa.12 In addition, like hospitality neighboring may lead to lasting social relationships. In cases of bad neighboring, such as escalating neighbor conflicts, direct reciprocity, exchanging harm for harm, is often very clear.13 It is with regard to time and space that hospitality and neighboring differ most significantly. Hospitality is a reaction to a guest appearing at your doorstep – either by chance or by invitation – whereas spatial proximity, near-dwelling as it is, is the precondition for neighboring. In a way, hospitality is dependent upon spatial distance just as neighboring is dependent upon spatial proximity.14 In this case, the aspect of space influences the aspect of time. Hospitality is usually a time-limited phenomenon. In most cases, the guest leaves again, and in some cases, the guest becomes integrated and moves in.15 Either way, the guest ceases to be a guest. Neighborship on the other hand is a long-term condition. Even the relatively brief serial neighborships of academic nomads as the ones described above usually last for several months, enough time to experience if your neighbors are good, bad, or invisible.16 People may be hospitable to their neighbors, they may even invite them in, but just like any other guest, a neighbor is supposed to leave again. In fact, I find it very likely that the spatial proximity of the neighbor makes it even more pressing that they do leave again. A blurring of the boundaries between mi casa and su casa runs the risk of being particularly problematic among neighbors because it poses a constant threat of undermining the autonomy of the home.17 Guests are not unambiguous, one may regret letting a person into one’s home and decide never to do so again, but guests are short-term visitors and they can be uninvited or non-invited according to the wishes of the host.18 In contrast, neighbors are the permanent presence next door. Hospitality can be seen as temporary outbursts of rather overwhelming generosity and seeming selflessness, whereas neighboring often ends in “limited reciprocity” and “friendly distance.”19 The spatial proximity and open-endedness of neighborship often inspire neighbors to practice restraint in their interactions. Neighbors are potentially friendly and helpful, but they are also creatures that should not be tempted to overstep or get carried away, lest they turn into monstrous presences that threaten the home. A regime of restraint sounds simple enough in theory, but in everyday interactions, the right balance between privacy and availability is often perceived as difficult to manage. Exactly how much is enough and exactly how close is appropriate?20 To what extent do these modern insights on neighboring translate to ancient texts such as the Hebrew Bible? There are multiple differences of course between the lives and worldviews of the presumably male urban literate elites of Iron Age Palestine, who produced the texts of the

30 Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme Hebrew Bible, and the ways in which people in contemporary Western urban settings perceive and practice social interactions. Patterns of housing have certainly changed, as have notions of public and private, ‘decency,’ and proper behavior. At the same time, some conditions for neighborship are constant, such as spatial proximity over time and the risk it poses to a sense of home as well as the opportunity it creates for social relationships. In general, a concept of home as a safe and autonomous place is also present in the Hebrew Bible.21 Gender is also an issue in relation to neighborship both in ancient literature and today. As several of the case studies in this volume suggest, spatial neighboring is often associated with women’s activities.22 This corresponds somewhat with modern patterns of gender roles in the home, where, especially, communication with neighbors is carried out more frequently by women than by men.23 Specific expectations to gendered social performance differ from antiquity to today, but it is worth noting that the performance of neighborship appears to be gendered in both contexts. I shall return to this below. To sum up, I do not suggest that concepts of ambiguous neighbors in modern society and in the Hebrew Bible are the same, nor that one simply maps on to the other. I do suggest, however, that the fundamental preconditions for the spatial neighbor’s ambiguity are not significantly different in the Hebrew Bible and today and therefore, I consider a reflection on the ambiguity of the neighbor that we recognize a worthwhile exercise before we examine the neighbor in the Hebrew Bible. I shall turn now to the concept of neighbor in the Hebrew Bible.

The rēaʿ in the Hebrew Bible As mentioned above, there are two terms in biblical Hebrew that can be translated as neighbor in English. The term rēaʿ (‫ )רע‬is used for both social and spatial neighbors, whereas the term šākēn (‫ )שכן‬is used exclusively of spatial neighbors, near-dwellers.24 Undoubtedly, the most famous rēaʿ in the Hebrew Bible is the social neighbor of the Decalogue (Exod 20:16–17; Deut 5:20-21), against whom one shall not testify falsely and whose house, wife, slaves, ox and donkey one shall refrain from coveting. David Clines aptly describes the Decalogue’s social neighbor as an individual, a male, an Israelite, employed, a house-owner, married, old enough to have working children but young enough to have living parents, living in a ‘city’, wealthy enough to possess an ox and an ass and slaves, important enough to be called to give evidence in a lawsuit.25 We also encounter this wealthy Israelite male social neighbor in the socalled love command in Leviticus 19:11-18.26 In these examples, the social neighbor is the equal of the addressee in the text, a fellow man of similar

Ambiguous neighbour in the Hebrew Bible 31 social status and wealth, one with whom reciprocal relationships are both meaningful, honorable, and feasible. He is the socially proximate other as described in the introduction above. The social neighbor is a fellowIsraelite, but he is not necessarily kin.27 It seems likely that he lives nearby since he can be called on to give evidence in a lawsuit and since his livestock, house, and wife run the risk of being coveted, presumably because someone lays their eyes on them, he may be a spatial neighbor as well as a social one, but his spatial proximity is not decisive in this context. Rather his social reflexivity and respectability define the social neighbor. It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether rēaʿ in the Hebrew Bible is used in the sense of a social or a spatial neighbor. So for instance in Proverbs 3:27–29 in a passage concerned with maintaining proper social relations with one’s neighbors: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor (‫)רעך‬, ‘Go, and come again; tomorrow I will give it’—when you have it with you.28 Do not plan harm against your neighbor (‫ )רעך‬who lives (‫ )ישב‬trustingly beside you (‫)אתך‬.29 Whereas the specification in verse 29b, “who lives trustingly beside you,” makes it clear that the rēaʿ in this case is a spatial neighbor – and possibly a social neighbor as well – the status of the rēaʿ in verse 28 is less unambiguous. The neighbor from whom one ought not to withhold a thing that is in one’s power to give may be a social neighbor or a spatial neighbor or both. We find a similar open meaning of rēaʿ in Job 31:9, a verse that is part of Job’s negative confession, where he lists all the sins he has not committed: If my heart has been enticed by a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s (‫ )רעי‬door; then let my wife grind for another, and let other men kneel over her.30 Whereas the reference to the neighbor’s woman conjures an echo of the Decalogue and the social neighbor, the vivid image of an adulterer lurking at the door rather evokes the proximity of the spatial neighbor.31 It may be that the rēaʿ is both social and spatial in this case. These passages eloquently express the ambiguity of the spatial neighbor. The spatial neighbor is a person who should be able to trust you. Spatial neighbors should behave kindly and honorable towards one another, but the proximity of the homes and the expectation of neighborly behavior leave the spatial neighbor vulnerable to deceit and harm. The peeping

32 Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme neighbor in Job 31:9 is the kind of ‘neighborhood watch’ that no one ever wanted. As we saw from the modern examples mentioned above, spatial neighboring often make people anxious to find exactly the right balance between privacy and availability. The Book of Proverbs (25:17) accurately expresses this anxiety and especially the fear of coming too close, of being a busybody and a nuisance:32 Be a rare visitor33 in your neighbor’s (‫ )רעך‬house, lest he is fed up with you (‫)ישבעך‬34 and hates you.35 This is a clear warning not to unmake the neighbor’s sense of home by being too intrusive. To sum up, the rēaʿ can be both a social and a spatial neighbor as well as a person that is both a social and a spatial neighbor. It is not always entirely clear from the text which category of neigbor the rēaʿ belongs to. The proximity of the rēaʿ in the sense of spatial neighbor is a source of some anxiety. The spatial neighbor may act deceitfully and cause his neighbor harm (Prov 3:29; Job 31:9), in spite of a general expectation of a trusting and respectful relationship between neighbors (Prov 3:28–29). One should, however, avoid becoming too close with one’s neighbor so as not to wear his hospitality thin (Prov 25:17). Finally, just as the rēaʿ-as-social-neighbor appears to be an exclusively male phenomenon in the Hebrew Bible, the rēaʿ-as-spatial-neighbor also consistently seems to be male – both grammatically and in his social roles. The rēaʿ-as-spatial-neighbor is a home-owner and has a wife.

The šākēn in the Hebrew Bible Let us turn now to the šākēn (‫)שכן‬, the near-dweller in the Hebrew Bible. The noun/adjective šākēn is derived from the root ‫ן‬-‫כ‬-‫ ש‬to settle/to dwell/to inhabit. It is used either of the inhabitants of a city (Isa 33:24; Hos 10:5) or of spatial neighbors. In some cases, šākēn is used to describe collectives such as neighboring cities (Jer 49:18), neighboring areas or regions (Deut 1:7), or neighboring peoples (Ez 16:26). In the first two cases, Jeremiah 49:18 and Deuteronomy 1:7, the use of šākēn appears to be purely factual and neither positive nor negative. In Ezekiel 16:26, which is part of one of the most hostile and accusatory chapters in the Hebrew Bible, the context is clearly negative. In this passage, Yahweh rants at the personified Jerusalem and accuses her of whoring with the Egyptians, “her well-endowed neighbors.”36 I do not want to push this interpretation too far, but the identification of Jerusalem’s lovers, presumably a metaphor for diplomatic relations in this case, exactly as neighbors may reveal a particular kind of anxiety in relation to the spatial neighbor just as we saw it in Job 31:9 above. As we discussed above, the spatial neighbor’s ambiguity derives from his physical proximity to the home, because his

Ambiguous neighbour in the Hebrew Bible 33 nearness may pose a risk to the autonomy and, for lack of a better word, ‘sanctity’ of the home. Based on Job 31:9 and Ezekiel 16:26, we may tentatively conclude that a particular aspect of the threat to the home posed by the male spatial neighbor is that the neighbor’s proximity enables him to view and possibly penetrate the female bodies that belong to the home.37 In a number of psalms, “the neighbors” (‫)שכנים‬, presumably neighboring peoples in this case, are used almost formulaically as witnesses to public shame, such as in Psalm 79:4: We have become a taunt to our neighbours (‫)לשכנינו‬, mocked and derided by those around us (‫)לסביבותינו‬. In these passages, the neighbors appear alongside enemies and adversaries as a group in front of whom the psalmist’s people are humiliated and brought low (Ps 31:12; 44:14–15; 80:7; cf. 79:12 and 89:42). In these examples, the description of scornful and malicious neighboring peoples, who have first-row seats to Israel’s downfall, is clearly negative. Considering the general attitude to non-Israelite people and nations in the majority of Hebrew Bible texts this is hardly surprising. In a way, these formulaic expressions in the Psalms are not really about neighbors at all, but rather about the enemy nations that surround Israel and are used as vehicles for Yahweh’s wrath whenever punishment is due. It is interesting to note, however, that the neighboring peoples see Israel. They are physically close and therefore they see everything that goes on in their ‘neighbor’s’ house, joy and grief. I wonder if this image is inspired by the experience of spatial neighbors who necessarily witness each other’s lives – both the triumphs and the tragedies. To sum up, in these examples where šākēn is used as a collective, the spatial neighbor’s role in the text is either neutral or negative. Let us turn now to the cases where šākēn is used at a ‘local’ level to describe next-door neighbors. In 2 Kings 4:1–7, there is a story that involves a group of spatial neighbors. The prophet Elisha meets a recently widowed woman, who begs him for help, because her creditor is threatening to enslave the woman’s two children. This looming crisis gives Elisha an opportunity to perform a miracle, where the contents of a single jar of oil is multiplied to such an extent that the widow when she sells the oil has sufficient income to pay off her debts and provide for herself and her children in the future. The neighbors appear in verse 3. Elisha says to the widow: Go outside, borrow (‫ )שאלי‬vessels from all your neighbors (‫)שכנכי‬,38 empty vessels and not just a few. In this story, the widow’s spatial neighbors seem to be friendly and helpful. They provide what she asks for, and their physical proximity means that they are close by when help is needed. Šākēn appears in masculine plural

34 Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme construct here with a second person feminine pronominal suffix: “your (fem.) neighbors (masc.).” In Biblical Hebrew, this means that the group of neighbors may be either exclusively male or mixed male and female. Considering that the request comes from a woman and that the requested objects, empty vessels, are of a domestic nature, it does not seem unlikely that the widow’s group of neighbors include women as well as men.39 If this is the case, these are the first female neighbors we have encountered in our study so far. It is interesting that the widow’s neighbors may include women, but it is equally interesting that this group of neighbors certainly seems to include men. This indicates the inclusion of men in a social practice and a social sphere, the domestic, that is often labeled as feminine. There are a couple of other examples in the Hebrew Bible, where the šākēn is described in positive terms, because the physical proximity of the spatial neighbor means that help and support is always close by. This is perhaps most obvious in Proverbs 27:10: Do not forsake your friend (‫ )רעך‬or the friend (‫ )רע‬of your parent;40 do not go to the house of your kindred (‫ )אחיך‬on the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is nearby (‫ )שכןקרוב‬than kindred who are far away (‫)אחרחוק‬. The logic appears to be that although family is an obvious place to turn to in a crisis because one’s relationship to one’s kin is expected to be closer than to one’s neighbor, the spatial neighbor is ever-present and family may not be, and therefore your neighbor is your help in need. The text seems to be confident that the neighbor will offer help when help is called for. This aligns nicely with the description of the trusting neighbor in Proverbs 3:29 and the helpful neighbors in 2 Kings 4:3, and it is the exact opposite of the stingy and unhelpful neighbor in Proverbs 3:28, who gives his neighbor the runaround. A similar example of handy and helpful neighboring is described in Exodus 12:4 in the instructions for the Pesach meal, where two households may share a lamb: If a household (‫ )בית‬is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor (‫ )אל־ביתו הקרב שכנו‬in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. In this passage, there is a clear assumption that the household closest to one’s own house is Israelite and not Egyptian. This may reflect a spatial logic in the story, Israelites in Egypt live closer to each other than they do to Egyptians, and it may reflect a ritual or even a salvation historical logic, namely that Pesach and the Exodus is an Israelite tradition and event. It seems to me that the latter concern is certainly the most important in Exodus 12. However, it is interesting to contrast the ‘Israeliteness’ of the

Ambiguous neighbour in the Hebrew Bible 35 spatial neighbor in Exodus 12 with the ‘Egyptianness’ of the spatial neighbor in Exodus 3 and 11, which I shall discuss below. In all of these examples, where the šākēn is a spatial neighbor at the local level, the neighbor plays a positive role as an accessible and benevolent helper next door. This impression is supported by Jeremiah 6:21, a verse that is not really about neighbors or cohabitation at all, but where neighbors and friends are grouped together as a natural pair just after parents and children: Therefore thus says the Lord: See, I am laying before this people stumbling-blocks against which they shall stumble; parents and children together, neighbor (‫ )שכן‬and friend (‫ )רע‬shall perish. As I read the parallelism in this verse, near-dwellers and friends are two social groups that belong together just as naturally as parents and children, and therefore I assume that the positive connotations of trust and affection that the word friend evokes are also associated with spatial neighbors in this passage.

Robbed by your neighbors: The despoliation of Egypt in Exodus 3:22 and 11:2 I shall complete my survey of the concept of neighborship in the Hebrew Bible with a spatial-neighbor-focused reading of the so-called despoliation of Egypt in Exodus 3:22 and 11:2.41 This is not so much a story in itself as it is a detail or a mini-motif embedded in the larger Exodus narrative in chapters 1–15. The story, which is what I shall refer to it as for convenience’s sake, is narrated in three stages. First, as part of the account of the burning bush in Exodus 3, where Yahweh predicts the despoliation of Egypt in his speech to Moses, as he reveals his scheme to liberate Israel: I will bring this people into such favor with the Egyptians that, when you go, you will not go empty-handed; each woman shall ask (‫ )שאלה‬her [female] neighbor (‫ )משכנתה‬and any woman (‫ )מגרת‬living in the neighbor’s house for jewellery of silver and of gold, and clothing, and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters; and so you shall plunder (‫נצלתם‬, piel) the Egyptians. The second stage is in Exodus 11:1-3, where the despoliation is predicted a second time in Yahweh’s final instructions to Moses before the tenth plague: The Lord said to Moses, ‘I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go from here; indeed, when

36 Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme he lets you go, he will drive you away. Tell the people that every man is to ask (‫ )וישאלו‬his neighbor (‫ )רעהו‬and every woman is to ask her [female] neighbor (‫ )רעותה‬for objects of silver and gold.’ The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, Moses himself was a man of great importance in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s officials, and in the sight of the people. Finally, the despoliation is narrated in ‘real time’ in Exodus 12:35-36, when the Israelites actually depart from Egypt, but this time the description contains no neighbors: The Israelites had done as Moses told them; they had asked the Egyptians for jewellery of silver and gold, and for clothing, and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And so they plundered the Egyptians. There are a couple of interesting differences between the first version in Exodus 3 and the second in Exodus 11. In Exodus 3, it is specifically the Israelite women, who are requested to go to their female near-dweller, their šěkēnāh, to ask for valuables. In Exodus 11, we almost seem to have a gendered working order, where the Israelite men must go to their male neighbors, their rēaʿ, and the Israelite women go to their female neighbors, their rěȗt. It may be purely coincidental that it is women only in Exodus 3 and both women and men in Exodus 11. However, considering how relatively rare female spatial neighbors are in the examples we have seen so far, it may be that women, in particular, are associated with communication with neighbors – just as we saw it in the modern examples above – and that this explains why only women are mentioned in Exodus 3.42 Another peculiar difference between Exodus 3 and 11 is the vocabulary. In Exodus 3, šěkēnāh, a feminine form of šākēn, is used, whereas in Exodus 11, rēaʿ and rěȗt are used for male and female neighbors respectively. I cannot think of a subtle point that can be made by using a form of šākēn in one place and a form of rēaʿ in another. The only conclusion I am able to draw is that šākēn and rēaʿ clearly overlap semantically in Biblical Hebrew when referring to a spatial neighbor. Finally, I would like to draw attention to the verb šāʾal (‫)שאל‬, to ask, which is used both in Exodus 3 and 11 and in 2 Kings 4:3. In case of the latter, the verb is often translated as ‘borrow’ instead of the slightly clunky literal translation ‘to ask from’ or ‘to request from.’ In matters of practical neighboring, of course, it is no trivial matter if an object is a loan or a gift, and an unreturned loan may cause the death of an otherwise healthy neighbor relationship. In Biblical Hebrew, the verb šāʾal is inherently ambiguous. It may denote both a request for a loan and a request for a permanent donation.43 In a way, this ambiguity perfectly illustrates one of the

Ambiguous neighbour in the Hebrew Bible 37 challenges of spatial neighboring: will your neighbors stick around long enough to return your kindness, your help, your loans, and your gifts, and even if they do stay, do they acknowledge your relationship as reciprocal? In a way, the Egyptian neighbors in Exodus would be perfectly justified to think that the requested objects were in fact only a loan, because Moses had announced that the Israelites were only leaving Egypt temporarily to celebrate a festival for Yahweh in the desert (Exod 5:2).44 The fact is, of course, that in this narrative the Egyptians have no choice in the matter, and their perception of the transaction is of no consequence, because Yahweh has made the Egyptians favor the Israelites and softened their hearts, just as he has hardened the heart of Pharaoh (cf. Exod 9:12; 10:1.20.27; 11:10).45 In this way, the despoliation motif’s primary purpose in the Exodus narrative appears to be to underline Yahweh’s sovereign power and mastery of events. His chosen people do not leave the land of their oppressors as a ragged bunch of slaves, but rather as a victorious army laden with the spoils of war.46 It is ironic that this “plunder” (‫ )נצל‬happens completely without violence or use of force, the loot is freely given by generous and trusting neighbors, whose hands and hearts are opened under Yahweh’s influence.47 Admittedly, the high level of divine interference in the despoliation motif makes it somewhat unsuited as a description of ‘normal’ neighboring in the Hebrew Bible. Nevertheless, I do think that some of this story’s efficacy springs from the ambiguities of spatial neighborship that were touched upon in the examples above. The expectation is that spatial neighbors should treat each other with kindness and respect, a trusting neighbor is in good faith, at the same time, neighbors may turn out to be deceitful or malicious. It is joyous to despoil an enemy, but to rob your neighbors blind in broad daylight is deliciously scandalous!

Conclusion: The ambiguous neighbor in the Hebrew Bible It has been the purpose of this study to investigate the two kinds of neighbor in the Hebrew Bible, the social and the spatial, and to examine the ambiguity of the spatial neighbor, the physically proximate other, in particular. In the following, I shall summarize my findings and point out a few aspects of neighborship in the Hebrew Bible that I find particularly interesting. The ambiguity of the spatial neighbor is closely connected with this neighbor’s physical proximity to the home. The spatial neighbor is a help in need that is conveniently located close to home, but the spatial neighbor’s closeness also poses a threat to one’s sense of home and to domestic autonomy. In this way, the spatial neighbor is perceived both as a resource and as a source of anxiety, and it is common to negotiate neighboring situations by trying to find exactly the right proximity, or distance, to one’s social neighbors, not too near and not too far. As shown by the modern examples mentioned above, this balancing act can be described as strategies

38 Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme of limited reciprocity and of polite distance. These strategies are intended to maintain a positive social relationship with one’s spatial neighbors at the same time as preventing the neighbor from invading one’s space and thereby unmaking one’s sense of home. It is interesting to see how this anxiety and ambiguity that is characteristic in perceptions of the spatial neighbor in modern examples, and indeed in my own experiences of spatial neighboring, are also reflected in the Hebrew Bible’s concept of spatial neighboring. As mentioned above, I believe that the near-universal human experience of cohabiting with the physically proximate other may account for these similarities. In the Hebrew Bible, the spatial neighbor is described both by the term rēaʿ and by the term šākēn, and a survey of the usage of both of these terms show that the spatial neighbor can be both a friend, a helper, a threat and a witness to victories and defeat. Several of the Hebrew Bible texts that mention spatial neighbors seem to have a concept of what good neighborship ought to be, trusting, friendly, etc. (e.g., 2 Kigs 4:1–7; Prov 3:27–29; Jer 6:21), but there is also an almost cynic awareness in these texts, that ‘bad neighboring’ is just as common as good (e.g., Prov 25:17; Job 31:9). It seems to me that this tension between ideal and reality, between good and bad neighborship, is utilized purposefully and skillfully by the author of the despoliation motif in Exodus 3:22, 11:2, and 12:35–36. This narrative plays with the ideal of good neighboring, a trusting and generous relationship, in which help is freely given when requested, and it inverts this ideal by turning a loan or a reciprocal gift into plunder and daylight robbery. In conclusion, based on the above survey there are three aspects of the concept of neighborship in the Hebrew Bible that I find especially interesting and that could deserve further exploration. The first is the overlap between the two kinds of neighbor in the Hebrew Bible, the spatial and the social, and how and when the socially and the physically proximate other map on to one another in Hebrew Bible texts. The way the term rēaʿ is used of both social and spatial neighbors and the difficulty in determining in some passages (Prov 3:27–28; Job 31:9) if the term refers to one or the other or both indicates a significant degree of overlap. It would be interesting, however, to tease out further details on the interrelationship between the socially and the physically proximate other, and it would be interesting to look for other kinds of social neighbors than the one we know from the Decalogue. How would the social neighbor, the socially proximate other, of the widow in 2 Kings 4 look like for instance, and would this neighbor be similar to or different from the widow’s spatial neighbors? My second point of interest has to do with neighborship and gender. Neighboring as a social practice is gendered more toward the feminine than the masculine. This is a reoccurring observation in modern studies of neighboring, and it seems to a certain extent to be the case in some Hebrew Bible texts as well, but the picture is not altogether clear and the evidence is

Ambiguous neighbour in the Hebrew Bible 39 limited. In the first version of the despoliation motif in Exodus 3:22, the women are singled out, female Israelites shall request gifts from their female Egyptian spatial neighbors and from every woman who lives in the neighbors’ houses. In the narrative about the widow in 2 Kings 4, women may be included in the group of spatial neighbors, but the text is not explicit about the gender of the neighbors; in fact, the widow’s neighbors may also be a group of men. In the second version of the despoliation motif in Exodus 11:2, male Israelites are explicitly told to seek out their male Egyptian spatial neighbors just as female Israelites must seek out their female Egyptian neighbors. Lastly, if we turn to the spatial neighbor texts in Proverbs and in Job, these texts clearly have a very male outlook. Just like the Decalogue, Proverbs 3:27–29 and 25:17 are addressed to a second person singular masculine ‘you’, and in Job 31:9 we meet a male subject who is at risk of being enticed by women and who has a wife. Do texts such as Exodus 3:22 and 2 Kings 4 confirm the image of spatial neighboring as a primarily feminine social practice, or do the texts that I have mentioned here rather point to a scenario, where neighboring is not necessarily gendered? My intuition tells me that neighboring in the Hebrew is gendered in the sense that male neighbors seek out male neighbors and female neighbors seek out female neighbors as it is described in Exodus 11, and that spatial neighboring may sometimes be seen as a feminine task (cf. Exod 3:22), but the maleness or mixed gender of the widow’s neighbors in 2 Kings 4 clearly disrupts this neat system and this intrigues me. My third and final point of interest has to do with ethnicity. In this respect the two examples of spatial neighbors in Exodus 12, the Pesach prescription, and in Exodus 3 and 11, the despoliation motif, are interesting. It follows from the intrinsic narrative logic of these texts, that the spatial neighbor with whom one shares a Pesach lamb has to be a fellow Israelite just as the spatial neighbor from whom one requests riches has to be Egyptian. Can we deduce something from these texts regarding spatial neighborship and ethnic affiliation? I fear that the answer to this question is negative, because of the particular logic of the Exodus story, but to return to my first point of interest above, it is intriguing to consider if there is a social neighbor in the Hebrew Bible that is non-Israelite, that is a socially proximate other that belongs to another people than oneself.

Notes 1 This dynamic of exclusion in the Decalogue has been described very well by david J.A. Clines: “…slaves, children, the unmarried, elderly parents, the disabled, beggars, the landless, the dispossessed, day labourers and the urban poor are not the narrates. The text screens these people out: they are not ‘neighbours’. The text is busily pretending that the whole society is made up entirely of a group of ‘neighbours’ (Exod 20.16-17; Deut 5.20-21), who are men of a certain income and social standing, men more or less equal to one another.” Clines, Interested Parties, 34–35.

40 Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme 2 I would like to dedicate this study to the members of three Facebook groups: Resource sharing: religions of the ancient Mediterranean, ANE Researcher Quarantine “Library” and Biblical Research Collective. The latter has existed for years, whereas the two former were established in response to the lockdown caused by the CO-VID 19 crisis in the spring of 2020, when most people had to work from home and all the libraries were closed. I find it so encouraging to experience the lengths the members of these groups go to in order to help colleagues all over the world, and I am immensely grateful for all the assistance I have received. Thank you. I hope our societies will soon be open and virus-free again, but that the groups will remain. 3 It has surprised me that exactly the topic of neighborship has triggered so many personal stories and experiences. Generally speaking, I work on social practices in the Hebrew Bible, such as meals, hospitality and gift-giving, and one would expect that the mention of all of these socially relevant and recognizable practices would elicit a response and a certain degree of identification. It has become clear to me during the past year, however, that neighborship holds a much larger potential for identification among my family, friends and students than gift exchange and commensality apparently do. 4 Cf. Painter, “Politics of the neighbour,” 525–526. 5 Cf. Crow, Allan and Summers, “Busybodies,” 129. 6 Cf. Cheshire, Easthope and ten Have, “Unneighbourliness.” 7 There are good descriptions of this in Painter, “Politics of the neighbour,” and in Crow, Allan and Summers, “Busybodies.” 8 Cf. Cheshire, Easthope and ten Have, “Unneighbourliness.” 9 Pitt-Rivers, “Law of Hospitality.” 10 For a discussion of the relationship between reciprocity and altruism, see Gudme, “Whoever is Kind,” with references. 11 For examples, see Bulmer, Neighbours, 103–117. 12 Cf. Gudme, For good remembrance, 26–29. 13 See examples in Stokoe, “Public intimacy,” and in Cheshire, Easthope and ten Have, “Unneighbourliness.” 14 See also Kathy Burrells work on neighboring and place: “These social interactions are clearly about more than the social; it would be impossible to untangle conviviality and place attachment in these accounts. Being friendly with neighbours may not always lead to rewarding and enduring relationships, but it does help to make the neighbourhood seem a friendlier place. The relationship is with the neighbourhood assemblage and not necessarily the neighbour.” (Burrell, “Lost,” 1613). 15 Pitt-Rivers, “Law of Hospitality.” 16 In a way, time equals commitment when it comes to neighboring. I believe that much of my Finnish neighbor’s frustration was due to the difference in longevity between her, presumably a resident in our building for decades, and the visiting researchers like me, who all had leases of roughly six months. My Finnish neighbor’s investment in being a good neighbor and thus also her frustration over bad neighboring was probably influenced by a feeling of being in for the long haul, whereas all these university people just came and went and behaved more or less irresponsibly and unneighborly. 17 Cf. Cheshire, Easthope and ten Have, “Unneighbourliness.” For interesting examples of informants viewing their homes as mostly open or closed to their neighbors, see Crow, Allan and Summers, “Busybodies,” 132–133. 18 Just like gift giving, hospitality hovers between the ideal of unlimited generosity (‘the free gift’) and the reciprocal gift (gift exchange), cf. Gudme, For good remembrance, 21–29. Jacques Derrida calls this respectively unconditional and

Ambiguous neighbour in the Hebrew Bible 41

19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

31 32 33 34 35 36 37

38

39 40 41

42

conditional hospitality, and he points out how unconditional hospitality may endanger the integrity of the host and the home, cf. Derrida, Of Hospitality. Crow, Allan and Summers, “Busybodies,” 140 and 142. Crow, Allan and Summers, “Busybodies,” 140. Cf. Gudme, “Inside – Outside.” See the articles by Hezser (Chapter 3) and Kartzow (Chapter 4) in this volume. Campbell and Lee, “Gender Differences,” 506–507; Bulmer, Neighbours, 114–115. Rēaʿ may also mean friend or companion (cf. 1 Chron 27:33; Lam 1:2; Job 2:11), a lover (cf. Hos 3:1; Song 5:16) and it may indicate a relation such as one to another or to each other (cf. Gen 11:3 and 7), cf. Coogan, “Neighbor.” Clines, Interested Parties, 33–34. Cf. Akiyama, The Love of Neighbour, 19–66; Coogan, “Neighbor.” Akiyama, The Love of Neighbour, 42 and 62–64. Here in verse 28, the MT has ‫לרעיך‬, but it seems likely that it should be ‫לרעך‬, cf. the apparatus in BHS. Here and in the following, I am using the NRSV translation unless otherwise stated. There is much in these two verses that would benefit from a critical feminist interpretation. For instance the idea that it is the woman who entices or deceives (‫ )נפתה‬a man’s heart, the idea that the punishment for adultery strikes the adulterer through his woman, who will be given over to other men to work for them and presumably to be raped by them, and the concept that sex with a woman, consensual or not, is an offense against her husband. This is all in line with the Hebrew Bible’s general stance on gender, sex and punishment of course, which in no way reduces the need to critique the text and its inherent values. This is a project for another time however. Cf. Gray, The Book of Job, 383. Cf. Crow, Allan and Summers, “Busybodies.” Literally: let your foot be precious (‫יקר‬, hiphil). Literally: is sated or full of you. My translation. My translation, literally: your neighbors (‫ )שכניך‬of great flesh (‫)בשר גדלי‬. The risk/access to the women of the house posed by male guests is a frequent topic in discussions of hospitality (Liverani, “Messages, Women and Hospitality;” PittRivers, “The Law of Hospitality;” Gudme, “inside – outside.”), but perhaps less so in discussions of neighborship. It makes sense, however, that the extended close presence of outsider males should cause anxiety among insider males. Here, I have copied the kethib (a masculine plural construct with a suffix feminine second person singular). The apparatus in BHS suggests ‫ שכניך‬as qere (also a masculine plural construct with a suffix feminine second person singular, but a slightly more regular form without the extra ‫)כ‬. On domestic space as gendered space, see Gudme, “inside – outside,” 69–71. Note that ‫ רע‬and ‫ שכן‬appear together in this verse, but that ‫ רע‬seems to have the meaning ‘friend’ here and not ‘neighbor.’ The description of the despoliation of Egypt has generated quite a lot of debate because of the moral implications of the Israelites’ behavior. It goes beyond the scope of this study to enter this debate, but see Allen, The Despoliation; Sherwood, “The Mixed Multitude;” Lipton, “Egypt-Watching,” 128–129; Coats, “Despoiling” And Kartzow, “The Ambiguous Neighbour,” 277–280. This difference between Exodus 3 and 11 is puzzling. Propp writes: «Why are women singled out? Are they considered more materialist than men, or more

42 Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme

43 44

45 46 47

generous toward children?” (Exodus 1-18, 208). I find that a spatial neighbor explanation is just as satisfying. Sarna, Exodus, 19. Allen, The Despoliation, 3–4; Propp, Exodus 1-18, 208. See also Kartzow, “The Ambiguous Neighbour,” 278: “Israelite women are encouraged to despoil their good relationships, based on shared gendered space, in order to steal from their Egyptian sisters, who are now considered ethnic enemies.” For more on this motif, see Clines, Interested Parties, 194–199. Propp, Exodus 1-18, 208. Cf. Meyers: “A troublesome ironic twist is contained in the final words of the instructions, for the Israelite victims of oppression will victimize (“plunder”) their oppressors, a concept that is in tension with the notion that the valuables are given freely to the Israelites (Exodus, 60).”

Bibliography Akiyama, Kengo. The Love of Neighbour in Ancient Judaism: The Reception of Leviticus 19:18 in the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, the Book of Jubilees, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the New Testament. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2018. Allen, Joel S. The Despoliation of Egypt in Pre-Rabbinic, Rabbinic and Patristic Traditions. Leiden: Brill, 2008. Bulmer, Martin. Neighbours: The Work of Philip Abrams. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Burrell, Kathy. “Lost in the ‘Churn’? Locating Neighbourliness in a Transient Neighbourhood.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 48 (2016): 1599–1616. DOI: 10.1177/0308518X16643727 Campbell, Karen E. and Barrett A. Lee. “Gender Differences in Urban Neighboring.” The Sociological Quarterly 31 (1990): 495–512. Chesire, Lynda, Hazel Easthope and Charlotte ten Have. “Unneighbourliness and the Unmaking of Home.” Housing, Theory and Society (2019). DOI: 10.1080/14 036096.2019.1705384 Clines, David J.A. Interested Parties: The Ideology of Writers and Readers of the Hebrew Bible. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995. Coats, George W. “Despoiling the Egyptians.” Vetus Testamentum 18 (1968): 450–457. Coogan, Michael D. “Neighbor.” Pages 555–556 in The Oxford Companion to the Bible. Edited by Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1993. Crow, Graham, Graham Allan and Marcia Summers. “Neither Busybodies nor Nobodies: Managing Proximity and Distance in Neighbourly Relations.” Sociology 36 (2002): 127–145. Derrida, Jacques. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Gray, John. The Book of Job. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2010. Gudme, Anne Katrine de Hemmer. "Whoever Is Kind to the Poor Lends to Yahweh, and Will Be Repaid in Full” (Prov 19:17): Patterns of Indirect Reciprocity in the Book of Proverbs and in the Sermon on the Mount”. In Social and Cognitive Perspectives on the Sermon on the Mount. Edited by Rikard Roitto, Colleen Shantz and Petri Luomanen, Studies in Ancient Religion and Culture. Sheffield, UK: Equinox, forthcoming.

Ambiguous neighbour in the Hebrew Bible 43 Gudme, Anne Katrine de Hemmer. “Inside – Outside: Domestic Living Space in Biblical Memory.” Pages 61–78 in Memory and the City in Ancient Israel. Edited by Diana V. Edelmann and Ehud Ben Zvi, Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2014. Gudme, Anne Katrine de Hemmer. Before the God in This Place for Good Remembrance: A Comparative Analysis of the Aramaic Dedicatory Inscriptions from Mount Gerizim. BZAW 441. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013. Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. “The Ambiguous Neighbour: Female Neighbourhood Networks and the Parable of the Lost Coin.” Neotestamentica 53 (2019): 271–289. Lipton, Diana. “Egypt-Watching: Orientalism in the Hebrew Bible.” Pages 121–136 in Interested Readers: Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honor of David J.A. Clines. Edited byJames K. Aitken, Jeremy M.S. Clines and Christl M. Maier. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013. Liverani, Mario. “Messages, Women and Hospitality: Inter-tribal Communication in Judges 19-21.” Pages 160–192 in Studies in Egyptology and the Ancient Near East: Myth and Politics in Ancient Near Eastern Historiography. Edited by M. Liverani, Z. Bahrani and M. Van De Mieroop. London: Equinox, 2004. Meyers, Carol. Exodus. New Cambridge Bible Commentary. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Painter, Joe. “The Politics of the Neighbor.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30 (2012): 515–533. DOI: 10.1068/d21110 Pitt-Rivers, Julian. “The Law of Hospitality.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 2 (2012): 501–517. Propp, William H.C. Exodus 1-18. A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. The Anchor Bible. New York: Doubleday, 1999. Sarna, Nahum M. Exodus. The JPS Torah Commentary. Philadelphia and New York: The Jewish Publication Society, 1991. Sherwood, Aaron. “The Mixed Multitude in Exodus 12:38: Glorification, Creation, and Yhwh’s Plunder of Israel and the Nations.” Horizons in Biblical Theology 34 (2012): 139–154. Stokoe, Elizabeth. “Public Intimacy in Neighbour Relationships and Complaints,” Sociological Research Online 11 (2006).

2

When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet: Ambiguous neighbors in the book of Ruth1 Kristin Joachimsen

Versions of Neighbors In the book of Ruth, Bethlehemites and Moabites meet in each others’ fields. For instance, a Bethlehemite family escaping famine in their hometown seeks refuge in Moab, while a Moabite woman enters Bethlehem searching for sustenance. Through encounters of families and communities seeking help and offering care, h ̣eseḏ “kindness”, h ̄ ̣en “favor”, mᵉnû h ̣̄ah “rest”, and risk are exhibited and closely related. The present contribution will analyze examples of neighbors in this story, which profoundly challenges such figures regarding issues like family, friendship, and foreignness. Where matters of survival and sustenance are present, transgressing borders is key. An exploration of the relationship of people on the move between Bethlehem and Moab in this story, located in the Ancient Middle East, provides opportunities to think through nearness and distance concerning neighbors. The outcome of this analysis will be applied to reflect on the current volume’s employment of the figure of neighbor, suggesting a conceptual shift from “Children of Abraham” to “Ambiguous Neighbors.” The topic of the “neighbor” might awaken many mixed feelings, conceptualizations, and reactions, including conjuring attributes such as good, acknowledging, accommodating, reminiscing, indifferent, resisting, harassing, hostile, antagonistic, bad, and more. A neighbor might concern many things but is certainly relationally determined, i.e., somebody who lives nearby, either very close or distant. While some people do not know their neighbor(s), others develop friendships and offer help if needed. People have a different, sometimes even better, relationship with their neighbors than with their family. Others become irritated by, for instance, their neighbors’ behavior, clothing, noise, smell, or mess. Quarrels among neighbors are the source of endless discussions and disputes, and can often end up in court. Some people might afford to choose which neighborhood to live in, but the neighbors themselves are someone you do not necessarily choose yourself. And as the book of Ruth illustrates, a neighbor might be a narrative, rhetorical or historical construction, an imagined or symbolic figure who, among others, tells something about those who produce it and its interpreters.

When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet 45 A neighbor challenges expectations of trust, dependence, acceptance, loyalty, patriotism, reciprocity, regulations, and so forth. The 2020+ COVID-19 Pandemic has made us see familiar things in new ways, including the topic of neighbor, both locally, regionally, and globally. We are forced to practice physical distancing even with our closest neighbors and face restrictions regarding traveling. The protection of national borders has become even stronger. In Norway, for instance, we have special regulations when it comes to visiting our neighboring country Sweden. At the same time, it has become even more apparent how dependent we might be on our neighbor, both the one living next-door or, for instance, Swedish healthcare workers. How significant physical face-to-face encounters are while we are forced to deal with alternative, reductive ways of “being in touch” is also increasingly apparent. The current contribution explores the topic of neighbor in the book of Ruth, which is an interesting case of borderlines between inside, outside, and in-between. In this story, Bethlehem and Moab become interconnected by migration, death, marriages, and procreation. A Bethlehemite family is received in the fields of Moab while fleeing famine. The townswomen, the harvesters, and the people at the gate of Bethlehem meet the Moabite Ruth when she enters the fields and the town, seeking sustenance for her Bethlehemite mother-in-law and herself. As we shall see, the various versions of harvesters in the fields of Bethlehem are particularly prominent, Ruth, the male and female workers, and their relationship to Boaz. While the Bethlehem fields have good connotations for many readers, and memories of Moab as an enemy of Israel are frequently evoked as part of a broader context, a closer examination will show that in this story the picture is more complicated. The analysis will elaborate on both the concept of cultural imagination, stressing the interconnectedness between self and others, as well as the complexity of hospitality that comes to expression in the encounters of neighbors in this story.

Cultural imaginations of self and others The book of Ruth is a finely crafted story, conveying narrative and lexical ambiguities. Due to both its dense and poetic character, scholars attempt to fill the “gaps” they seem to discover, regarding, e.g., assumed intentions behind the actors’ behavior.2 Many scholars map the story as a practice of laws (e.g., Auld 2018)3 and read it as a polemics against what are regarded as more excluding traits in the books of Ezra-Nehemiah and Deut 23:4–7 (e.g., Larkin 1996: 18–25; LaCocque 2004; Eskenazi and FrymerKensky 2011: xviii–xix)4. Also, the quality of the violence taking place in the story of Ruth has been interpreted in light of the migration context (e.g., Shepherd 2018). Much attention in research is paid to the actors Ruth, Noomi, Orpah, and Boaz, in which the focus on these individuals has been made from

46 Kristin Joachimsen various approaches, e.g., indigenous feminist (Donaldson 1999), postcolonial feminist (Kwok 2005), womanist biblical hermeneutics (Nadar 2001), narrative (Saxegaard 2010), narrative ethics (Lau 2010), and ethnic identity (Wetter 2014; Southwood 2014). However, the current study examines the dynamics of neighbors through encounters of Bethlehemites and Moabites.5 In this story, the figure of the neighbor comprises locals, strangers, families, and fields at both individual and group levels. The present study examines various episodes of encounters between neighbors in the book of Ruth through the lens of cultural imaginations. This concept concerns how a group is constructed through narratives, memories, practices, symbols, and imaginary worlds of objects, people, or events. The concept is commonly applied to the imaginations of people who see themselves as part of that group. Cultural imagination relates to cultural critic Stuart Hall’s definition of culture as a space of interpretative struggle (Hall 1996; 1997). In our case, what matters is how discourses of history, ethnicity, religion, and culture are embedded in constructions of representations, both of self and others. By adding postcolonial perspectives, this study locates these imaginations by their interconnectedness between “us” and “them.” Postcolonial studies look in various ways beyond dichotomies such as “self” and “others”6 with a view of the complexity of identity, both at an individual and a group level. This analysis highlights how cultural imaginations are composite, relational, and situational. In the book of Ruth, this is especially illuminating in contexts of relocations, like migration and return. Also, the concept of intersectionality adds aspects of relationality to avoid compartmentalizing gender, ethnicity, religion, culture, social stratification, etc., most recently articulated in terms of Biblical studies, with a particular focus on power relations and inequality by Gale Yee (2020).7

When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet A Bethlehemite family showed h ̣eseḏ “kindness” in Moab Due to famine at home, the Bethlehemite family of Elimelech, Noomi, and their two sons are sojourning and residing in the fields of Moab. In Moab, they receive shelter along with experiencing death and barrenness. Just after their arrival, Elimelech dies, and his sons marry local women. Eventually, after ten years, these two men also die in Moab, and three childless widows remain: the Bethlehemite Noomi and her two daughters-in-law, the Moabites, Ruth and Orpah. Noomi hears rumors that, by YHWH’s intervention, the conditions have improved in Bethlehem, and she prepares to return home (1:6). On the way, she urges her daughters-in-law to return to Moab, praying to YHWH that the deity shows them h ̣eseḏ , as a reward for the h ̣eseḏ the two Moabites had shown her and her sons, their late Bethlehemite husbands (1:8, cf. 2:20, 3:10).8 h ̣eseḏ is associated with

When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet 47 excessive kindness, generosity, solidarity, loyalty, justice, obligations, merit, duty, etc. The term might also include an expectation of reciprocation, which could motivate one’s hospitality (Eskenazi and Frymer-Kensky 2011: xlvii). In this episode, h ̣eseḏ is not a specific quality of the Bethlehemites; h ̣eseḏ transgresses ethnic, religious, and cultural boundaries, as the Moabites practice it towards the Bethlehemites, and possibly YHWH towards Ruth and Orpah in Moab. Additionally, family ties are involved due to marriages between Bethlehemites and Moabites. Noomi cannot help Ruth and Orpah, but she can put her trust in YHWH for their mᵉnû h ̣̄ah “rest” and sustenance back home in Moab (1:9, cf. 3:1). This could also imply an expectation of reciprocation, as the foreign neighbor has the potential to once again show h ̣eseḏ . As we shall see, while h ̣eseḏ is not something typical Bethlehemite in this story, in certain instances at the fields, it might even be the opposite. A Moabite seeking h ̄ ̣en “favor” and facing risk in the fields of Bethlehem When Noomi urges her daughters-in-law to return to Moab, Orpah consents and returns weeping to her people and her deity (1:8-15). Ruth, however, insists on clinging to her mother-in-law, and the two go together to Bethlehem (1:14-19).9 After their arrival in Bethlehem, Ruth starts gleaning in the field and seeks h ̄ ̣en “favor” (2:2, 10, 13) in order to ensure the survival of Noomi and herself. Gleaning is a way the vulnerable might get sustenance, but also involves a risk: in the fields of Bethlehem, Ruth encounters both care and protection as well as danger.10 It turns out that the field Ruth goes to belongs to Boaz, a wealthy man who is part of Elimelech’s extended family.11 Boaz asks the overseer of the harvesters about the young woman12 in the field, and the overseer identifies her as the Moabite who returned with Noomi from Moab (2:5–6).13 Boaz invites Ruth to glean and instructs her to stick with the young women in his field and not in another field (2:8). He also instructs his male servants not to touch (nā g̱ aʿ, perf. qal) Ruth (2:9).14 Later on, Boaz reiterates the direction to his male workers in a variation: they shall ease Ruth’s gleaning, and neither reproach (ḵ -l-m, imperf, hiph.) nor rebuke (g̱ ʿar, imperf, qal) her (2:15–16).15 This repeated command shows Ruth’s opportunities even more and how she is protected from risks. Later, in a conversation with Noomi, Ruth quotes what Boaz had said to her, in which Ruth tells her mother-in-law that Ruth is supposed to stay with his young men (2:21). Ruth’s quotation here differs from what Boaz said: while he instructed her to stick with his female servants (2:8-9; 15–16), according to Ruth, it is his male servants she is supposed to stay with. Also, Noomi perceives the workers at the field as a potential threat to Ruth, insisting that her daughter-in-law remains with Boaz’s female servants so that those in another field not strike (pā g̱ aʿ, imperf, qal16) her (2:22).17 As the risk Ruth

48 Kristin Joachimsen might be facing while gleaning is presented in different ways by Boaz, Ruth, and Noomi (cf. 2:8-9, 15–16, 21–23), scholars also offer various interpretations of the dangers Ruth might encounter in the fields: touch, bother, embarrass, harass, humiliate, assault, attack, lethal or sexual violence.18 Moreover, various views prevail about whether these risks relate to her being a woman, a stranger, or both. While Ruth is safe in the company of Boaz’s female servants, she might be threatened by either his male workers or the workers from the neighboring fields. Like the Bethlehemite family left their hometown due to famine, receiving h ̣eseḏ “kindness” in Moab, the Moabite Ruth seeks h ̄ ̣en “favor” in the fields of Bethlehem, and encounters care but also faces danger. Ruth is offered water (2:9), shares a meal with Boaz’s harvesters (2:14), and is included in his household. She asks Boaz: “Why have I found h ̄ ̣en ‘favor’ in your eyes?” (2:10, cf. 2:2) and describes herself as a nā ḵ ᵉrı̂ ā “stranger” towards him.19 Boaz responds by expressing how Ruth should get YHWH’s reward for what she did to her mother-in-law (2:11-12, cf. Noomi’s prayer in 1:8).20 Again, ethnic, religious, and cultural boundaries are transgressed in terms of hospitality exchanged between Bethlehemites and Moabites. Additionally, Boaz refers to family ties, including the relationship between in-laws (cf. 1:8). And again, expectations of reciprocity are involved as a motivation for hospitality. As the encounter between Bethlehemites and a Moabite at these fields shows, a neighbor is a composite figure. The fields of Bethlehem turn out to be an ambiguous site–a site of care, protection, and risk. Boaz seeks to assure Ruth’s sustenance and safety, both by allowing her to glean as well as being protected in the company of his female workers. While Boaz seems to secure and protect Ruth both due to her foreignness and her family ties, both his male harvesters and the harvesters at the neighbor field might pose a danger to her due to her being a woman, a foreigner, or a foreign woman. The Moabite and the townswomen of Bethlehem When Noomi and Ruth arrive at Bethlehem, the townswomen greet Noomi and express surprise by asking, “Can this be Noomi?” (1:19). A dialogue between the Bethlehemite women and Noomi follows, in which none mention Ruth, and she also does not speak. Later on, during the nocturnal encounter of Ruth and Boaz in the field, Boaz stresses Ruth’s good reputation in Bethlehem, stating that kol-š aʿar ʿammı̂ “‘the whole gate of my people’21 knows what ʾē š eṯ h ̣ayil ‘a fine woman’ you are” (3:11).22 Towards the end of the story, in Ruth 4, the nearest redeemer (who is introduced by Boaz at the nocturnal meeting of him and Ruth in 3:12) and Boaz negotiate the field that was left after Elimelech. Boaz buys the field and gets Ruth as part of the purchase (4:5, 10).23 The townspeople and the elders are witnessing and blessing Boaz and Ruth’s marriage, and she is embedded into Israel’s past, as they compare her to Rachel, Leah, and

When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet 49 Tamar (4:9–12). After a divine intervention, Boaz and Ruth have a son, and the Bethlehemite women pay tribute to Noomi for the boy who is born (4:13). Thus, while Ruth is integrated into the neighborhood with her marriage to a local as well as with her son, the female neighbors (the townswomen) bestow blessings on Noomi (4:14–15), identifying the baby boy as Noomi’s redeemer, a restorer of life, and a nourisher of her old age. haš š ᵉḵ ē nô ṯ “the women of the neighborhood” give him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Noomi.” They name him Obed who later became the father of Jesse, the father of David (4:17). The end of the book of Ruth relates to the beginning of the story: the broken male genealogical line in 1:1–5. By referring back to the genealogy of Noomi and the child, Noomi becomes a progenitor in the construction of a new kinship structure. The genealogy is characterized by fabricated common ancestry and shared culture, projected onto the past. As such, the genealogy contributes to a collective memory for the group at present, created to express a community’s identity.24

Cultural imaginations of Moab in the Hebrew Bible Neighbors might refer to those living in social, spatial, or geographical proximity, like a close other or a fellow residing next-door. In the Hebrew Bible, the neighbor is defined from Israel’s perspective and can be one’s fellow within Israel and extended beyond Israel’s borders, denoting friends, close companions, allies, enemies, and so forth. As such, the term can embrace both Israelites and others. In this regard, the discourse of neighbor is often related to migration–either when Israelites are migrants, when they remember they were migrants or when others arrive at their land as migrants. There is a command to care for others, which might be defined both as fellow Israelites as well as more distant others, but likewise, a directive to care for one’s own as opposed to caring for others.25 While it is common to explain Moab and Moabites as an enemy of Israel in the Hebrew Bible, various memories prevail in this literature. Cultural imaginations are both composite, relational, and situational, in which the various narrative, rhetorical or historical constructions suit their own ends. In the book of Ruth, Bethlehem and Moab are interconnected through, for instance, family ties, neighborhood, and migration contexts. While the presentation of the Bethlehemites’ behavior towards the Moabites is elaborate in this story, implying both care, protection, and danger, h ̣eseḏ is perhaps the most prominent characteristic of Moabites’ behavior towards the Bethlehemites on the move. Moreover, Ruth is embedded into Israel’s past, as the townswomen of Bethlehem compare her to Rachel, Leah, and Tamar (4:9–12), and she gives birth to a child who becomes the father of Jesse, the father of David (4:17). In the book of Ruth, the narrative context of the story is located in the time of the Judges (cf. Ruth 1:1, where the story is introduced as follows: “In the days when judges ruled…”),

50 Kristin Joachimsen while the book is commonly dated to Persian time, making Moab an imagination of a past. Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, Moab and Israel are also interconnected through various family ties. Moabites are presented as descendants of Abraham’s nephew, Lot,26 and are also associated with David.27 Moreover, marriages between Moabites and Israelites are both criticized28 and not paid any particular attention to.29 The relationship between the two groups is further presented in hospitable manners;30 in other instances, the encounters are characterized by inhospitality.31 Cultural imaginations of Moab are varied and cannot be generalized. The two groups of people are not in static relation to each other, and an antagonistic portrayal of Moab cannot be taken as a template.

Ambiguous neighbors in the book of Ruth The book of Ruth challenges the figure of the neighbor related to issues like nearness and distance, family, friendship, and foreignness. The story offers “facts in the field,” dynamically framed in narrative form. It is, in several ways, characterized by encounters with someone who is not invited, in which both reciprocity, inclusion, and alienation are at stake. A neighbor is a complex and porous figure, who could be a host offering h ̣eseḏ “kindness”, h ̄ ̣en “favor”, mᵉnû h ̣̄ah “rest” and protection for a migrant in need, and who also can pose a risk for a vulnerable one. To illustrate this, we could ask when (if) is the Moabite Ruth understood to be a full member of a family, village, people–and a neighbor in Bethlehem? The term hospitality is to convey the offering of a guest good treatment and, at the same time, giving the host a positive self-understanding. The discourse on hospitality seems to be that it is benign, generous, and inclusive, but that there is also risk lurking. Many academics have applied the book of Ruth “to think with” in connection with versions of migrants and neighbors. The book has been taken to be a harmonious, charming, and also ambivalent story about people on the move. Literary critic Cynthia Ozick (1994) interprets the Moabite Ruth who settles down in Bethlehem as an ideal, fully assimilated immigrant, in which Ruth’s conversion to the god of Noomi, Bethlehem, and Israel from the deities of Moab, testifies to the worthiness of YHWH. Philosopher and literary critic Julia Kristeva (1991: 69–76; 1993: 36), on the other hand, stresses the otherness which Ruth personifies, making the Israelites more open to difference. The otherness which Kristeva appreciates when it comes to Ruth is one fitting into a cosmopolitan identity. However, Kristeva’s cosmopolitanism is an identity without foreignness, or rather, a distinctively French cosmopolitanism (1993: 40, cf. Honig 1999: 66). Both of these interpretations might illustrate Ruth’s popularity, and not that of her sister-in-law Orpah. Ruth is remembered for her fidelity to Noomi and Israel’s people and deity, which strengthens the self-identity of the community of Israel (cf. Walsh 2014:

When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet 51 136). The political theorist Bonnie Honig (1999: 54) criticizes such interpretations because they evaluate Ruth as an ideal immigrant in terms of what she will do for “us as a nation”, e.g., the immigrant’s choice of “us” makes us feel good about who we are. Honig (1999: 70–74) instead highlights both Ruth’s gains and her losses: Ruth gets the mother-in-law Noomi, her god, and her people, the village of Bethlehem, protection from Boaz as well as her son Oded, who is admittedly taken over by Noomi. Ruth also loses her sister-in-law Orpah, her mother’s and father’s house, the people, and the gods of Moab. And as we have seen, risks are lurking in the fields. A fruitful contribution to critical studies of the relationship between hospitality, migrants, and neighbors is the philosopher Jacques Derrida’s distinction between unconditional and conditional hospitality (Derrida 2000: 15, 55). Unconditional hospitality poses a risk when a host opens the door to a stranger, representing a potential danger. Conditional hospitality conveys limitations associated with giving, taking, and having power. This is further connected with a paradox: the host’s generosity, openness, and risk-taking are at the same time linked to the power of being able to choose who one wants to invite to one’s home or to offer asylum (and to exclude those who are not chosen). Moreover, the host might set specific requirements and expectations for the one who is chosen. In a multifaceted analysis of ambiguities, tensions, and instabilities associated with hospitality and migration, cultural analyst Mireille Rosello (2001) draws on Derrida’s thinking, and adds postcolonial perspectives. In her analysis, it is essential that the migrant-neighbor is not reduced to a one-dimensional victim but is seen as a complex and acting human being. In this connection, Rosello (2001) problematizes the binary host/guest metaphor, which has dominated the definition of immigration in France–and elsewhere–in the last decades. Like Derrida, she points out that hospitality can be risky for everyone involved. What happens, for instance, if the host or guest does not behave as expected–if the host gives the guest bad treatment, or the guest misbehaves or does not show gratitude? This is also about how to deal with the difference that the stranger embodies. In the book of Ruth, h ̣eseḏ turns out to be a central term for encircling neighbors and seems to concern an expectation of reciprocation, which might motivate one’s hospitality. h ̣eseḏ transgresses ethnic, religious, and cultural boundaries. Like the Bethlehem family leaving their hometown due to famine encountering h ̣eseḏ “kindness” in Moab, Noomi prays to YHWH to show her Moabite daughters-in-law h ̣eseḏ like they had shown h ̣eseḏ to the Bethlehemites in Moab (1:8). The Moabite Ruth seeks h ̄ ̣en in the fields of Bethlehem, and Boaz expresses how she should get YHWH’s reward for what she did to her mother-in-law (2:11–12).32 At the same time, the question of hospitality is challenged both in terms of the risks Ruth is facing in the Bethlehem fields, and how she is regarded as a stranger in the Bethlehem community at large. The situations she encounters might be due

52 Kristin Joachimsen to her being a woman, a daughter-in-law, a stranger, or a foreign woman. Sometimes her being from Moab seems to be the most significant factor,33 other times her family ties are stressed,34 and still other times her gender might be the most decisive. Ruth is taken care of while in need, much like widows and strangers. Boaz praises her for choosing Noomi and Bethlehem over her family in Moab (2:11), and he tells of Ruth’s good reputation to the whole city (3:11). The whole community blesses the marriage of Boaz and Ruth (4:11–12) and YHWH causes her pregnancy and blesses her (4:13). While Ruth has chosen Noomi, the people of Bethlehem, and their deity, what self-identity of Israel does the story convey? Through Ruth, Israel gets a Davidic descendant, while she becomes silent and is not mentioned by anyone. Ruth is almost the same as her new community, but not quite. She becomes a member of the Bethlehemite community, and at the same time, she remains a Moabite throughout the story.

Moab and Bethlehem as ambiguous neighbors The neighbors in the book of Ruth might be pertinent to think about in terms of “ambiguous neighbors”. The Bethlehemites and the Moabites are interrelated through family ties; however, they are neither identified nor identify themselves as “children of Abraham”. “Children of Abraham” are certainly not an analytical category, but a topos belonging to a particular discourse. Many have interpreted their own situations into the multivalent story in the book of Ruth. As an Asian American biblical scholar of Chinese descent, Yee (2009) reads the story of the Moabite Ruth through the lenses of the two stereotypes of “perpetual foreigner” and a “model minority”, in which both aspects are defined by white Americans in a binary manner. Athalya Brenner (1999) interprets the story in relation to single, female, foreigner workers in modern Israel. By posing the quest of the figure of the neighbor outside the frame of the “children of Abraham”, more complexity and porosity will be added to this ambiguous figure. As the neighbor concerns encounters between the known and the foreign, the Ancient Middle East book of Ruth appeals to readers from various contemporary contexts: secular, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and other cultural traditions where the children of Abraham is not a widespread trope and the Bible is one among many other sacred texts. The 2020+ COVID-19 Pandemic offers challenges that make us see familiar things in a new way: small and near things become clearer, and the same goes for the big things. The current pandemic also reminds us how small and big things are connected: it points to life and death, here and now. It shows both our strengths and our vulnerabilities, our trust and our loss. We are reminded that we are part of many communities locally, nationally, and globally. Practicing physical distance is paradoxically the best we can do for the community. Simultaneously, it has become even more apparent how dependent we are on each other and how important it

When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet 53 is to meet face-to-face in a situation where we have to resort to different emergency solutions. What about the difference that lives among us, in our neighborhoods, right next door, in our homes (Honig 1999: 119)? I will end this contribution with a brief reflection of an episode from my own life, which I shared with the editor of the current volume, in 1993. The two of us were roommates–two foreign young women–together for a whole summer in the dormitories at Rothberg School at Hebrew University. The University is located in-between Bethlehem (today’s West Bank) and Moab (today’s Jordan) where most things were different: the hot climate, the food in the canteen, the ulpan pedagogics, etc, but where we were, first and foremost, strangers to ourselves. 28 years later, we are writing together on neighbors. Being a neighbor is both a risky and an exciting business!

Notes 1 Thank you to the members of the research group Classical Religious Texts and Global Contexts at VID Specialized University (Norway) for your constructive responses to an earlier draft of this study. 2 Lau (2015), for instance, fills gaps with extensive references to intertexts so as to make the story “whole”; another example is in the various interpretations of the treatment of Ruth in the fields of Bethlehem, see pp. 47–48 below. 3 This might be illustrated by the topics of redeemer (see n. 23), gleaning (see n. 10), and levirate marriage, the latter of which I’ll not be dealing with in this study. I regard such mappings of the usage of the Pentateuch in the book of Ruth as reductionist ways of interpreting this story. Readings of a one-to-one relationship between Pentateuchal laws and the book of Ruth might assume that this fragmentary textual material represents common practice in ancient Israel, a widespread postulate which, for instance, cf. LeFebvre (2006), has argued convincingly against. LeFebvre does not treat the book of Ruth, but sums up in more general terms: “The law writings, while perhaps reflective of social custom (description), were not the source of legal practice (prescription). Unwritten customs continued to be the source for legal practice” (2006: 15, his italics). 4 The books of Ezra and Nehemiah are often used as a reference point for the discussion of mixed marriage in the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Frevel 2011). However, taking the episodes of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as the standard view of mixed marriage in late Persian and/or early Hellenistic time implies that the diversity becomes neglected. Much material dated to Persian and/or Hellenistic time mentions mixed marriage without any explicit polemics against such a practice, cf. the books of Ruth, Esther and 1 Chronicles. Also, mixed marriages between Israelites and Moabites are presented in various ways in the Hebrew bible, see pp. 49–50 below. 5 It should be stated at the outset that only two Moabites are referred to directly in the book of Ruth, that is, Ruth and Orpha. In addition, there’s an indirect reference to the two women’s mothers (1:8), as well as “their people and their god” (1:15). 6 In different ways, a concept of the Other has been regarded as a constituent part of self-consciousness, intersubjectivity and interdependence. In postcolonial studies, a critique of what has been labelled “othering” is particularly prominent. In this regard, othering is taken to be a colonial strategy of discrimination,

54 Kristin Joachimsen

7

8 9

10

11

12

13 14

denigration and exclusion, which legitimizes the domination of the subaltern, that is, persons or groups who are socially, politically or geographically outside the center of power (cf. Spivak 1988). The cultural critic Bhabha (1994: 1–27) applies a concept of hybridity to account for both complex and changing identities and loyalties. In this regard, hybridity is not a concept for exploring the mixing of culture only (not limited to encounters between empire and subaltern), but helps to sharpen analyses of boundary-crossing and in-between space (1994: 8; 28–56). The concept is developed as a critique of constructed dichotomizations which have defined the relationship between “us” and “them,” Empire/subaltern, superior/subordinate, center/periphery, inside/outside, man/woman, etc.–not by turning the hierarchical dichotomies around, but showing how they might be disruptively and productively interwoven in what he labels a “Third Space” (1994: 53–54). Bhabha’s concept of hybridity has been criticized for, among others, assuming that there are pure cultures, as well as for neglecting cultural hierarchies and hegemonic practices, cf. Anthias (2001). On the concept of intersectionality, cf. Dill and Zambrana (2017); Nash (2017); the latter locates intersectionality within what she labels a “corrective turn” in the field. In terms of identity markers, both ethnicity, religion and culture are contested concepts. I will not dig deep into these debates here, but only refer to a good overview of the discussions in relation to the Hebrew Bible in Miller (2008), as well as two recent contributions: Rainey (2019), which stresses genealogy and territory as decisive elements in identifying ethnic groups, and Gruen (2020: 6), which claims that ancient group identity was articulated “less in terms of ancestry, genealogy, and inherent character than in a conglomerate of traditions, practices, and shared convictions.” Cf. Boaz’ wish of how Ruth should be rewarded by YHWH due to her treatment of Noomi in 2:12, see n. 20. dā ḇ aq “stick”, “cling” is reiterated in variations in the book of Ruth: 1:14 (cf. ʿā zaḇ “forsake” on Ruth who will not leave Noomi in 1:16; reminds of Boaz’ depiction of Ruth’s treatment of Noomi in 2:11 and the townswomen’s depiction of Ruth loving Noomi in 4:15), 2:8 (Boas instructs Ruth to cling to his female servants), 21 (Ruth quotes Boaz’ instruction); 23 (Ruth stuck with Boaz’s female servants). l- q-t “glean”: 2:2, 3, 7, 8, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23. I don’t read the book of Ruth as an illustration of the law material of the Pentateuch (cf. n. 3), but the story might echo people in need who are allowed to glean, cf. Lev 19:9–10 (leʿā nı̂ wᵉlaggē r “for the poor and for the stranger”); 23:22, and Deut 24:19–21 (laggē r layyā ṯ ô m wᵉlā ʾalmā nā h “to the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow”); 10:18; 14:29. In 2:1, Boaz is called ʾı̂ š gibbô r h ̣ayil “wealthy man” and mimmiš pah ̣aṯ ʾᵉlı̂ meleḵ “of Elimelech’s family”. In 2:20, he is presented as qā rô ḇ lā nû hā ʾı̂ š miggō ʾᵃlē nû hû ʾ “one of our redeeming kinsmen”, in 3:2 he is labelled mō ḏ aʿtā nû “our kinsman”. See also the discussion of the redeemers in n. 23. The terminology of the female workers oscillates between naʿᵃrā h “young woman”, “female servants” (2:5, 6, 8, 22, 23; 3:2; 4:12); š ip̱ h ̣̄ah “maid, maidservant” (2:13), and ʾā mā h “maid, handmaid” (3:9). The terminology of the male workers oscillates between naʿar “young man”, “male servant” (2:5, 6, 9, 15, 21) and qō sē ̣ r “harvester” (2:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14); both terms are applied in plural. Ruth is labelled “Moabite” in 1:22; 2:2, 6, 21; 4:5,10. Eskenazi and Frymer-Kensky (2011: 35) comment on how nā g̱ aʿ has a range of nuances and argues that the combination of Boaz’s encouragement here and Noomi’s instruction in 2:22 suggests “some physical danger in the field for an

When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet 55

15

16

17

18

19

unaccompanied young woman, possibly because she is a stranger and does not ‘belong’ to anyone”. Schipper (2016: 116; 129) translates nā g̱ a “assault”, taking it to indicate how Ruth is “vulnerable in terms of her physical safety”, referring further to “attack” in 2:22. By referring to e.g., Gen 20:6, Josh 9:19–20, Prov 6:29, Shepherd (2018: 537) claims that “the undesirability of Ruth being ‘touched’ (nā g̱ aʿ) implies a threat of sexual violation. According to Eskenazi and Frymer-Kensky (2011: 41), ḵ -l-m refers to nuances of “humiliate” or “embarrass”, while g̱ ʿar alludes to harassment or admonishment. Schipper (2016: 126) translates “Do not humiliate her!” (2:15) and “Do not rebuke her!” (2:16) without any further comments. Schipper (2016: 132; 136–137) comments on how pā g̱ aʿ has a range of meanings, like “encounter”, “meet” (Gen 28:11, 32:2), “attack”, “kill” (Judg 18:25, 1 Sam 22:18, 2 Sam 1:5, 1 Kgs 2:25, 34, 46) and chooses to translate “attack”, “possibly including a sexual assault” (cf. Judg 15:12). Schipper adds: “[W]hether in ancient Israel or contemporary United States, public safety is a social privilege that is hardly universally enjoyed or assumed by all parties, especially women and ethnic or racial minorities” (p. 137). Shepherd (2018: 539) interprets pā g̱ aʿ with preposition b (2:22, cf. 1:16) as a potentially hostile encounter, particularly illuminated by such usage in Judg 8:21, 15:12–13. He postulates: “Indeed, in light of Boaz’s caution in Ruth 2.9, the use of [pā g̱ aʿ] here in Ruth 2.22 paints a disturbing picture of the expectation of potentially lethal and/or sexual violence in the harvest fields of Judah.” Shepherd does not comment upon Boaz’s instruction to the male servants in 2:15-16, where he, among others, directs them to neither reproach nor rebuke Ruth, see above. Due to the many gender displacements in the book of Ruth, Eskenazi (2011: 45) argues that Ruth’s “‘misquoting’ of Boaz… should not be dismissed too quickly as accidental”. Eskenazi asks whether Ruth “aligns herself with Boaz’s men… because that is where the better gleaning will be?”. In terms of the gender displacements, Schipper (2016: 91–92) offers an overview of the characteristic “gender neutralization”: “In Ruth, there are eight examples in which a masculine plural independent pronoun (1:22), a pronominal suffix (1:8, 9, 11, 13, 19, 4:11) and a verbal suffix (1:8) have a feminine antecedent referring to two women. There are also two examples in 1:13 in which a feminine pronominal suffix refers to presumably two men.” Davies (2013) analyzes the gender discord as a literary device, especially related to the cluster in Noomi’s speech in Ruth 1: “Such irregular speech may be the narrator’s first hint of the emotional turmoil that characterizes Noomi throughout out the chapter” (p. 501) as well as her ambivalence to her daughters-in-law. Also, Davies relates the gender discord to the gender reversal in 4:15, in which the townswomen praise Ruth as one who replaces the worth of seven sons. Furthermore, the masculine pronouns applied to Ruth and Noomi in 1:19, 22 may also “hint at the masculine roles they have assumed in the absence of male support” (p. 511, cf. as regards Rachel and Leah in 4:11). Boaz orders the male servants not to bother (nā g̱ aʿ) Ruth, and not to humiliate (ḵ -lm) nor rebuke (g̱ ʿar) her, while Noomi advises Ruth to stay away from these men, so they don’t attack (pā g̱ aʿ) her. Shepherd (2018: 529) states that “[t]he basic premise that Ruth 2 depicts the threat of violence against Ruth has been increasingly recognized by commentators [he refers to, e.g., Carasik (1995: 493–494), Lau 2011: 98, n. 45, Schipper (2016: 136–137)], even if not all take sufficiently serious the nature of this violence as potentially lethal and almost certainly sexual.” Shepherd adds the significance of Ruth being a migrant from Moab. In the Hebrew Bible, a whole range of multivalent terms are applied to describe strangers, covering various degrees of otherness, denoting Israelites and persons

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20

21 22

23

24

25

known but somehow alien in the circumstances or ethnic, religious, or cultural difference. Both nē ḵ ā r “foreigner”, zā r “stranger”, and g̱ ē r “sojourner” can refer to a member of another household, tribe, or a foreigner. Less common are tô š ā ḇ “settler” and ʾah ̄ ̣er “another”. In Ruth 1:1, Elimelech and his family leave Bethlehem g̱ û r “to sojourn” in Moab - a place where they don’t have any family or tribal ties (but where they marry locals). Ruth identifies herself as nā ḵ ᵉrı̂ ā “stranger” (2:10), not g̱ ē r “sojourner. Boaz’ prayer for Ruth receiving reward from YHWH, is expressed by the verb yᵉš allē m “reward, compensate” and the expression maś kurtē ḵ š ᵉlē mā h “full recompense”, reminding of Noomi’s prayer for divine h ̣eseḏ towards her daughters-in-law in 1:8, see above. In Ruth 2:12, Ruth’s inclusion into the community of YHWH is further emphasized by her being counted among those who seek refuge under the deity’s wings (cf. her expression of belonging to Ruth, Bethlehem and YHWH in 1:16). š aʿar “city gate”, cf. 4:1, 10, 11, as well as other collective labels of the Bethlehemites, like zᵉqē nı̂ m “elders” in 4:2, 4, 9; ʿam “people” in 1:6, 10, 15; 2:11, 4:4, 9, 11, and hā ʿı̂ r “the city” in 1:19; 2:18; 3:15; 4:2. Cf. Boaz as ʾı̂ š gibbô r h ̣ayil in 2:1. Also in 3:14, Boaz is concerned with Ruth’s (and his own) reputation, but from a different angle. After the two met on the threshing floor at night, he wants her to leave early in the morning, so no one else shall recognize that she has been there. g̱ ā ʾal “redeem” has a range of meanings in the Hebrew Bible related to the protection of economic and “spiritual” dimensions. It might, for instance, refer to restoring property (e.g., land) or relatives sold to slavery, if needed. The term occurs 21 times in the book of Ruth, referring to human beings taking responsibility for others in need. In this story, Noomi identifies Boaz as qā rô ḇ lā nû hā ʾı̂ š miggō ʾᵃlē nû hû ʾ “one of our redeeming kinsmen” (2:20); elsewhere qal active participle of g̱ ā ʾal refers to Boaz, another unnamed relative or Obed (3:9, 12; 4:1, 3, 6, 14). Ruth refers to Boaz as her redeemer approaching him (3:9), and he responds by confirming that he is her “redeemer” (3:13), acting as such in terms of taking responsibility for the land of Elimelech (4:3–4), which turns out to also include his marriage with Ruth. Finally, the women of Bethlehem label Ruth’s son as Noomi’s redeemer (4:14, cf. 4:17); in 4:14, g̱ ā ʾal “redeem” and ḵ alkē l “sustain” might point to economical and emotional care. In its narrative context, the connection with David also points to the future of the people of Israel. While the date of the composition of the book of Ruth varies from the tenth to ninth centuries BCE to the late Persian or early Hellenistic time, most current scholars opt for the Persian period, see Eskenazi and Frymer-Kensky (2011: xvi–xix); Schipper (2016: 20–22). See also n. 4. Cf. n. 19 on terms applied to describe strangers, overlapping between ethnic/ religious/cultural difference as well as fellow Israelites. The expression of loving your neighbor (rēaʿ) in Lev 19:18 is often referred to in neighbor discourses of the Hebrew Bible. The expression is embedded in commands to be holy because YHWH is holy (Lev 19:2). Moreover, as Balentine (2002: 165) shows, “the word neighbor refers to a wide range of persons with whom Israel would have had relationships”, enumerating eight instances in the list of ethical admonitions in Lev 19:9-18: poor (vv. 10, 15), alien (v. 10), neighbor (v. 13), laborer (v. 13), the deaf and the blind (v. 14), and fellow citizen (vv. 15, 17). Balentine stresses that the variety of this list shows that the category of neighbor includes both different social classes and situations. This might also be further related to people in need who are allowed to glean, see n. 10. Milgrom (2004: 216) also highlights how the concern for the underprivileged–the poor, the

When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet 57

26

27 28

29 30

31

32 33 34

widow, the orphan and the alien–is stated again and again in the Hebrew bible. In other instances, there is a distinction between the care for the member of the Israelite community, as opposed to the foreigner, e.g., Exod 2:13; Deut 15:1–3, 19:4. On versions of neighbors in Exodus, see Gudme in this volume. Gen 11:27; 19:30–37. In Gen 19, the origin of the Moabites is related to the incest between Lot and his daughter. Schipper (2016: 41) argues that the actions of Lot’s daughters in Gen 19 might be connected to a desire to continue Lot’s lineage and the survival of the descendants of Abraham’s brother Haran (19:21;34), cf. story of Tamar in Gen 38:12-30 and Ruth 4:12. According to Schipper, what is at stake is a matter of survival, comparable to Boaz’s reason for marrying Ruth in 4:5, 10. In 1 Chron 11:46, the Moabite Ithmah is listed among David’s warriors. Cultural imaginations appear concerning Moab as a group of people that are disenfranchised because of their cultic practices, in which marriage with their women is particularly singled out as an unwanted practice, cf. Solomon’s love for foreign–also Moabite–women leading to apostasy in 1 Kgs 11:1–2. In Num 25:1–5, Israelite men profane themselves with Moabite women; in Ezra 9:1–2; Neh 13:23–27 leaders of Israel, priests and Levites have acted faithlessly by marrying “peoples of the land”, which are compared to, among others, Moabites. In 1 Chron 4:22 the Judean men Joash and Saraph married Moabite women and returned to Lehem. Moabites are called “children of Lot” when the Israelites are commanded not to fight Moab in Deut 2:9, because the Moabites provided food and water to them and allowed them to go through the territory of Moab during their wandering in the wilderness, cf. Deut 2:27–29 [26–28]; Num 21:11–20. In 1 Sam 22:3–4, David sends his parents to the king of Moab to secure their safety (cf. Ruth 1:4;6). In the book of Ruth, the Moabite Ruth is offered water (2:9), and shares a meal with Boaz’s harvesters (2:14). Deut 23:4-7; in Num 22:1–4 Israelites fight with Moabites in the desert; in Num 25:1 Moabite women-led Israel to sin at Baal-Peor. Moab is depicted as Israel’s enemy in e.g., Judg 3:12–30; 2 Sam 8:2; 2 Kgs 3:4–27, 13:20, 24:2; 1 Chron 18:2. Schipper (2016: 41) stresses that “[a]ll of the texts that explicitly call for the exclusion of Moabites provide rationales other than Moab’s incestuous origins.” There is a comprehensive overview of connections between Bethlehem and Moab, and more, in Schipper (2016: 38–44). Boaz tells how she left everything, cf. 1:16, that is, what Ruth did to Noomi, not what she did to her father-in-law and husband. Ruth identified as a Moabite, see n. 13, and as identifying herself as nā ḵ ᵉrı̂ ā “stranger”, see p. 7, incl. n. 19. Ruth is referred to as a daughter-in-law (1:6, 7, 8, 22; 2:20, 22; 4:15), daughter (1:11, 12, 13; 2:2, 8, 22; 3:1, 10, 11, 16, 18), and a wife of the dead (4:5).

Literature Anthias, Floya. 2001. New Hybridities, Old Concepts: The Limits of ‘Culture’. Ethnic and Racial Studies 24, 619–641. Auld, Graeme A. 2018. Ruth: A Reading of Scripture? In: D.F. Morgan (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Writings of the Hebrew Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 215–228. Balentine, Samuel E. 2002. Leviticus. Louisville: John Knox Press. Bhabha, Homi. 1994. The Location of Culture. London/New York: Routledge.

58 Kristin Joachimsen Brenner, Athalya. 1999. Ruth as a Foreign Worker and the Politics of Exogamy. In: A. Brenner (ed.), Ruth and Esther: A Feminist Companion to the Bible (Second Series). Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 158–162. Carasik, Michael. 1995. Ruth 2,7: Why the Overseer Was Embarrassed. Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 107, 493–494. Davies, Andrew R. 2013. The Literary Effect of Gender Discord in the Book of Ruth. Journal of Biblical Literature 132, 495–513. Derrida, Jacques. 2000 [1997]. Of Hospitality. Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Transl. Rachel Bowlby. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Dill, Bonnie Thornton, & Zambrana, Ruth Enid. 2017 [2009]. Critical Thinking about Inequality: An Emerging Lens. In: C.R. McCann and S.-K. Kim (eds.), Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives (4th ed.). New York: Routledge, 182–193. Donaldson, Laura, 1999. The sign of Orpah: Reading Ruth through Native Eyes. In: A. Brenner (ed.), Ruth and Esther: A Feminist Companion to the Bible (Second Series). Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 130–144. Eskenazi, Tamara Cohn, & Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. 2011. Ruth: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation Commentary. Jewish Publication Society Bible Commentary. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. Frevel, Christian (ed.), 2011. Mixed Marriages: Intermarriage and Group Identity in the Second Temple Period. New York: Bloomsbury. Gruen, Eric S. 2020. Ethnicity in the Ancient World- Did it Matter? Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter. Hall, Stuart. 1996, Who Needs ‘Identity’? In: S. Hall & P. du Gay (eds.), Questions of Cultural Identity. London: SAGE Publications, 1–17. Hall, Stuart (ed.). 1997. Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Sage Publications. Honig, Bonnie. 1999. Ruth, the Model Emigree: Mourning and the Symbolic Politics of Immigration. In: A. Brenner (ed.), Ruth and Esther: A Feminist Companion to the Bible (Second Series). Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 50–74. Kristeva, Julia. 1991. Strangers to Ourselves. Trans Leon S. Roudiez, New York: Colombia University Press. Kristeva, Julia. 1993. Nations without Nationalism. Trans Leon S. Roudiez, New York: Colombia University Press. Kwok, Pui-lan. 2005. Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox. LaCocque, André. 2004. Ruth: A Continental Commentary. Transl. K.C. Hanson. Minneapolis. Fortress Press. Larkin, Katrina J.A. 1996. Ruth and Esther. Sheffield: Sheffiled Academic Press. Lau, Peter Hon Wan. 2010. Identity and Ethics in the Book of Ruth: A Social Identity. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter. Lau, Peter Hon Wan. 2015. Another Postcolonial Reading of the Book of Ruth. In: J. Havea & P. H.W. Lau (eds.), Reading Ruth in Asia. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature Press, 15–34. LeFebvre, Michael. 2006. Collections, Codes, and Torah: The Re-Characterization of Israel’s Written Law. London: T&T Clark.

When Bethlehemites and Moabites meet 59 Milgrom, Jacob. 2004. Leviticus- A Book of Ritual and Ethics: A Continental Commentary. Minneapolis. Fortress Press. Miller, James C. 2008. Ethnicity and the Hebrew Bible: Problems and Prospects. Currents in Biblical Research 6, 170–213. Nadar, S. 2001. A South African Indian Womanist Reading of the Character of Ruth. In M. W. Dube Shomanah (ed.), Other Ways of Reading: African Women and the Bible (Vol. 2). Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 159–175. Nash, Jennifer C. 2017. Intersectionality and Its Discontents. American Quarterly 69, 117–129. Ozick, Cynthia. 1994. Ruth. In: J.A. Kates & G.T. Reimer (eds.), Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story. New York: Ballantine, 211–232. Rainey, Brian. 2019. Religion, Ethnicity, and Xenophobia in the Bible: A Theoretical, Exegetical, and Theological Survey. Oxford/New York: Routledge. Saxegaard, Kristin Moen. 2010. Character Complexity in the Book of Ruth. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. Schipper, Jeremy, 2016. Ruth: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Yale: Yale University Press. Shepherd, David J. 2018. Ruth in the Days of the Judges: Women, Foreignness and Violence. Biblical Interpretation 26, 528–543. Southwood, Katherine E. 2014. Will Naomi’s Nation be Ruth’s Nation?: Ethnic Translation as a Metaphor for Ruth’s Assimilation within Judah. Humanities 3, 102–131, https://doi.org/10.3390/h3020102 Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. 1988. Can the Subaltern Speak?. In: Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, ed. Cary Nelson & Lawrence Grossberg. Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 271–313. Walsh, Carey. 2014. Women on the Edge. In: E. Ben Zvi & D. Edelman (eds.), Imagining the Other and Constructing Israelite Identity in the Early Second Temple Period. London/New York: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 122–143. Wetter, Anne-Mareike. 2014. Ruth, a Born-Again Israelite? One Woman’s Journey Through Space and Time. In: D. Edelman & E. Ben Zvi (eds.), Imagining the Other and Constructing Israelite Identity in the Early Second Temple Period. London/New York: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 144–162. Yee, Gale A., 2009. «She Stood in Tears Amid the Alien Crop»: Ruth, the Perpetual Foreigner and Model Minority. In: R.C. Bailey, T.B. Liew & F.F. Segovia (eds.), They were all Together in One Place: Toward Minority Biblical Criticism. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 119–140. Yee, Gale A. 2020. Thinking Intersectionally: Gender, Race, Class, and the Etceteras of Our Discipline. Journal of Biblical Literature 139, 7–26.

3

Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature: The regulation of inter-human relationships in Palestinian rabbinic texts Catherine Hezser

A study of the representation of the neighbour, townsperson, and fellow human being can throw light on the complexities of interpersonal relationships in ancient Jewish society and correct ancient and modern scholars’ stereotypes, such as the allegation that Jews refrained from engaging with others in a similar way in which Greeks, Romans, and Christians did. Ancient Greek and Latin writers from the Hecataeus of Abdera (4th c. BCE) and Manetho (3rd c. BCE) in Egypt to the Romans Tacitus (1st–2nd c. CE) and Philostratus (2nd–3rd c. CE) often associated Jews with antisocial behaviour and misoxenia, that is, the fear or hatred of non-Jews.1 They claimed that Jews adhered to an allegedly exclusive ingroup socializing strategy and showed solidarity to fellow-Jews only. According to Hecataeus, Jews were “somewhat unsocial and hostile to foreigners” (Diodorus Siculus 40.3.4).2 Manetho maintained that they refused to have “intercourse with any save those of their own confederacy”.3 These allegations may have originated in Hellenistic Egypt but they were repeated in imperial Rome.4 The third-century C.E. sophist Philostratus goes so far as to claim that “Jews have long been in revolt not only against the Romans but against humanity”.5 They allegedly erect boundaries between themselves and others and keep themselves apart. Benjamin Isaac has turned these allegations around and shown that xenophobia was rife in Greek and Roman society. Greeks and Romans saw non-Greek and nonRomans as “others” believed to be inferior to themselves. Isaac uses the term xenophobia “for various forms of ethnic prejudice and racism aimed at those seen as foreigners and immigrants, as they are commonly called today”.6 While ancient writers associated antisocial behaviour with Diaspora Jews in Egypt and Rome, modern scholars such as Martin Hengel attributed an inward-looking perspective to post-70 CE rabbis in the Land of Israel. He contrasted rabbis with the allegedly universal perspective of Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity. According to Hengel, in Pharisaic-rabbinic Judaism a “nationalistic legalism” developed that imposed “exclusive limitations” on

Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature 61 7

relations to non-Jews. Hengel even blames Jews themselves for hatred against them when writing: “The tendency toward segregation from non-Jews,…, led to ancient ‘antisemitism’”.8 Early Christians are presented as the successors of the prophetic belief in a universal eschatology, whereas Pharisees and rabbis allegedly prevented Judaism from becoming a world religion.9 Obviously, Hengel’s neat dichotomy between an allegedly universalistic Christianity and an inward-looking rabbinic Judaism is much too simplistic. In fact, it reads like a modern repetition of ancient prejudices against Jews, now directed against rabbis. Rabbinic literature and what it tells us about “others” must be understood within the context in which it was produced. Rabbinic traditions mostly deal with internal Jewish matters that were of interest to rabbinic scholars who lacked official recognition and authority within the Roman Empire.10 Rabbis had no leverage over their non-Jewish neighbours and could merely hope that a few of their fellowJews would follow their advice. If rabbinic traditions mostly deal with relations among Jewish neighbours, this is due to rabbis’ limited sphere of influence rather than to actual and intentional disregard for others. Yet even within the mostly Jewish focus of rabbinic texts the representation of others is much more complex than commonly assumed.11 We can, in fact, identify concentric circles that move from the immediate space of the local neighbourhood to fellow human beings in other local contexts, and eventually to all humans as God’s creatures. Rabbinic references to the “neighbour”, “next”, “fellow”, or “creature” do not always specify the Jewish ethnicity or religion of the person concerned. While some halakhic and narrative contexts suggest that fellow-Jews were meant, in other contexts the meaning seems to have been broader, encompassing Jewish and non-Jewish neighbours and interlocutors. Interestingly, many traditions about neighbourly relations feature women, a phenomenon that fits their association with the private sphere of the house and its immediate neighbourhood. Men are more prominent in local work-related encounters. They are imagined as venturing further afield beyond their own neighbourhoods and hometowns.

Maintaining good neighbourly relationships The majority of Jews in Roman Palestine would have lived in insula buildings that resembled crowded tenement buildings of modern times.12 Each family, which could includemore than one generation had its own living quarters, sometimes consisting of one or two small rooms only. The internal courtyard would have been shared by all residents and was used for various activities such as cooking, laundry, game playing, and handiwork.13 Especially in the warm summer months many family activities would have been carried out outdoors. In the evenings, residents would have met in the courtyard for meals, socialising, gossiping, and games.14 Families would have lived near their neighbours whom they met daily. They would

62 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours overhear their neighbours’ marital arguments and their children’s noise through the walls, doors, and in the shared spaces. Cooking vapours and odours would invade private quarters. In such crowded living conditions privacy was difficult to maintain.15 Since the street-facing ground-floor spaces were often occupied by shops and workshops, non-resident customers, suppliers, co-workers, and business partners could invade and trespass the shared spaces. Many aspects of this housing situation of the lower and middle strata of Jewish society are reflected in Palestinian rabbinic sources. Since men were probably occupied with work outside of the home or in adjacent workshops during daylight hours, private meetings may have happened mainly amongst female neighbours during the day. Sociologists have emphasized that neighbourhoods in which people know each other may serve as “save heavens” and create networks of mutual support.16 In defining neighbourhoods sociologically, Sharma writes: “Neighbourhood is the simplest community. In order of social importance, neighbourhood comes after the family. In it, there is a feeling of local unity”.17 Outside of kinship groups such as the nuclear and extended family, “the deepest and most intimate relations are found to exist among neighbours”.18 Neighbours would turn to each other for support and depend on each other’s courtesy. In shared courtyards women might cook, weave, and engage in childcare activities together. The Mishnah is clearly interested in good relations amongst neighbours. Yet it also considers the possibility that their standards of Torah observance might vary. Therefore, rabbinic rules for the lending of objects to female neighbours take different levels of purity observance into account: “[A] A woman may lend to her neighbour [literally “friend” or ‘next”, ‫ ]לחברתה‬who is suspected of [transgressing the rules of] shevi’it [i.e., Sabbatical year produce]: a sifter, a sieve, a handmill, or an oven, but she shall not sort or grind with her. [B] The wife of a haver [who is strict in the observance of biblical purity rules] may lend to the wife of an am ha-aretz [who is careless in this regard] a sifter and a sieve; and she may sort and sift and grind flour with her. But once she has poured water [on the flour], she may not be in contact with [literally: touch] her, for one shall not strengthen the hands of [i.e., support] transgressors. And all of these [rules] they [sages] said only in the interests of peace [‫]מפני דרכי שׁלום‬. [C] And they strengthen the hands of [i.e., support] gentiles during the Sabbatical Year but not Israelites [who transgress the rules]. They greet them [literally: ask for their welfare/peace], all in the interests of peace” (M. Shevi’it 5:9). This mishnah is formulated from the perspective of rabbis who observe the agricultural rules of the Sabbatical or shmittah year that are stated in Lev.

Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature 63 25:2-4 and outlined in M. Shevi’it 1:1.19 How should a women who observes these rules behave toward a neighbour who is suspected of transgressing them or is less careful in her observance? The first part of the mishnah concerns a family that observes and one that transgresses shmittah rules; the second part the family of a haver, who is particularly strict about the observance of agricultural laws, and an am ha-aretz, who is less strict.20 Partial observance based on a lack of detailed knowledge rather than outright negligence seems to be assumed here. In the first case (transgressor) the lending of certain objects that can be used for producing food and other purposes is permitted but the observant woman may not engage in any activities that might lead to the preparation of prohibited food. In the case of a strictly observant family that lives next to the family of an am ha-aretz, the woman may lend the smaller household items of a sifter and sieve to her neighbour and even help her in food preparation. This rule is rather remarkable, even if some or most am ha-aretz families may have been assumed to follow some agricultural rules.21 It seems that intentional transgression is distinguished from mere ignorance and lack of trustworthiness here. Complicity in the pouring of water on the flour would constitute a step too far however, since the dough would then become subject to uncleanness. Any contact with the wife of an am ha-aretz must be avoided at this stage, since it would mean lending support to a transgression. At the end of these two sections, the purpose of these lenient rules is explicitly stated: to maintain peace between neighbours, that is, to preserve the harmony of the neighbourhood, negotiatingdifferent levels of Torah observance.22 The third category referred to in this mishnah is the gentile. Since the same expressions are used, namely, to “stengthen the hands” or support the gentile “in the interests of peace” and since the text follows the discussion of neighbourly interactions, a similar neighbourly context seems to have been envisioned here. During the Sabbatical Year there is nothing that may prevent Jewish women from helping and being friendly to their gentile neighbours, because gentiles were not subject to the observance of Sabbatical Year rules. Since they were not obliged to observe them, they could not transgress them and incur impurity. An important phenomenon already observed by Mira Balberg is evident here: rather than declaring all gentiles impure and prohibiting Jews from having contact with them, “the rabbis unequivocally assert that Gentiles cannot contract and convey the impurities mentioned in the Priestly Code”.23 Balberg emphasises that “one of the most efficient ways of creating boundaries between different groups is by using rhetorics of impurity, identifying outsiders as incorrigibly polluting”.24 In the mishnah discussed here rabbis try to regulate social contacts between different types of Jewish neighbours but are entirely permissive about contacts between observant Jews and non-Jews. Even in the case of different levels of Jewish observance “the interests of peace” within the neighbourhood are their explicitly stated priority.

64 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours Relations between female neighbours are also addressed in midrashic narratives. A story in Leviticus Rabbah 5:8 establishes a proper protocol for conducting a good neighbourly relationship: “R. Aha said: There is a woman who knows how to borrow and there is a woman who does not know how to borrow. The one who knows how to borrow goes to her neighbour [‫מגירתא‬, literally: fellow resident, housemate], [finds] the door open [and] knocks on it. She says to her: Peace be upon you, my neighbour. How are you doing? How is your husband doing? How are your children doing? Is it convenient or not convenient [for me to come in]? Do you have such-and-such a utensil that you could give me? She will say to her: Yes. The one who does not know how to borrow goes to her neighbour. [Although] the door is closed, she opens it. She says to her: Do you have such-and-such a utensil that you could give me? She [the neighbour] says to her: No”. (Leviticus Rabbah 5:8).25 In Leviticus Rabbah, this narrative is followed by a similar one about a tenant and his landlord. Both narratives are parables used to explain Israelites’ relationship to God. According to the introductory statement attributed to R. Shimon b. Yohai, “How skillful are Israel, for they know how to petition their Creator”. Although the text is stylised, the two forms of approaching one’s neighbour presented by the parable may be based on everyday life experience, where friendliness towards one’s neighbour would eventually pay off. This idea is also expressed in Graeco-Roman texts. In Aristophanes’ play Frogs, a courteous approach is recommended: “… if a man said to his neighbour: Lend me a dish and, if you please, a saucer”, this phrasing is called “the best choice of words” (Frogs 1158). Xenophon has one of his interlocutors ask: “Do you want to please your neighbour, for instance, so that he may kindle a fire for you at your need, may support you in prosperity, and in case of accident or failure may be ready to hold out a helping hand?” (Memorabilia 2.2.12). In Plautus’ play Casina, Cleostrata is about to visit her neighbour when she sees her coming out of her door, realising “I've not started for my call at a convenient time” (Casina 2.1). In his play Rudens (The Fisherman’s Rope), Plautus has Ampelisca consider asking her neighbour for some water. When approaching the door, she shouts: “Hello there, is there anyone in the cottage? Is anyone going to open this door? Will anyone come out?” (Rudens 2.3). This behaviour is considered rude and the neighbour subsequently asks: “Who is it so furiously making an attack upon our door?” (ibid. 2.4). Even when Ampelisca changes her behaviour, the neighbour tells her that her visit is inconvenient at that time: “I'll receive you with a welcome, if you come in the evening, by-and-by, just such as I could like; for just now I've no means to receive you, a damsel, thus early in the morning…” (ibid.).

Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature 65 These passages suggest that in antiquity a certain etiquette had to be followed when paying unexpected visits to one’s neighbours. Rude behaviour and visits at inconvenient times were criticised and politeness recommended. Although some of the Graeco-Roman writers may have villa owners of the upper strata of society in mind, one may assume that in the crowded conditions of courtyard buildings courtesy toward one’s neighbours would have been as significant, if not even more so. Friendly relations between neighbours could easily turn sour, as another story in Leviticus Rabbah suggests: “There was a case concerning a [woman] who went to kneed [dough] with a neighbour [‫ ]מגירתא‬and there were three denars tied up in her cloak.26 She took them and put them before her. And when she was sitting and arranging [the dough], they became mixed in the loaf. She searched [for the coins] but could not find them. She said to the neighbour: Have you found three denars? This neighbour had three sons. She said to her: May this son be buried, if I found them. And she buried him. At a later time she said to her: Have you found three denars? She said to her: May my second son be buried, if I found them. And she buried him. At a later time she said to her: Have you found three denars? She said to her: May my third son be buried if I found them. And she buried him. She [the owner of the denars] said [to herself]: Should I not go and offer condolences to this neighbour? She took a loaf [of bread with her] and sat down [in her neighbour’s home]. When she cut it, three denars fell out. And this is what people say: Whether guiltless or guilty, do not get entangled in oaths!” (Leviticus Rabbah 6:3).27 Elsewhere in Leviticus Rabbah, stealing is strictly prohibited. According to a statement attributed to R. Yohanan, “anyone who robs his fellow [‫]חבירו‬ even of the value of perutah. they [sages] reckon it to him as if he killed him” (Lev. R. 22:6). Neighbours who lived close together and frequented their neighbours’ living quarters might easily be suspected of theft, so a certain amount of mutual trust was necessary to maintain a good relationship. The two female neighbours of the midrashic story remain on good terms with each other throughout the story. They bake loaves of bread together and meet repeatedly. When her neighbour’s sons die, the woman who has suffered a financial loss decides to deliver her condolences. The loss of the money does not damage their relationship. The first woman’s questions to her neighbour are presented as legitimate. They are questions rather than statements of suspicion. It is the neighbour’s oaths to her innocence that are criticised at the end.28 Although she was, in fact, innocent, she lost her sons because her oaths threatened their fate. The first woman’s regaining of her money is linked to her good neighbourly behaviour. She happened to take

66 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours that loaf as a gift that contained the coins. The assumption is that the women baked many loaves of bread together and afterwards divided them amongst themselves. Who would get the loaf with the coins would have been determined by chance. Therefore, the neighbour’s oath is presented as an exaggerated reaction here. As we have seen, many of the stories about neighbourhood relations concern women. In the crowded conditions of insula buildings some spaces were shared, and women would have conducted activities together, such as the baking of bread. The close spatial contact and joint activities would have necessitated the maintenance of good neighbourly relationships of mutual support and the sharing of foodstuffs and cooking utensils. Different levels of Torah observance could challenge neighbourly cooperation to such an extent that gentile neighbours were sometimes preferred to Jewish neighbours whose purity observance was lax.

Relationships amongst local townspeople The next level of social relationships was with people who were not neighbours but with whom one might interact on a more or less regular basis in daily life. These people were imagined as locals who lived in the same village, town, or city as oneself. The contexts envisioned by the texts are townspeople, work mates, business partners, and farm owners. The term ‫ חבר‬is usually used for this category of individuals. In most cases, “fellow” is a better translation than “friend”, since friendship involved emotional intimacy and was delimited to status-equals.29 There is no ethnic or religious demarcation of who could be considered a “fellow”. The encounters mentioned in rabbinic traditions mostly concern fellow-Jews, however. Rabbinic case stories provide decisions for cases amongst Jewish litigants. Cases between Jews and Romans would have been dealt with by Roman jurists and decided in accordance with Roman law. The issues dealt with in the Mishnah usually concern specifically Jewish matters such as the observance of the Seventh Year, the separation of tithes, and the payment of the shekel tax. Accordingly, the local “fellow” envisioned by rabbis was usually another Jewish male. While female neighbours figure prominently in the texts about neighbours above, local collaborators, business partners, and other farmers were imagined as male householders whom one encountered in the broader sphere of the town or village. Perhaps rabbis imagined males to venture out further and meet more frequently in marketplaces and streets. Males were also associated with certain types of work, such as that of the travelling merchant and pedlar, while women are presented as sharing household activities. The distinction between neighbour and townsman is explicitly mentioned in Mishnah Sheqelim 1:7. “He who pays the shekel [tax] on behalf of a poor person or on behalf of his neighbour [‫ ]שׁכנו‬or on behalf of his townsman [‫]בן עירו‬, he is exempt [from surcharges], but if he [did so by

Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature 67 means of] a loan, he is liable”. The poor person may be distinguished here because his relationship to the householder who pays the shekel tax for him was considered irrelevant. The neighbour and townsman, on the other hand, stood in a relatively close spatial relationship to the householder from whose perspective this mishnah is formulated. It is important to stress the connection between spatial and social closeness and distance here. In antiquity, when neither telephones nor the internet existed and the use of letters was very rare, the closest relationships would be maintained with those who lived close to oneself, that is, the members of one’s household, one’s neighbours, and fellow-townspeople, whom one could meet on a more or less daily basis. The majority of Jews in Roman Palestine probably maintained few social relations to people outside of their local space. Most Palestinian Jews worked in agriculture or crafts.30 Farmers, whether small-holders or tenants, were linked to the land they cultivated. Crafts were carried out in local households and workshops.31 Neither farmers nor craftsmen would usually travel to regional markets themselves. The most mobile profession was therefore that of the peddler and travelling merchant, who bought local produce and products and transported them to markets and customers.32 In rabbinic texts some rabbis are presented as more mobile than others, covering longer distances. As I have suggested elsewhere, these rabbis may have been involved in interregional business themselves.33 This means that most people’s social and professional interactions would have been confined to the neighbourhood, village, or town they lived in. The local population would have rarely consisted of Jews only. The cities of Roman Palestine were multi-ethnic in late antiquity, consisting of Jews, Samaritans, Christians, Greeks, Romans and possibly also members of other ethnicities and cultures. Yet ethnic and cultural diversity was not limited to urban environments. Isaac and Dauphin have argued that most villages and small towns of Roman Palestine would have been multi-ethnic as well: “The best explanation, they argue, is that villages with a homogeneous Jewish or Christian population were the exception rather than the rule (…).”.34 In some Galilean villages Jewish inhabitants may have constituted the majority, elsewhere, e.g., in the Transjordan region, they may have been a minority. At least from a literary point of view, the fellow townsperson mentioned in rabbinic texts remains ethnically and religiously undefined. Whether (s)he was imagined as Jewish or non-Jewish depended on the topics discussed in the texts. Did the topics concern Jews only? Would rabbis’ halakhic regulations (perhaps indirectly) affect non-Jews as well? An interesting mishnaic discussion concerns relations amongst farmers in the Sabbatical Year: “[A] At first they [sages] were saying: A person may collect wood, stones, and weeds from his own [field] just as he may collect from [the

68 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours field] of his fellow [during the Sabbatical Year], the larger [the pieces] the better. [B] When the transgressors [of Sabbatical Year rules] multiplied, they ordained that this one may collect from [the field] of that one and that one from [the field] of this one, if it was not for [mutual] benefit. And it goes without saying that it excludes maintenance for them” (M. Shevi’it 4:1). This mishnah talks about the collection of various types of rubbish from fields during the Sabbatical Year, when farmers were not allowed to sow seeds or eat Sabbatical Year produce. Sages allowed farmers to collect wood, stones, and weed for other than agricultural purposes, e.g., for building projects or to kindle fires. The regulations are distinguished chronologically here. In earlier times (before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE?) when Sabbatical Year observance was still widely maintained, a farmer was permitted to collect such material from his own and his fellow-farmer’s fields. In later times, when Sabbatical Year observance had generally decreased, collecting from one’s own field was no longer allowed, since rabbis suspected farmers of preparing their fields for agricultural use that way. A farmer could merely collect rubbish from another local farmer’s field, under the condition that the farmers had not agreed to do each other a favour by clearing their fields. The mishnah addresses the issue of benefitting from another farmer’s field in a halakhically permissible way, while criticizing a possible collaboration for mutual benefit, if this benefit transgresses agricultural laws of the Bible. Whereas the fellow-farmer in the first rule could be either Jewish or nonJewish (there is no reason why a Jewish farmer should not collect rubbish from a non-Jewish farmer’s field during the Sabbatical Year, if he has the latter’s permission), the second rule reckons with both farmers being obliged to observe shmittah rules, that is, they are both imagined as Jewish. The amoraic Midrash collections Genesis Rabbah and Leviticus Rabbah also containreferences to fellow-workers and fellow-craftsmen. For example, a statement in Genesis Rabbah contrasts the craftsman, who allegedly hates his fellow-craftsman, to sages, who love their fellow-scholars (Gen. R. 32:2): “R. Tanhuma in the name of R. Yudah, R. Menahem in the name of R. [E]leazar: There is no human being who loves his fellow craftsman [‫]בן אומנתו‬, [but] the sage loves his fellow-craftsman, like R. Hiyya [who loves the colleague friends] of R. Hiyya [and] R. Hoshayah those of R. Hoshayah” (Gen. R. 32:2). Whereas relations between craftsmen are based on competition, those between sages were believed to be based on empathy and support.35 What sages shared with craftsmen was an expertise in a particular area, but they differed in the commercial nature of the latter’s activity. To what extent the alleged harmony between Palestinian fellowscholars existed in real life remains an open question.36

Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature 69

Respect for other human creatures The widest radius of interpersonal relationships rabbis dealt with are relations with fellow human beings. Since the biblical creation story suggests that humans were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), all humans were considered God’s creatures and required to respect each other. Studies of the image of the non-Jew in rabbinic sources have usually focused on tractate Avodah Zarah in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Talmuds, which deals with “idolatry”, that is, Graeco-Roman religious practices. In a recent study of Bavli Avodah Zarah Mira Beth Wasserman has argued that this tractate “engages a much broader set of concerns about relationships between Jews and non-Jews”.37 It depicts Jews and non-Jews as “commercial partners, religious rivals, political foes, masters and slaves, subjects and kings, friends, and lovers”, that is, as engaged with each other in a wide range of contexts and activities.38 Therefore one cannot talk about the rabbinic image of the non-Jew, as if there were a homogeneous presentation of nonJews in rabbinic sources. The way in which non-Jews are depicted differs from one context to another. Concerning particular issues, such as, for example, attendance of non-Jewish fairs, a variety of rabbinic views existed. From the rabbinic perspective, the imaginary boundaries between Jews and non-Jews were blurred. In the Avot tractates of the Mishnah rabbis deal with fellow human beings from a theological and ethical perspective. This tractate is very different from the rest of the Mishnah in its focus on moral rather than halakhic issues. Günter Stemberger therefore thinks that the tractate was composed at a much later time than the other tractates, perhaps as late as the fifth century CE.39 Whether early or late, the focus is clearly on rabbinic scholarship here. Schäfer speaks of “[t]he self-confident rabbinic bias of Pirqe Avot”.40 What is therefore astonishing is the frequent reference to fellow human beings in this tractate. A few examples must suffice here. According to a statement attributed to R. Yehoshua, “The evil eye, the evil inclination, and hatred of [one’s fellow] creatures bring a person out of the world”, that is, (s)he will die a premature death (M. Avot 2:11). In another statement R. Haninah recommends praying for the welfare of the government whose rules prevent men from killing each other (M. Avot 3:2: ‫)אישׁ את רעהו‬. Whereas these rules condemn violence and bad treatment of other humans, some rules encourage good inter-human relationships. For example, a statement attributed to R. Hanina b. Dosa suggests: “Everyone from whom the spirit of [fellow human] creatures [‫ ]רוח הבריות‬derives satisfaction, the spirit of God derives satisfaction from him” (M. Avot 3:10). The mishnah attributes to Ben Zoma the saying: “In the world to come, who is honoured? He who honours his [fellow human] creatures [‫]הבריות‬, as it is said: ‘For those who honour me I will honour…’ (1 Sam. 2:30)” (M. Avot 4:1). Since humans are created in the image of God, honouring another human being is reckoned as

70 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours honouring God himself. The fact that the term ‫בריות‬, “creatures” is used in these ethical statements indicates that rabbis had any other human being in mind, not just disciples of sages or fellow-Jews. In contrast to the neighbour and townsman discussed above, the scope is much broader here. Other humans, irrespective of their ethnic or religious origins or spatial or social closeness deserve honour and respectful treatment because, as God’s creatures, they reflect God himself. This notion is also expressed in amoraic Midrashim. In Genesis Rabbah 24:7 R. Aqiva is said to have quoted the biblical rule, “And you shall love your next [or: neighbour, ‫ ]לרעך‬like yourself” (Lev. 19:18) and declared it a greater principle than other commandments (‫)כלל גדול ממנו‬. This is followed by the anonymous continuation: “So that you do not say: Because I have been shamed, let my fellow [or: neighbour, ‫ ]חבירי‬be shamed”. The passage ends with the following comment attributed to R. Tanhuma: “If you do so, know whom you put to shame, ‘In the image of God He made him’ (Gen. 1:27)”. In this midrash the two most significant biblical verses concerning ancient Jewish anthropology and interhuman relationships are combined. Neither the biblical texts nor the rabbinic discussions are limited to nextdoor neighbours, townspeople, or fellow-Jews. The fundamental principle that all humans are created in the image of God is presented as the guiding principle of interhuman relations here. The “other” is not only like oneself but also like God. Hence, treating him/her in the same way as one might be treated by others is not sufficient, especially if the treatment was negative. Reminding readers of the Divine origin of all human beings sets up a very high moral standard. Interestingly, Mishnah Avot also attributes to R. Aqiva the statement: “Beloved is the human being [‫]אדם‬, for (s)he was created in the image [of God]. [It was an expression of] overabundant love that it was made known to him [i.e., the human being] that (s)he was created in the image [of God], as it is said: ‘In the image of God He made the human being’ [Gen. 1:27]” (M. Avot 3:14). Knowledge about this correlation or mirror image between humans and the Divine is presented as a privilege here. The fundamental idea of the creation story, namely, that humans are created in the image of God, elevates all social relations to a theological level and rules out mistreatment of others, if properly observed.

Conclusions Palestinian rabbinic texts that try to regulate interpersonal relationships can neither be generalised as inward-looking and exclusivist nor as universalist. Such categories do not take the specific circumstances the texts relate to into account. Whether relations to next-door neighbours, townspeople, or human beings at large are addressed depends on the thematic issues the individual texts are dealing with. Good relations amongst neighbours and townspeople were of major concern to rabbis. Most ancient Jews’ social

Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature 71 networks would have been confined to their local neighbourhood, town, and village. Spatial closeness and social intimacy would have been interlinked. This has become evident in stories about collaboration and mutual support among neighbourly women, whose residential proximity required them to maintain good neighbourly relationships. In Palestinian rabbinic discussions of neighbourly relations and interactions with local collaborators and business partners the ethnicity and religion of the “other” remains unspecified unless it is halakhically relevant. This was the case if collaboration involved -- or could be regarded as participation in -- pagan religious practices, such as, for example, participation in the building of a pagan Temple or the conduct of business during pagan festivals.41 A context in which the non-Jewish Roman identity of the “other” becomes relevant are encounters with Roman soldiers and government officials on the road, who are often presented as potentially dangerous.42 Ordinary non-Jews, on the other hand, are hardly ever specified in Palestinian rabbinic sources except for the discussion of contacts with socalled “idol worshipers” in tractate Avodah Zarah of the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Talmuds.43 Since rabbis created halakhic rules for their fellow-Jews and could expect only Jews to adhere to their guidelines, most of the issues discussed in rabbinic sources concern Jewish neighbours and townspeople only. This is the case, for example, with Sabbatical Year regulations discussed above. As far as other areas are concerned, such as the treatment of labourers and slaves, or business relations with donkey drivers or shipping agents, the ethnicity and religion of the “other” would be irrelevant and is therefore not specified. Although rabbis would have encountered slaves in the houses of the wealthy and in the marketplace, their halakhic rules for freeborn Israelites did not apply to them. Texts about slaves therefore appear in the framework of slave-master relationships rather than in neighbourhood stories. We may assume that especially from the third century onwards, rabbis who lived in cities would have had regular business relations and perhaps also social interactions with non-Jews in daily life. Rabbis also frequented Roman bathhouses, where they encountered other bathers from a variety of backgrounds.44 In all likelihood, such relations would have been friendly and courteous. Rabbinic texts suggest that rabbis accommodated various aspects of their Graeco-Roman environment. The common scholarly view nowadays is therefore very different from that of Martin Hengel in the 1970s, outlined in the introduction above. While rabbis created a specifically Jewish alternative to Graeco-Roman intellectual culture, they were deeply embedded in that culture themselves.45 Two biblical notions constituted the guiding principle in inter-human relations: the idea that humans were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) and the commandment to “love your next [or: neighbour] like yourself” (Lev. 19:18). Rabbis understood these notions in a “universalistic” way, that is, they believed that they applied to all human beings, irrespective of their

72 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours religious or ethnic backgrounds. They led to an anthropology that was grounded in theology: the treatment of other humans was considered a direct reflection of one’s relationship to God.

Notes 1 See Peter Schäfer, Judeophobia: Attitudes Toward the Jews in the Ancient World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 167-8; Benjamin Isaac, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), 450-1. The texts are introduced and translated in Menahem Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism, 3 vols (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sience,1974–1984). 2 According to R. Doran, “Pseudo-Hecataeus (Second Century B.C. - First Century A.D.: A New Translation and Introduction”, in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 2, ed. James H. Charlesworth (2nd ed. Peabody, MA: Hendricksen Publishers, 2011), 912, Hecataeus mentioned this behaviour in the context of Egypt before the Exodus: “The explanation of strange customs was part of hellenistic ethnography…”. 3 Schäfer, Judeophobia, 19 and 167. 4 Louis H. Feldman, “Anti-Semitism in the Ancient World”, in: History and Hate: The Dimensions of Anti-Semitism, ed. David Berger (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1986), 30-1. 5 Philostratus, Vita Apollonii 5.33 (translated by F.C. Conybeare, Loeb Classical Library), referred to by Isaac, Invention of Racism, 451. Isaac notes that Philostratus attributes this view to the Stoic Euphrates. 6 Isaac, Invention of Racism, 38. 7 Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism. Studies in Their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period, two volumes in one (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1974), 309. 8 Ibid. 306. 9 Ibid. 309. 10 That rabbinic literature was produced by rabbis for scholars of future generations, that is, the intended reader was a rabbi or disciple himself, see David Kraemer, “The Intended Reader as a Key to Interpreting the Bavli”, Prooftexts 13 (1993) 125-40. 11 See already Christine Hayes, “The ‘Other’ in Rabbinic Literature”, in: The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, ed. Charlotte E. Fonrobert and Martin S. Jaffee (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 243: “… the self-other dyad is by no means stable or constant” but based on specific historical, cultural, and political circumstances and diverse within rabbinic society itself. 12 For insula buildings in Sepphoris see Rebecca Martin Nagy, Sepphoris in Galilee: Crosscurrents of Culture (Raleigh, NC: North Caroline Museum of Art, 1996) 33; in Capernaum: Jack Finnegan, The Archeology of the New Testament: The Life of Jesus and the Beginning of the Early Church (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992) 97-8, 107-9; Santiago Guijarro, “The Family in First-Century Galilee”, in:Constructing Early Christian Families: Family as Social Reality and Metaphor, ed. Halvor Moxnes (London and New York: Routledge, 1997), 52. 13 Katharina Galor, “Domestic Architecture”, in: The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 433: “The courtyards provided space for wells, drinking

Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature 73

14 15

16

17 18 19

20

21 22

23 24 25 26

27 28 29

30 31

32

troughs, and structures for animals, and bathhouses; as well as for activities such as cooking, grinding wheat for floor, washing clothes, and eating (…)”. See also Miriam Peskowitz, Spinning Fantasies: Rabbis, Gender, and History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 149 on gossip. Catherine Hezser, “‘Privat’ und ‘öffentlich’ im Talmud Yerushalmi und in der griechisch-römischen Antike”, in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, vol.1, ed. Peter Schäfer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998), 528-9, 541-3, with examples. Ellen Van Beckhoven and Ronald Van Kempen, “Social Effects of Urban Restructuring”, in: Life in Poverty Neighbourhoods: European and American Perspectives, ed. Jürgen Friedrichs, George C. Galster, and Sako Musterd (London and New York: Routledge, 2005), 59. Rajendra K. Sharma, Fundamentals of Sociology (New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers), 81-2. Ibid. 82. On rabbinic agricultural law see Jacob Neusner, The Law of Agriculture in the Mishnah and the Tosefta: Translation, Commentary, Theology, 3 vols (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2005), where several tannaitic texts about the Sabbatical Year are presented and discussed. On the categories of the haver and am ha-aretz see Aharon Oppenheimer, The ‘Am Ha-Aretz. A Study in the Social History of the Jewish People in the Hellenistic-Roman Period (Leiden: Brill, 1977); Rocco Bernasconi, “Meanings, Function and Linguistic Usages of the Term ‘am ha-aretz” in the Mishnah”, Revue des Etudes Juives 170 (2011) 399–428. See the discussion in b. Gittin 61a. The emphasis on peaceful relations also appears in the Leviticus Rabbah texts discussed by Galit Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003) 55-6. Mira Balberg, Purity, Body, and Self in Early Rabbinic Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014), 125. Ibid. On this story see also Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood, 48-9. According to Marcus Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Talmudim, the Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature (Jerusalem: Horev, 1903, reprint), 1543, a ‫ שׁושׁיפא‬was a “coarse cloak, used also as a bed sheet”. This may indicate the woman’s poverty and highlight the value of the coins for her. On this story see also Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood, 14–16. See also ibid. 15. On friendship in rabbinic texts see Catherine Hezser, “Rabbis and Other Friends: Friendship in the Talmud Yerushalmi and in Graeco-Roman Literature”, in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, ed. Peter Schäfer and Catherine Hezser, vol. 2 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 189-254. Zeev Safrai, The Economy of Roman Palestine (London: Routledge, 1994). On the household economy see Alexei Sivertsev, “The Household Economy”, in: The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 229-45; on crafts see Uzi Leibner, “Arts and Crafts, Manufacture and Production”, ibid. 264-96. On merchants and markets see Ben-Zion Rosenfeld and Joseph Menirav, Markets And Marketing in Roman Palestine (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2005); Jack Pastor, “Trade, Commerce, and Consumption”, in: The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford

74 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours

33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

41

42

43

44 45

University Press, 2010), 297–307, ibid. 301-2 on the rochel or travelling salesman in rabbinic sources. Catherine Hezser, Jewish Travel in Antiquity (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 409-39. David Goodblatt, “Population Structure and Jewish Identity”, in: The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 109, with references. The notion that every man hates his fellow craftsman is also expressed in Gen. R. 19:4 and may be based on a popular proverb. Richard Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia Between Persia and Roman Palestine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 88, has argued that competition amongst rabbis was much more pronounced in Babylonia than in Roman Palestine. Mira Beth Wasserman, Jews, Gentiles, and Other Animals: The Talmud After the Humanities (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), 3. Ibid., 5. Günter Stemberger, “Mischna Avot: Frühe Weisheitsschrift, pharisäisches Erbe oder spätrabbinische Bildung?” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 96 (2005) 243-58. Peter Schäfer, “Rabbis and Priests, or: How to Do Away with the Glorious Past of the Sons of Aaron”, in: Antiquity in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian Pasts in the Greco-Roman World, ed. Gregg Gardner and Kevin Lee Osterloh (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 169. Temples: See the discussion in Martin Jacobs, “Pagane Tempel in Palästina -rabbinische Aussagen im Vergleich mit archäologischen Funden”, in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, vol. 2, ed. Peter Schäfer and Catherine Hezser (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 155-8. Festivals: Emmanuel Friedheim, Rabbanisme et Paganisme en Palestine romaine. Étude historique des Realia tamudiques (Ier - IVeme siecles) (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006), 313-28. Fritz Graf, “Roman Festivals in Syria Palaestina”, in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and GraecoRoman Culture, vol. 3, ed. Peter Schäfer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 435-52. Catherine Hezser, “Strangers on the Road: Otherness, Identification and Disguise in Rabbinic Travel Tales of Late Roman Palestine”, in: Journeys in the Roman East: Imagined and Real, ed. Maren R. Niehoff (Tuebingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017), 239-53. See Giuseppe Veltri, “Römische Religion an der Peripherie des Reiches. Ein Kapitel rabbinischer Rhetorik”, in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, vol. 2, ed. Peter Schäfer and Catherine Hezser (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 81–138. See Hayim Lapin, Rabbis as Romans: The Rabbinic Movement in Palestine, 100–400 CE (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 128-30. See Catherine Hezser, “Rabbis as Intellectuals in the Context of Graeco-Roman and Byzantine Christian Scholasticism”, in: Scholastic Culture in the Hellenistic and Roman Eras: Greek, Latin, and Jewish, ed. Sean Adams (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter 2019), 169-85.

Bibliography Balberg, Mira. Purity, Body, and Self in Early Rabbinic Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014). Bernasconi, Rocco. “Meanings, Function and Linguistic Usages of the Term ‘am haaretz” in the Mishnah”, Revue des Etudes Juives 170 (2011) 399–428.

Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature 75 Doran, R. “Pseudo-Hecataeus (Second Century B.C. - First Century A.D): A New Translation and Introduction”, in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 2, ed. James H. Charlesworth (2nd ed. Peabody, MA: Hendricksen Publishers, 2011), 905–920. Feldman, Louis H. Feldman. “Anti-Semitism in the Ancient World”, in: History and Hate: The Dimensions of Anti-Semitism, ed. David Berger (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1986), 15–42. Finnegan, Jack. The Archeology of the New Testament: The Life of Jesus and the Beginning of the Early Church (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992). Friedheim, Emmanuel. Rabbanisme et Paganisme en Palestine romaine. Étude historique des Realia tamudiques (Ier - IVeme siecles) (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006). Galor, Katharina. “Domestic Architecture”, in: The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 420–439. Goodblatt, David. “Population Structure and Jewish Identity”, in: The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 102–121. Graf, Fritz. “Roman Festivals in Syria Palaestina”, in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, vol. 3, ed. Peter Schäfer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 435–452. Guijarro, Santiago. “The Family in First-Century Galilee”, in: Constructing Early Christian Families: Family as Social Reality and Metaphor, ed. Halvor Moxnes (London and New York: Routledge, 1997), 49–61. Hasan-Rokem, Galit. Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003). Hayes, Christine. “The ‘Other’ in Rabbinic Literature”, in: The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, ed. Charlotte E. Fonrobert and Martin S. Jaffee (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 243–269. Hengel, Martin. Judaism and Hellenism. Studies in Their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period, two volumes in one (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1974). Hezser, Catherine. “‘Privat’ und ‘öffentlich’ im Talmud Yerushalmi und in der griechisch-römischen Antike”, in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, vol. 1, ed. Peter Schäfer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998), 423–579. Hezser, Catherine. “Rabbis and Other Friends: Friendship in the Talmud Yerushalmi and in Graeco-Roman Literature”, in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, ed. Peter Schäfer and Catherine Hezser, vol. 2 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 189–254. Hezser, Catherine. Jewish Travel in Antiquity (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck), 2011. Hezser, Catherine. “Strangers on the Road: Otherness, Identification and Disguise in Rabbinic Travel Tales of Late Roman Palestine”, in: Journeys in the Roman East: Imagined and Real, ed. Maren R. Niehoff (Tüingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017), 239–253. Hezser, Catherine. “Rabbis as Intellectuals in the Context of Graeco-Roman and Byzantine Christian Scholasticism”, in: Scholastic Culture in the Hellenistic and Roman Eras: Greek, Latin, and Jewish, ed. Sean Adams (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter 2019), 169–185.

76 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours Isaac, Benjamin. The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004). Jacobs, Martin. “Pagane Tempel in Palästina -- rabbinische Aussagen im Vergleich mit archäologischen Funden”, in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, vol. 2, ed. Peter Schäfer and Catherine Hezser (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 139–159. Jastrow, Marcus. A Dictionary of the Talmudim, the Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature (Jerusalem: Horev, 1903, reprint). Kalmin, Richard. Jewish Babylonia Between Persia and Roman Palestine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). Kraemer, David. “The Intended Reader as a Key to Interpreting the Bavli”, Prooftexts 13 (1993) 125–140. Leibner, Uzi. “Arts and Crafts, Manufacture and Production”, in: The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 264–296. Nagy, Rebecca Martin. Sepphoris in Galilee: Crosscurrents of Culture (Raleigh, NC: North Caroline Museum of Art, 1996). Neusner, Jacob. The Law of Agriculture in the Mishnah and the Tosefta: Translation, Commentary, Theology, 3 vols (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2005). Oppenheimer, Aharon. The 'Am Ha-Aretz. A Study in the Social History of the Jewish People in the Hellenistic-Roman Period (Leiden: Brill, 1977). Pastor, Jack. “Trade, Commerce, and Consumption”, in: The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 297–307. Peskowitz, Miriam. Spinning Fantasies: Rabbis, Gender, and History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997). Rosenfeld, Ben-Zion Rosenfeld and Menirav, Joseph. Markets and Marketing in Roman Palestine (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2005). Safrai, Zeev. The Economy of Roman Palestine (London: Routledge, 1994). Schäfer, Peter. Judeophobia: Attitudes Toward the Jews in the Ancient World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998). Schäfer, Peter. “Rabbis and Priests, or: How to Do Away with the Glorious Past of the Sons of Aaron”, in: Antiquity in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian Pasts in the Greco-Roman World, ed. Gregg Gardner and Kevin Lee Osterloh (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 155–172. Sharma, Rajendra K. Fundamentals of Sociology (New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers). Sivertsev, Alexei. “The Household Economy”, in: The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 229–245. Stemberger, Günter. “Mischna Avot: Frühe Weisheitsschrift, pharisäisches Erbe oder spätrabbinische Bildung?” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 96 (2005) 243–258. Stern, Menahem. Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism, 3 vols (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sience, 1974-1984). Van Beckhoveen, Ellen and Van Kempen, Robert. “Social Effects of Urban Restructuring”, in: Life in Poverty Neighbourhoods: European and American Perspectives, ed. Jürgen Friedrichs, George C. Galster, and Sako Musterd (London and New York: Routledge, 2005), 57–80.

Neighbour, townsperson, and fellow creature 77 Veeltri, Giuseppe. “Römische Religion an der Peripherie des Reiches. Ein Kapitel rabbinischer Rhetorik”, in: The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, vol. 2, ed. Peter Schäfer and Catherine Hezser (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 81–138. Wasserman, Mira Beth. Jews, Gentiles, and Other Animals: The Talmud After the Humanities (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).

4

Monsters and angels: The function and evaluation of the intersectional neighbours in the Gospels Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

Introduction Who is my neighbor? This Biblical question has haunted readers and interpreters of the Gospels ever since it was first articulated. I do not see it as my task to answer that question; rather, I want to explore the figure of the neighbor more broadly by reading and interpreting a variety of texts, using critical tools from gender studies, narrative theory and other interdisciplinary perspectives. According to social scientist Joe Painter, the neighbor is a “neglected figure in public debate and political theory,” and in the Western tradition, “much of our understanding of neighbors and neighborliness comes from the Christian Bible.”1 This concept of the Biblical neighbor, often mentioned in recent neighbor studies from various disciplines, appears to me as much more complex and challenging than often assumed. Primarily mentioned are the Hebrew Bible’s regulations of loving neighbors and their Synoptic repetitions and receptions, in particular the story of the “Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37). In this article, I employ the Gospel of Luke as a test case to look for the ambiguous figure of the neighbor, in conjunction with recent interdisciplinary neighbor research. After presenting the analytical framework, I look at some texts employing neighbor terminology. These texts present the neighbor as a complex figure, and I inquire about what roles the neighbor could fulfill and how neighbors are evaluated. In some texts, they appear as monsters, while elsewhere they are depicted as angels. I also ask some critical questions about texts in which groups of women appear together, challenging the gender stereotype that, since women normally were homebound, all women who operated together must have been neighbors. Toward the end, I select a specific text presenting an intersectional neighborhood, where we also get some idea of the role neighbors played in the everyday life of the ancient world. Recently, a few significant studies within Biblical scholarship highlighted the neighbor.2 In a study of house churches in Corinth, for example, Richard Last argues that the basic unit of the Jesus movement is neither

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family nor city and then conceptualizes early Christian recruitment and expansion of the movement: “A more realistic model of recruitment would begin with street and neighborhood networks.”3 Since “neighborhood networks shaped the social lives of individuals” and “neighborhood-based social relationships beyond nuclear and extended families would generate recruitment to Christ groups,” he suggests that scholarly attention should be directed toward neighbors and the role they played in early Christian community building. Such relationships would include not only familial links, but ethnic, commercial and cultic ties, too.4 Although Last’s study deals primarily with the Pauline letters and Corinth, and he highlights recruitment, I find his emphasis on the neighbor useful when reading the Gospel texts. In my analysis, I also build on studies of neighbors in rabbinic sources, in particular the work of Hasan-Rokem, who finds several stories about female neighbors in her material.5 She reads these texts along Gospel texts, arguing they often represent a “shared narrative world.”6 Hasan-Rokem sets out her task as follows: By analyzing the “tales of the neighborhood,” I hope to demonstrate that the neighboring pagan, Jewish, and Christian dwellers of the Galilee in Late Antiquity shared, rather than influenced, each other’s theological and narrative worlds as well as numerous cultural practices.7 In her material, she finds serval stories with familiar narrative traits as the Gospels. Several stereotypes and gendered cultural cliches from folk tales also appears in the rabbinic material. For example, female neighbors borrow, they try to steal husbands, they gossip – and they can be evil. They struggle to balance the tension between being a friend and an enemy. She argues: The women neighbors that I have brought into the limelight of this discussion seem a powerful idiom to maintain the dynamics of erected fences, peepholes, and gates, in a universe of discourse constantly negotiating cultural identity, while at the same time growing into its main mode and site of existence.8 With these neighbor studies as my point of departure, in addition to two articles I recently published with colleagues, I see my task here as contributing to the ongoing conversation about the neighbor in Biblical scholarship.9

Neighbor in theory and practice Before looking at various Gospel stories about neighbors, I would like to discuss some overall aspects surrounding the figure of the neighbor. In

80 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours particular, I highlight three dimensions of the neighbor from the interdisciplinary field: First, the role of power and privilege in the figure of the neighbor using intersectionality. Second, I investigate what narrative roles and functions the neighbor is given. Third, I look at how neighbors are evaluated, whether monsters or angels. I employ all three dimensions to analyze texts, both when neighbors are described as concrete people living next door or when they are more abstract characters, imagined fellow human beings.10 The intersectional neighbor: Few studies of neighbors include critical attention to categories such as gender, class, race, age, etc. How do the various texts include intersectional dimensions in their neighbor reasoning mentioning, for example, children, slaves, women, sisters, daughters, disabled persons, or ethnic/racial strangers? In order to rethink this aspect of the neighbor, we need intersectional theories.11 The core idea is that social categories such as gender, class, race, etc., do not operate in isolation but are mutually dependent.12 We have to “ask the other questions,” a methodology suggested by Mari Matsuda, of the figure of the neighbor.13 We have to ask about what is not mentioned, what is silenced. For example, do the neighbors mentioned in texts even have a gender, age, a social status, an ethnic background, and so forth? The neighbor is never a neutral figure; this is where intersectionality can help us to see and identify the complexity of the neighbor and investigate hidden aspects. The role and function of the neighbor: With the help of narrative theory, we can look for patterns and parallels in how the neighbor is portrayed.14 In the various texts studied, I pay attention to what kinds of roles neighbors fill: How do they behave, relate and act? What kind of actions, activities and events are the various Gospel neighbors involved in? What kind of space do neighbors inhabit? Do they live next door, for real, or are they imagined?15 Other neighbor researchers list a whole set of roles the neighbor could have, like borrowing, stealing, gossiping, ignoring each other, helping or keeping proper distance.16 The neighbor lives on the borderline between insider–outsider, friend–enemy, us–them, self–other, as discussed in several philosophical studies.17 When reading the texts, I ask: Do these neighbors behave like neighbors normally do? Do they spy on each other or make so much noise that those living nearby dream about moving? Do they behave according to intersectional expectations? Are there any potential differences, conflicts, or ambiguities? Evaluating the neighbor: This third dimension of the neighbor includes some obvious tensions, where, on the one hand, the neighbor is seen as an angel, as in the parable of the lost coin in Luke,18 or like a monster. The neighbor can be a relevant and useful Nebenmensch19 for dealing with everyday life, while, on the other hand, representing risk and danger, as a monster. Slavoj Žižek’s thought-provoking essay, “Neighbors and Other Monsters: A Plea for Ethical Violence,” comes up with an alternative suggestion to the command to love your neighbor:

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What if the ultimate function of the (Jewish) law is not to enable us not to forget the neighbor, to retain our proximity to the neighbor, but, on the contrary, to keep the neighbor at a proper distance, to serve as a kind of protective wall against the monstrosity of the neighbor?20 For him, the neighbor “is not displayed in a face; it is … in his or her fundamental dimension a faceless monster … with whom no empathetic relationship is possible.“ The neighbor in Žižek’s way of reasoning is not an equal or a double, who can function as a partner or friend. Rather, the neighbor represents all things bad and evil in both you and him, and accordingly someone or something we need protection from. Your neighbor is too close and can potentially kill you. The neighbor’s “vulnerable nakedness overlaps with pure evil.”21 The neighbor, however, is always there; eliminating the neighbor is an illusion since you would then ultimately also eliminate yourself. The point is to stop being romantic or sentimental about the neighbor and rather find ways to keep a realistic distance. The aim is to accept proximity and think of the neighbor as someone with whom you stand side-by-side and avoid standing face-to-face.22 This approach to the figure of the neighbor reworks and interacts with many disciplines, among them complex and nuanced insights from Jewish theology and philosophy.23 To follow a slightly different line of thought: Because the neighbor is there, so close but not of your own choice, may give the neighbor the role of the destabilizing Other. We need the embodied but ambiguous neighbor in the physical space next door to fulfill and stabilize essential cultural, social and psychological functions. Hannah Arendt warns that, if the relationship to one’s neighbor is destroyed, we face totalitarianism, since the neighbor is the breathing space that keeps the subject in a proper relationship to the Other, neither too close nor too far, but in proximity.24 The neighbor is situated next to me but lies outside my choice, sharing walls or fences or doors. Neighbors share space, their bodies live in the same, or at least closely related, places.25 The nearness of the neighbor can, of course, be challenging. When proximity is emphasized, it “thereby opens up the concept of neighbor … to ambiguity, difference, and agonism.”26 The person next door materializes the uncertain division between friend/family/self and the enemy/stranger/other, symbolizing both complexity and danger: “The vicious gossip and penetration gaze of the neighbor become the site of overwhelming affect – love, hate, and fear commingled in fragments of the social relationship.”27 The neighbor may be a former stranger, a traveler or recently arrived immigrant, but at the moment they are part of the neighborhood. Homeless persons or constant travelers accordingly may not have the privilege of being neighbors.28 The Nebenmensch, with all their ambiguity and difference, is nevertheless there, next door, an adjoined-person who shares embodied space and time, whether real or symbolic.

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Intersectional neighbors in the Jesus tradition I would like to divide up this attempt to map texts dealing with intersectional neighbors in the Jesus tradition into three parts. First, I highlight some texts about neighbors, based on terminology. The Greek terms employed are πλησίον in Luke 10 and γείτων in the other examples. Second, I look at some texts in which groups of women are depicted and ask about neighborly elements. To assume that all women mentioned in the Gospels are de facto neighbors since their gender makes them homebound may be a way to reduce variety and difference among women, by seeing neighbors everywhere. Intersectional questions offer critical tools for avoiding such stereotypes. In the last part, I highlight a small story about a woman and her neighbors, among the few Gospel texts that describe an ancient neighborhood with intersectional characters. This brief study does not presume to give a comprehensive overview of the figure of the neighbor in the Jesus tradition but rather wants to point out patterns and tendencies, by asking intersectional questions. Since few New Testament interpreters have paid attention to the figure of the neighbor, mapping these stories, comparing them and analyzing them contribute to filling in a gap in our knowledge base. 1. Parabolic neighbors In the various texts presented in this first part, neighbors appear primarily in parables and in discussions thereof, in all their intersectional diversity. Here, I emphasize two cases in which the figure of the neighbor plays a crucial role both in the texts and the interpretations: the parable of the socalled Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and the neighbor’s role in dining and celebrating. Parables are conventionally supposed to reflect everyday life; accordingly, neighbors are part of the social world imagined in the Gospels.29 Neighbors appear in pairs or are listed with other social groups, such as friends or relatives. The Samaritan and other male neighbors: Surprise, limit-case and the naked uncircumcised victim The most prominent and famous example of the ideal Biblical neighbor in the New Testament is the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37, often employed as a master narrative in contemporary interdisciplinary neighbor research.30 I would like to highlight and examine this parable critically, in particular from the intersectional neighbor perspective, since it plays such an important role in the overall neighbor discussion and has become such a favorite text among New Testament interpreters. The story is introduced by the core question, raised by a male lawyer (from νομικός): “But who is my neighbor?” (καὶ τίς ἐστίν μου πλησίον;)31

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Jesus answers by telling a parable: While traveling, a man was attacked and ended up half-dead and naked along the road, in need of help and compassion. Three potential neighbor candidates, all men with complex identities and categories of belongingness, ethnically, professionally, and related to background, pass by or stop. The conventional Christian interpretation has been that the unexpected ethnic stranger, the Samaritan, turns out to be the true neighbor.32 The element of surprise is highlighted: Do not expect the Other to be bad. At the end of the day, those who should act as your neighbor (the priest, the Levite …) may end up letting you down – they may be the monsters – and you are left at the mercy of a stranger.33 In two recent studies (both from 2020), this interpretation has been challenged, albeit not with the help of neighbor research. Particularly studies of Samaritans, ancient Judaism and ethnicity have disturbed the conventional idea about the hostile relationship between Jews and Samaritans. Matthew Chalmers argues that the parable addresses an “intra-Israelite limit case” rather than promoting a binary opposition between Jews and Samaritans.34 He suggests a reading of the parable that “moves beyond the language of difference inherited from earlier generations of Biblical scholarship.”35 Chalmers argues that the element of surprise was previously constructed on simplified contrasts between Samaritans and Jews and stereotypes about ancient Judaism. For Chalmers, however, this story is not a parable about how the unexpected can be the good neighbor, but rather a complex tale about different neighbors: The Samaritan represents a limit case more than being an ethnic stranger.36 While I agree with the need to find a better framework to interpret this parable, I think Chalmers’ study overemphasizes that this parable is about negotiating Israel and who counts as insiders. What about the original question: Who is my neighbor? It is almost conflated with Who is Israel? I prefer to put more weight on the figure of the neighbor as the key concept in Luke 10. As I see it, the neighbor as such is a figure on the borderline of insider and outsider. Of course, the discussion of the neighbor overlaps with the discussion of identity, though not completely. The characteristic of the figure of the neighbor is that they sometimes are part of us and sometimes not, sometimes stranger and sometimes close. Even someone belonging to the other can be a neighbor, in complex ways. A neighbor is always a limit-case, and it is exactly this ambiguity that is addressed with the question “Who is my neighbor?” Accordingly, to discuss neighbors as in this Lukan parable broadens the perspective of identity and belonging and cannot be reduced to it. I still support Chalmers’ suggestion that we need to find a new analytical framework that does not depend on the stereotypical binaries of the past. In addition, neighbor studies have provided insights that contribute to the study of this particular parable, since the figure of the neighbor can invite discussions of identity and belongingness in more complex ways. G. Anthony Keddie’s article is also concerned with ethnicity but comes to a rather different conclusion. He argues that the Lukan parable relies on

84 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours and perpetuates prejudicial Judean stereotypes about the Samaritans.37 For him, the Samaritan is the “proximate other,” so strikingly similar that even small differences have to be emphasized: “[T]he reason for stereotypical othering is usually related to a ‘proximate other’ being ‘too much like us.’”38 Luke’s Samaritan is the neighborly other, the one to be depended on in order to maintain boundaries. Interpreters must take this into account and problematize that Luke appropriated a prejudicial ethnic discourse about Samaritans that was developed over the course of centuries in the context of tense political and economic competition between Judeans and Samaritans.39 Whereas Chalmers argues that interpreters using false evidence highlight the binary between Jews and Samaritans and overlook Jewish difference and variety at the time of the Gospel, Keddie finds that Luke is the one to blame here, building on ancient Jewish stereotypes. In both studies, the question of “who is my neighbor?” has been trumped by issues of ethnicity and religious borders, while the ambiguity of the figure of the neighbor as such is given little attention. What roles then are given to the first two male characters who pass by in the parable, the two unsuccessful neighbors? Why do the Priest and the Levite not fulfill their roles and duties of being good neighbors to the poor man? For Chalmers, who reads the parable in “the context of a contested ‘Israel,’” all three characters and potential neighbors have an ambivalent position. For Luke and his audience, the Priest and Levite are portrayed as more strangers than the Samaritan.40 In Keddie’s attempt to theorize about their behavior, he employs the creative ideas of earlier interpreters about the man’s naked body and circumcision: The fact that the man beaten by robbers was left naked and half-dead leaves the priest in a special position to find out whether he was his neighbor or not: “The priest might not have helped him because a glance of his lack of circumcision revealed that he was not a neighbor.”41 Since the man was naked, as several commentators and interpreters have highlighted, the bypassers could easily have seen whether he was circumcised or not, that is, whether he was part of Israel. I wonder how: Do they imagine him lying on his back with his legs spread, for all to see a tiny little detail on his half-dead penis? In a convenient position for the gaze of the observer, passing by on the other side of the road? Could that posture explain why the two first men walked by? I am missing some more intersectional reflections in this discussion. In addition, I find the visibility of male circumcision highly doubtful in the parable scene described.42 The fantasy and imagination of the interpretative community may have run a bit wild here. In my study of the figure of the neighbor, I am concerned with constructions of the neighbor in scholarship, and I argue that the abovediscussed interpretation invites further discussion. It suggests that a man would be treated as a neighbor who deserved help if he could prove to have

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been circumcised. That sign on his male organ would decide whether he was an outsider or an insider. The naked neighbor, a man at that, had the chance to be treated well by other men, had he just had this embodied sign. So, if a person lacked this sign and was seen naked and half-dead, he would not be considered a neighbor or worthy of help. Can that be what Luke is communicating in this parable? Was it necessarily the case that the lack of circumcision on the suffering man’s body, exposed and naked, excluded him from being treated as a neighbor in the eyes of the priest? This line of thought invites more in-depth analysis. Although Keddie shows little if any interest in gender in his study, I think some intersectional perspectives and a more critical approach to embodiment, masculinity and circumcision would have strengthened his arguments. In order to take Chalmers’ suggestion seriously to read the parable as “a complex tale about different neighbors,” let me add some reflections based on neighbor studies. This parabolic all-male traveling neighborhood functions as an illustration from one man (Jesus) to another (the lawyer), in order to answer the question: Who is my neighbor? As we have seen, in the Lukan parable, in the end, it is the Samaritan who is an example of a neighbor. The one who showed mercy “was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers” (v. 36–37).43 He is the true Nebenmensch who shows love. He fulfills the task of a good neighbor: He cares for the man and protects him when in need. He helps without expecting reciprocity. There are, however, also other potential neighbors in the story. Overall, it can be read as a story about an imaginary neighborhood, representing different categories of neighbors. Well, not so different – they are all male. I miss more attention to this in scholarship: Is this primarily a parable illustrating how a good male neighbor behaves? These men have a variety of different identity markers, not straightforward at all. The robbers are given less attention; they primarily serve the function of causing great harm, disqualifying themselves from being neighbors. Perhaps they were seen as slaves or runaways who did not have any honor to defend. The naked and half-dead man needed help, since the robbers turned out to be monsters. Neither the priest nor the Levite, whatever reason they had for walking by, pass as good neighbors. Perhaps their crimes are even worse than those of the robbers, since no one expects much from robbers in the first place. In the end, the angel comes, the real neighbor, the one who sees the man and saves his life. Indeed, a complex tale of different neighbors who vary both in their identity markers, their narrative functions, and how they are evaluated. Dining and celebrating neighbors: Acceptable according to economy, status and gender Meals are an important social gathering in the Gospel of Luke. In the ancient world, meals constructed and confirmed relations and established networks.44

86 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours They regulated and adhered to given rules, from the elite banquets to the more informal gatherings. Eating together represented risk and required mutual trust; after all, food could be bad or poisoned. Still, a man who was never invited or did not host a meal himself was not a real man.45 Therefore, a meal demonstrated who was an insider and who was an outsider, and set important borders of inclusion and inclusion.46 Different kinds of people invited each other for meals, and neighbors were obvious guests at such gatherings. The figure of the neighbor plays a central role in one particular meal scene in the Gospel of Luke (14:14-16). Jesus often dines, but here some of his tablemates are criticized. Again, one man (Jesus) is conversing with another (the host), when Jesus gives instructions by way of examples. In a parable setting, Jesus tells his host which potential guests to invite. He lists eight categories of guests, probably familiar to a household man in the ancient world.47 The man shall not invite his brothers, friends, relatives or rich neighbors (γείτονας πλουσίους), “in case they also invite you in return, and there would be a repayment to you.” Those who can show reciprocity should not be invited. This is, however, normally a central aspect of all neighborship: Today you invite, or help, or borrow from your neighbor; tomorrow you neighbor comes to you. But Jesus says, “when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind” (Luke 14:12-14). All guest categories in the list are mentioned with plural masculine grammatical gender, indicating there could also be women among them. In the everyday neighborhood of the ancient city, however, there were social and cultural barriers, making it unlikely that a male host would invite a woman on equal footing for a feast.48 The rich neighbor appears as a male figure, in proximity to other men with privilege and position. At this meal as imagined by Luke’s Jesus, however, categories and barriers are broken down. Those not to be invited may echo the two men who passed by the halfdead and naked man in the parable of the Good Samaritan. They were like rich neighbors, with insider capital and proper masculinity; they were potential brothers, friends or relatives who did not stop to help. We see the contour of a Lukan pattern here: Such neighbors should not be invited to a meal. Other neighbors, however, could be invited. If we cross these categories and ask the other question, a poor neighbor could probably be on the list of ideal guests, or a neighbor with disabilities, such as the crippled, the lame and the blind. Perhaps also the ethnoreligious limit-case, such as a Samaritan, could be listed among the ideal guest? The point is: The meal that Jesus imagines in Luke 14 breaks the normal circle of masculine trust, and the rich, male neighbor is among those to be left out. Other neighbors, however, seem to be worthy of being invited, in other settings. The social functions of neighbors were not only to stop and help each other or potentially dine together. In two Lukan parables (Ch. 15), they fulfill the roles of rejoicing and celebrating when something lost was

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found. First, the story of the 99+1 sheep ends with a celebration when the man/the shepherd finds the lost one. When he returns to his house, he calls together friends and neighbors together to share his joy (ἐλθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκον συγκαλεῖ τοὺς φίλους καὶ τοὺς γείτονας). Even more joy will there be in heaven over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:6–7). A similar celebration with the same two groups, except here in the female gender, follows in the next parable (from v. 8)49: A woman has lost one coin, searches for it and finds it. She calls together her female friends and neighbors (τὰς φίλας καὶ γείτονας) to rejoice with her like the joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:9–10).50 These neighbors and friends, both male and female, are ideal and behave like proper Nebenmenschen.51 They are there to share a moment of joy; they are there to celebrate, available at a short notice. The female friends and neighbors are even compared with angels. Such neighbors and the behavior described in these two parables probably represented the everyday experiences of the ancient world. At the street level, feasting and celebrating were important roles in neighborship, perhaps including even slaves of both genders and children. Living in proximity meant sharing – joy, sorrow or whatever came along – with the persons next door. In the last parable of this Lukan chapter, the story of the Prodigal son, the neighbors are not explicitly mentioned when the father wants to celebrate the return of his lost son (Luke 15:11–32). Rather, it seems to be the farmpeople and family who are gathered, while the oldest son has to ask a slave what is going on when he hears music and dancing (v. 26). He then confronts his father, never having been offered the opportunity to celebrate with his friends. So, whereas the neighbors and friends play important roles in celebrations in the two first stories, the moment of joy in the last parable seems a bit more contested and ambiguous, with no neighbors mentioned. The parable of the woman who finds her coin is unique in being among the few parables in the Synoptic tradition with a female protagonist.52 The Greek term for neighbor (γείτων) is someone who adjoins one’s ground.53 The house in v. 8 (οἰκία) where the coin was lost and the party was arranged is probably imagined to be part of a neighborhood with similar houses and similar women. The nearness and proximity of the other women to the one who lost her coin is interesting: She calls them together (συγκαλέω), and they come. They are nearby and seem to embody shared physical space. They do not need to travel far. They do not have a busy schedule but can come immediately when the neighbor woman calls. None of them comes up with excuses for not attending.54 Like the neighbors of the man with the sheep (“the shepherd”), the female neighbors come to celebrate what was found. Her neighbors are like angels. The female neighbors and friends work as a social network. They do not, however, share her frustration upon losing her coin or help her search, but they do get involved when the coin has been found and her harmony is restored. They only join her for the party, accordingly “helping” her

88 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours spending her probably limited resources for the celebration. As part of the expected reciprocity, the female neighbors would probably be expected to invite her back. Maybe they need to borrow from each other, but on a later occasion they get it back.55 By throwing this party, she invests in her social network, confirms her role as a resourceful woman who can host and serve, but also shares her emotions and her private sphere. She invites her neighbors into her house and her life.56 This kind of neighbor exchange is an adequate way of acting as part of a community of female neighbors.57 She is a relevant Nebenmensch, confirming her status as part of the category of friend/family/self, i.e., someone who shares feelings and happy events with others in her female circle of trust. In the texts about the host and ideal guests discussed above, the male host is told not to invite his brothers, friends, relatives or rich neighbors to a meal, but instead to invite the poor and unprivileged since they cannot pay back (see Luke 14:12-14). The woman who has lost her coin, on the other hand, like “the shepherd” in the first parable, celebrates with two groups categorized as “unideal” guests in this list: friends and neighbors. Different standards are given for social networks, depending on status and gender: A man working with sheep and a woman with a house are different kinds of dining partners than a rich neighbor. Their neighbors and friends can celebrate properly, when invited, even mirroring the divine. As we have seen thus far, in Luke’s Gospel neighbors are primarily fictive characters in stories and parables or hypothetical examples. Male and female neighbors, on par with friends, are relevant for sharing joy and celebration, for example, when something lost has been found. The rich (male?) neighbor, however, is an unideal dining partner, in company with brothers, relatives and friends, and should be replaced with other, more underprivileged groups. The Gospel is populated with fictive and parabolic neighbors. As we will see toward the end of this article, by using different terminology, we can view neighbors as real characters in Luke’s story-world. The Jesus tradition knew of neighbors and ascribed a variety of important roles to them. Neighbors could be good and bad, angels or monsters. If rich, they were unideal to dine with, whereas “ordinary” neighbors could be at hand to celebrate moments of joy. The figure of the neighbor is indeed complex and ambivalent in these texts. 2. Are all synoptic groups of women necessarily neighbors? Mapping potential female neighbors This second part employs a different methodology: Whereas above I aimed at mapping neighbor texts based on shared terminology and asked about intersectional elements, such as the roles women play in the neighborhood, I now highlight some texts with female characters and ask about neighbors. Here, I aim to deconstruct a stereotype about women and space: The home

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and the house were female spaces, so that groups of women were most probably neighbors. I ask the “other question”: Are there any hints that these women were neighbors, although specific terminology is not employed? There is a risk in seeing all women who appear together as neighbors, as if female persons of various categories always were at home and had no other contacts, relationships or network outside their domestic setting.58 Still: To ask what roles women may have had by using the figure of the neighbor may reveal new knowledge about women, their place and role, their limitations and their everyday lives. For example, when Jesus, just before the crucifixion, addresses the”Daughters of Jerusalem” and says: “Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 24:28), this is not necessarily a text concerning female neighbors. The daughters are associated with the same city, in reality and/or metaphorically, but Jerusalem as a city nevertheless consisted of many neighborhoods. These “daughters” might have been neighbors, but there are also other alternatives available, as with other groups of women. In this first part, I highlight some texts in which women are described as traveling, as being en route outside of their home. Can we still find elements of neighborliness in these texts? I also include other texts of women who appear in groups and ask the neighbor question. Travelling neighbors In the story of the 12-year-old Jesus in the Jerusalem temple (Luke 2:41-50), he and his family are far away from home, but not alone. On their way back, his mother and father realize Jesus was not returning with them from Jerusalem. They approach their group in their search of him: “Thinking him to be in the caravan, they went a day’s journey, but then began looking for him among their relatives and acquaintances” (τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς γνωστοῖς; v. 44). When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him (Luke 2:44-45). After three days’ search, they found him, but we hear no more of the caravan. Since they are portrayed as traveling for a whole day without paying attention to his absence, they must have been in a circle of trusted persons, where others were expected to have fulfilled the role of taking care of the boy/ young man. Mary, the child’s mother, is obviously part of this network, indicating that women were included. The terms employed here to talk about relatives and acquaintances (both are masculine plural, thus potentially also including women), have a variety of meaning potentials: According to the Greek dictionary, συγγενής is a relative (by blood) and, by extension, a fellow countryman, cousin or kin.59 A γνωστός is someone well-known or an acquaintance who is known and notable.60 These categories may overlap with other categories mentioned with neighbors elsewhere in Luke. In the ancient world, relatives as well as acquaintances could live together or be neighbors, though, for a variety of reasons, they could also be living

90 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours far apart. Although they are on the same travel route from Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph, they were not necessarily on their way to the same village or neighborhood. Here, we see an example of how someone who could or could not be neighbors still fulfill the important functions of potentially taking care of a (soon to be grown-up) child together, sharing knowledge, helping. Such tasks could be fulfilled by neighbors, both male and female, as we have seen elsewhere. If this was a traveling neighborhood, it is very different from the one we hear of in the parable of the Samaritan, where some are robbers and some pass by a man in need, with only a male set of characters. Let me reflect a bit more on the term “relative,” συγγενής, since it is often occur in proximity with the neighbor. If relative is defined “by blood” (see above), I wonder: Who is connected by blood? Are all fellow Jews necessarily relatives? Could this category also include others, as discussed above related to “Jewish difference” and the parable of the Samaritan? Did it mean different things for men and women to be a syn-genos? If a genos is tied together by shared ancestry and a shared genealogy, belonging to the same line or the same group, what about slaves?61 If they were part of the caravan, did they too count as part of their owners’ line? And what about children – were they also included? Do this account indirectly tell us there were others in the caravan who belonged to a different genos, whom Mary and Joseph did not ask? The term can also mean a fellow countryman/ woman, cousin or kin, not necessarily connected by blood. Genos appears to denote someone closer than acquaintances, an other-group. Could slaves, children or ethnic others be seen as acquaintances? This intersectional variety of people could potentially be the neighbors of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, living in proximity to their house, now on their way home from the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Just like the woman in the parable who found her lost coin reached out to her neighbors, while traveling Mary approached her relatives and acquaintances when she could not find her lost son. Mary, however, is not the only woman traveling in the Gospel of Luke. Luke 8:1–3 mentions several women, since they are traveling together with the now grown-up Jesus and the 12 disciples from one town and one village to another. They have been healed of evil spirits and diseases. They cared for the needs of Jesus and the disciples from their own means. Three of them are named: Mary who is called Magdalena, Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna. This group of women could perhaps be characterized as a traveling neighborhood. When they were on the road, they lived and stayed together. Whether they originally came from the same neighborhood and lived side-by-side when they were not traveling, is not mentioned in Luke. If so, they are good neighbors (of Jesus), like angels, supporting him with their resources. Both the relatives and acquaintances of Mary and Joseph and the group of women who traveled with and supported Jesus and his disciples are potentially neighbors, though not necessarily. These two groups in which women are involved show that, although a woman conventionally belonged

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to a house or a neighborhood, she could also travel and be far away from home, albeit in both cases not alone but together with others, perhaps from her own neighborhood. Wise and foolish young, female neighbors The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew chapter 25:1–13 may also be the story of female neighbors. The story never says precisely that they are from the same house or neighborhood, but they are at least waiting together outside the place where the celebration takes place. Whether they were supposed to come from the same neighborhood of the bride or the groom, or belonged to some another social network or circle, is not related. Five of them are wise and have enough oil for their lamps, while five have to go and buy more, in the middle of the night. The foolish virgins suffer, but the wise ones will not share. Rabbinic interpreters have highlighted the aspect of sharing among female neighbors.62 In contrast, the woman who was searching for her coin and needed a lamp to find it shared her joy with her neighbors, like the angels of God (Luke 15:8–10). The five wise young women, on the other hand, primarily cared for their own lot and did not share or invite the rest. The door was closed and they were not invited in. Seen from the foolish virgins’ perspective, the wise virgins may appear as bad neighbors, more monsters than angels. Based on this brief mapping, the only explicit female neighbors mentioned in Luke are the celebrators together with the woman who had lost her coin (Luke 15:8-10). The characters treated in this last part represent a variety of female characters in groups who may or may not be neighbors. If we jump to the conclusion that all women mentioned together are neighbors, we would probably lend too much weight to the women being housebound. For example, those women who are portrayed as traveling, including Mary with the caravan or the women with resources in Luke 8:1–3, break with this stereotypical picture. Also, the daughters of Jerusalem were not necessarily neighbors, although they potentially could be. Finally, the ten virgins could come from the same neighborhood, even the same house; or they could be just relatives, acquaintances or friends. We do not know. But by asking about neighbors, we may observe more clearly how gender and space are connected, how both Mary and the caravan and the others involved in all these neighbor texts are potential neighbors, involved both in the main narrative and in parables of the Gospels. In addition to these parabolic neighbors, the Gospel of Luke also briefly mentions some real female characters who are neighbors, at the beginning of the Gospel. I end by exploring them, asking other questions and imagine what this neighborhood could have been like. 3. Intersectional neighbors who hear and rejoice In the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel, concerning the birth of John the Baptist, women play important roles:

92 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home. Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbors and relatives (οἱ περίοικοι καὶ οἱ συγγενεῖς αὐτῆς) heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her (Luke 1:56-58).63 From a neighbor perspective, this scene is highly interesting, and it is rather unique as well. When Jesus was born, Mary had left her home and was in Bethlehem. Mary with her newborn boy was thus far away from their Nazareth neighborhood, devoid of women, acquaintances or relatives to hear her or rejoice with her. Like the robbed man in the parable of the Samaritan, she is far away from home, in desperate need of good neighbors, but no female neighbors are there to help. Rather, they are replaced by male shepherds, angels and, finally, in Matthew’s Gospel, also wise men from the East (Matt 2:1–12). The gifts she and her child received were probably very different from what female neighbors would have brought. After giving birth, according to Matthew’s Gospel, Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt for her child to survive (v.13–15), to a strange new neighborhood. Mary’s chaotic maternity experience lacked the protection, sharing and communality of a female neighborhood. Back to Elisabeth’s neighbors: Elsewhere in the Gospels, when neighbors are mentioned (πλησίον in Luke 10 and γείτων in Luke 14–15), the terms employed are less concrete and not explicitly space-related as perioikos used here. After Elisabeth’s birth, those who came lived concretely in the houses around (περίοικος). They are physically present in the nearby houses. These neighbors fulfill a typical role of (female) neighbors: They hear of what has happened and rejoice. Since they are physically close and nearby, they get the news fast. Perhaps they could even hear through the walls how the mother was screaming in birth pains or the newborn was crying. Or perhaps the news came from the talk of the street. It could have been the gossip mill. Luke mentions that they “heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her,” so a midwife or an assisting slave who cleaned her after delivery could have given them a report. They are at hand to rejoice, just like the neighbors who come to celebrate with the woman who found her coin. These neighbors are not like the men who passed by in the parable of the Good Samaritan, who was far away from home and in pain, while they did not behave like good neighbors. Elisabeth’s neighbors have some of the same capital as the rich neighbor, not to be invited to the meal as discussed above: They can show reciprocity. The next time, when they give birth, Elisabeth, being the good neighbor, will be there to hear them, rejoice with them and perhaps help them, now an experienced mother. Female neighbors are not blamed for reciprocity in Luke. They are there to fulfill their homebound duties: They rejoice when a woman neighbor and her son in the critical state of birth survive. They are there to celebrate when

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a lost coin is found. They are properly connected to their own oikos, preforming the conventional tasks for good female neighbors. If we take a small step outside the Synoptic tradition and look at the Gospel of John, we also find neighbors once as real characters, related to an urban healing (John 9). I would like to briefly reflect on this story here, as it adds interesting intersectional perspectives on who could be neighbors and what function they could have in the ancient world. In John, a blind man has been healed by Jesus, and the neighborhood who has witnessed this, starts discussing: “Then the neighbors (from γείτων) and those who were used to seeing him previously as a beggar said, ‘Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?’” (v. 8). There follows a long drama, where the healing and the role of Jesus are questioned, and where also the parents of the blind man, probably also from the same neighborhood, have to confirm he was born blind. At one point, they respond to the questions by saying “Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself” (v. 21), indicating that the blind man was not a boy, and that he could represent himself, although he is/was blind. I disregard other narrative details in this fascinating story to focus on the figure of the neighbor. These neighbors function as an evaluative community, who have seen and heard what has happened, and discuss it among themselves and with the man (John 9:1–12). But more than that: They know something about the past of this disabled man; in a way, he was a neighbor since his normal place of begging was their proximity, in their neighborhood. So, although he did not necessarily live in a house nearby with his parents, he was included in the neighborhood as one of them, someone they knew, someone they could talk about and provide information on. He was someone to talk to, after his parents led them to him, and thereby acknowledging him a voice. He was blind, but they did see him and talked about him, and they could also talk to him, as an ambiguous neighbor. He was not neccesarily living there, but he was at least occationaly sitting there, begging. These neighbors in John’s Gospel are not characterized as being male, ideal, emotional, happy or rich. They are merely those who were hanging out at the street level. They see, hear, talk and interact like ordinary neighbors in the ancient world, similar to Elisabeth’s neighbors. They have an overview of things and carry the stories of the neighborhood. They know the talk of the street and have gossip competence, a qualification often associated with women and slaves in the ancient world.64 As we have seen, such a group of neighbors could include a disabled man and probably also women, children and slaves or other categories of people supposedly present when the healing and the discussion thereof took place. Neighbors knew what was going on, they could see and hear, they knew how to talk about it. To return to the story of Elisabeth’s neighbors in Luke, not only are neighbors there to hear and rejoice. Also, her relatives – here again with the

94 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours term συγγενής – are mentioned. In addition to neighbors, also those related to her by blood hear and rejoice. The same term is used for the relatives listed among unideal guests in Luke 14, together with the rich neighbor, but this is also one of the groups among whom Mary and Joseph search when 12-year-old Jesus is not to be found in the caravan. Accordingly, these blood relatives are potentially found in two parallel neighborhoods in which women are depicted, one traveling and one housebound, that of Mary and that of Elisabeth. Both women interact with people from their own group, with ethnic insiders, paired with acquaintances and neighbors, respectively. For Elisabeth’s part, these people are there to rejoice with her when her son is born, while for Mary they are questioned when she cannot find her 12-year-old son. The two first chapters of Luke, using the figure of the neighbor, revealed a diversified female network: Mothers need neighbors, relatives and friends, when they stay home or when they travel.

Conclusion The figure of the neighbor as an interpretative lens has revealed a complex social network with intersecting characters. Neighbors fulfill a variety of roles in eachother’s lives, and they are evaluated differently: Some are angels, some are monsters. I have looked at texts in which various terms for neighbors appear (πλησίον, γείτων, περίοικων) and also observed how the neighbor is paired and listed with other groups of people, such as friends, relatives and acquaintances. In neighbor texts, it becomes clear that women can be called neighbors, and in John one disabled man is also included in the neighborhood. I have employed the “other question” and asked what potential role slaves, children and other household members could play. By using the figure of the neighbor, I have also critically examined texts about women who are not necessarily neighbors: It is a gender stereotype about space that all women appearing together must be neighbors; they are not always homebound but could travel, be away from home and form their own networks outside their immediate neighborhood. This study shows that we need to be open for variety within the figure of the neighbor, yet not see neighbors everywhere: In the Jesus tradition, the neighbor can have many faces, both as the person, male or female, living next door and on a more abstract level, as the fellow human being who primarily is male. To ask about neighbors and imagine neighborhoods are important interpretative tasks. What roles and functions did the neighbor fulfill? They are expected to help each other, but they do not always do so, for various reasons. They may dine together or come together to celebrate smaller or larger everyday events. Neighbors are close and can come on short notice. They can rejoice and be there when a mother has delivered a child. They observe a disabled man begging and start exchanging information when he is healed. They can

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gossip and tell the latest news, they can discuss and disagree, and they can keep the shared memory and navigate in conflict. In the Gospels, in parables and the overall narrative, neighbors are primarily good figures. They are useful for various purposes, filling in and performing tasks of everyday life. The neighborhood is the social unit where important events take place. Neighbors are like everyday angels, relevant Nebenmenschen for those who inhabited the ancient world. The parable of the Good Samaritan, on the other hand, provides a strong case for neighbors as monsters, as people who pass by and do not fulfill their neighbor task when expected. They fail the test and do not meet the standards when the overall question is: Who is my neighbor? The test-case borderline stranger, however, passes as a neighbor. Another neighbor who is not welcomed at the table of fellowship is the rich neighbor. He has the capacity for reciprocity, while the ideal guest lacks such capital and resources. Women neighbors, on the other hand, are not blamed for expecting or performing reciprocity. To look for roots and origins in how we conceptualize the neighbor is important. I started this chapter by quoting Joe Painter, who argues that “much of our understanding of neighbors and neighborliness comes from the Christian Bible.”65 This study has revealed that the Biblical neighbor is not at all a one-dimensional figure. In addition, it is problematic to call the Bible Christian, since many texts are shared with religious neighbors. The Gospel neighbor is an ambivalent and diversified being, not specifically Christian. The interdisciplinary discourse on the subject of neighbor would benefit from taking a fresh look at a variety of Biblical texts, but also texts from other traditions, to enlarge their repertoire and reconceptualize the figure of the neighbor.

Notes 1 Joe Painter, “The Politics of the Neighbour,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30 (2012): 515, 19. 2 See, for example, the recent articles Harry O. Maier, “Roman Watching Romans: Christ Religion in Close Urban Quarters and Neigborhood Transforamtion,” Religion in the Roman Empire (Special Issue: Religion of Quarters) (2020). Emiliano Rubens Uriciuoli, “(Good) People Next Door: Neighborhoods, Urban Religion, and Early Christ Religion,” ibid. (2020). 3 Richard Last, “The Neighborhood (Vicus) of the Corinthian Ekklesia; Beyond Family-Based Descriptions of the First Urban Believers,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 38, no. 4 (2016): 413. 4 Ibid., 214–215. 5 Galit Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2003). 6 Ibid., 22. 7 Ibid., 11.

96 Intersectional Biblical Neighbours 8 Ibid., 84. 9 Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “The Ambiguous Neighbour: Female Neighbourhood Networks and the Parable of the Lost Coin,” Neotestamentica 53 (2019). Karin Berber Neutel and Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “Neighbours Near and Far: How a Biblical Figure Is Used in Recent European Anti-Migration Politics,” Biblical Interpretation (2021, forth.). 10 For a broader discussion of theories employed on studying neighbors, see the Introduction to this volume. 11 Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan Shaw, Intersectional Theology: An Introductory Guide. (Fortress Press, 2018). See also Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “Intersectional Studies,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies, ed. Julia M. O’Brien (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014). 12 Lena Gunnarsson, “Why We Keep Separating the ‘Inseparable’: Dialecticizing Intersectionality,” European Journal of Women’s Studies 24, no. 2 (2017); Kathy Davis, “Intersectionality as Buzzword: A Sociology of Science Perspective on What Makes a Feminist Theory Successful,” Feminist Theory 9 (2008); Sumi Cho, Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, and Leslie McCall, “Toward a Field of Intersectional Studies: Theory, Applications, and Praxis,” Signs (Theme Issue: Intersectionality: Theorizing Power, Empowering Theory 38, no. 4 (2013). 13 Mari J. Matsuda, “Beside My Sister, Facing the Enemy: Legal Theory out of Coalition,” Stanford Law Review 43 (1990). for an example of how to employ this to Biblical scholarship, see Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “‘Asking the Other Question’: An Intersectional Approach to Galatians 3:28 and the Colossian Household Codes,” Biblical Interpretation 18, no. 4–5 (2010). 14 Joel B. Green, “Narrative Critisism,” in Methods for Luke, ed. Joel B. Green (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010). 15 Kenneth Reinhard, “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor,” in The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology, ed. Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013). 16 See the Introduction in Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity. See also Anne-Marie Fortier, “Too Close for Comfort: Loving Thy Neighbour and the Management of Multicultural Intimities,” Environment and Planning: D: Society and Space 25 (2005). 17 Slavoj Žižek, Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours (Penguin Books, 2016). See also the various essays in Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard, The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013). 18 As suggested in Kartzow, “The Ambiguous Neighbour: Female Neighbourhood Networks and the Parable of the Lost Coin.” 19 From Freud, translated “the next-man” or “adjoining-person” in Reinhard, “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor,” 29. 20 Slavoj Žižek, “Neighbors and Other Monsters: A Plea for Ethical Violence,” ibid., 162–163. 21 Ibid. 22 Fortier, “Too Close for Comfort: Loving Thy Neighbour and the Management of Multicultural Intimities,” 110. See also Introduction in Žižek, Santner and Reinhard, The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology. 23 See Preface 2013 and Introduction in Reinhard, “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor.” See also Johann-Albrecht Meylahn, “Responsibility, God and Society: The Cry of the Other in the Sacred Texts as a Challenge Toward Responsible Global Citizenship,” HTS Theological Studies 65, no. 1 (2009).

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24 See discussions of Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism in Reinhard, “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor,” 24–25. 25 Setha Low, Spatializing Culture: The Ethnography of Space and Place (London, New York: Routledge, 2017), 41. 26 Fortier, “Too Close for Comfort: Loving Thy Neighbour and the Management of Multicultural Intimities,” 110. 27 Reinhard, “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor,” 38–39. 28 If not homeless persons stay at the same place outside the same houses for a period of time, and then become part of a neighborhood, although illegal or without an official address. See fx 2017 Neighborhood handbook from the city of Eugene in Oregon (USA) file:///C:/Users/marianbk/Downloads/2017%20NH %20Handbook%20for%20WEB1_201711091802233637%20(4).pdf. On neighborhood gentrification, see Low, Spatializing Culture: The Ethnography of Space and Place, 77. 29 William R. Herzog, Parables as Subversive Speech: Jesus as Pedagogue of the Oppressed (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994). See also Linda Maloney, “‘Swept under the Rug’: Feminist Homiletical Reflections on the Parable of the Lost Coin (Lk. 15:8-10),” in The Lost Coin: Parables of Women, Work, and Wisdom ed. Mary Ann Beavis (London, New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002). 30 See Žižek, Santner, and Reinhard, The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology. See also Painter, “The Politics of the Neighbour,” 19. 31 See the discussion in Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke, ed. S.J. Daniel J Harrington, vol. 3, Sacra Pagina Series (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1991), 172. 32 Ibid., 173. See also Meylahn, “Responsibility, God and Society: The Cry of the Other in the Sacred Texts as a Challenge Toward Responsible Global Citizenship.” 33 For a brief de tour of the research history of this parable, see Neutel and Kartzow, “Neighbours Near and Far: How a Biblical Figure Is Used in Recent European Anti-Migration Politics.” 34 Matthew Chalmers, “Rethinking Luke 10: The Parable of the Good Samaritan Israelite,” Journal of Biblical Literature 139, no. 3 (2020): 558. 35 Ibid., 552. 36 Ibid., 565. Chalmers writes: “[T]here is little evidence that Samaritans in firstcentury Palestine were ever understood by Jews as so decisive ‘other’ that a Samaritan appearance would immediately evoke hatred or simply enmity. The opposite seems to have been the case: Samaritan Israelites often remained integrated into a common conception of ‘Israel.’” (553) 37 G. Anthony Keddie, “‘Who Is My Neighbor?’ Ethnic Boundaries and the Samaritan Other in Luke 10:25–37,” Biblical Interpretation 28, no. 2 (2020). 38 Ibid., 257. 39 Ibid., 271. 40 As he sees it, this has also consequences for the two first characters who pass by: “Just as Levites and priests were less exhaustive of Israel or Jewish identity than is commonly taken for granted, Samaritans were more Israelite than scholars have typically permitted.” (561) 41 Keddie, “‘Who Is My Neighbor?’ Ethnic Boundaries and the Samaritan Other in Luke 10:25–37,” 266. 42 For more on circumcision and masculinity, see Matthew R. Anderson and Karin B. Neutel, “The First Cut Is the Deepest: Masculinity and Circumcision in the First Century,” in Biblical Masculinities Foregrounded, ed. Peter-Ben Smit and Ovidiu Creanga (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2014). See also Matthew Thiessen,

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43

44 45

46 47 48

49 50 51

52

53

54 55 56

Contesting Conversion: Genealogy, Circumcision, and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Christianity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). Note the comment in the Theological dictionary: “One cannot define one’s neighbour; one can only be a neighbour.” To the Greek term πλησίον, in Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Friedrich, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, 10 vols. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985). Kathleen E. Corley, Private Women, Public Meals: Social Conflict and Women in the Synoptic Tradition (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993), 20–21. On ideals for “real men,” see Halvor Moxnes, “Conventional Values in the Hellenistic World: Masculinity,” in Conventional Values of the Hellenistic Greeks, ed. Per Bilde, et al., Studies in Hellenistic Civilization; 8 (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 1997). For more on meals, see the classic Mary Douglas, “Deciphering a Meal,” in Myth, Symbol and Culture, ed. Clifford Geertz (New York: Norton, 1971). Marianne Bjelland Kartzow and Anna Rebecca Solevåg, “The Ideal Meal: Masculinity and Disability among Host and Guests in Luke “ Forthcoming. More on rules and regulations for meals, see the introduction in Corley, Private Women, Public Meals: Social Conflict and Women in the Synoptic Tradition. See also Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity. See Mary Ann Beavis, “Joy in Heaven, Sorrow on Earth: Luke 15,10,” in The Lost Coin: Parables of Women, Work, and Wisdom ed. Mary Ann Beavis (London, New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002). More on this last parable in Kartzow, “The Ambiguous Neighbour: Female Neighbourhood Networks and the Parable of the Lost Coin.” Note however, that also female neighbors could quarrel and accuse each other for stealing, perhaps relevant for this parable, as suggested in section 2.6 “Relationship with neighbors” in Erin K. Vearncombe, “Searching for a Lost Coin: Papyrological Backgrounds for Q 15,8–10,” in Metaphor, Narrative, and Parables in Q, ed. Dieter Roth, Ruben Zimmermann, and Michael Labahn, Wunt (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014). According to her, “One could not necessarily count on neighbours as support system; rather, relationships with those on one’s borders could be fraught with tention.” See also Luke 18:1–8 and Matt 25:1–13. For a discussion of parables with female protagonists, see Ellen Aasland Reinertsen, “‘I utgangspunktet velger vi lignelser som er sentrale’: ‘Kjernens’ kostnad i trosopplæringens lignelseslæring,” Prismet IKO Forlaget 69, no. 4 (2018). See this term in Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, Greek-English Lexicon: Revised Supplement, ed. P. G. W. Glare and A. A. Thompson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996). See also what they say about the term used in Luke 10: Love your neighbor as yourself: ἀγαπήσεις …. τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν. The Greek term “πλησίον neuter of a derivative of πέλας (near); (adverbially) close by; as noun, a neighbor, i.e., fellow (as man, countryman, Christian or friend): – near, neighbour.” In contrast to other invited (male) guests, see Luke 14:15–24. Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity, 49. Levine see her as “by no means marginal, outcast, or poor”; see Amy-Jill Levine, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 46. Barbara E. Reid, in contrast, sees her as a poor woman, in “Beyond Petty Pursuits and Wearisome Widows: Three Lukan Parables,” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, no. July (2002): 288.

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57 See Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity, 53. She writes: “Neighbors are accessible for comparisons as well as for borrowing. Thus they may become objects for jealousy, but also for admiration and for imitation. The possibility for comparing may open the eyes to problems inside the house, so that its dwellers may be inspired to introduce changes. Bonding across the fences of neighboring domiciles thus carries the potential of change, maybe of revolution.” 58 For a discussion of the role women could play, see Carolyn Osiek, and Margaret Y. MacDonald, with Janet H. Tulloch, A Woman’s Place: House Churches in Earliest Christianity (Minneapolis, Minn.: Fortress Press, 2006). 59 Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon: Revised Supplement. 60 Note that some translations have “friend” here (fx the Norwegian). 61 On the role of slaves in the ancient household, and in particular whether they could be acknowledged by ethnic origin and family ties, see Catherine Hezser, “The Impact of Household Slaves on the Jewish Family in Roman Palestine,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 34, no. 4 (2003). On slaves in the New Testament, see Jennifer A. Glancy, Slavery in Early Christianity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). 62 See Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity. 63 Verse 57: καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ περίοικοι καὶ οἱ συγγενεῖς αὐτῆς ὅτι ἐμεγάλυνεν κύριος τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ μετ᾿ αὐτῆς καὶ συνέχαιρον αὐτῇ. 64 See Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, Gossip and Gender: Othering of Speech in the Pastoral Epistles, vol. 164, Bznw (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009). 65 Painter, “The Politics of the Neighbour,” 515, 19.

Bibliography Anderson, Matthew R., and Karin B. Neutel. “The First Cut Is the Deepest: Masculinity and Circumcision in the First Century.” In Biblical Masculinities Foregrounded, edited by Peter-Ben Smit and Ovidiu Creanga, 228–244 Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2014. Beavis, Mary Ann. “Joy in Heaven, Sorrow on Earth: Luke 15,10.” In The Lost Coin: Parables of Women, Work, and Wisdom edited by Mary Ann Beavis, 39–45. London, New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002. Chalmers, Matthew. “Rethinking Luke 10: The Parable of the Good Samaritan Israelite.” Journal of Biblical Literature 139, no. 3 (2020): 243–566. Cho, Sumi, Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, and Leslie McCall. “Toward a Field of Intersectional Studies: Theory, Applications, and Praxis.” Signs (Theme Issue: Intersectionality: Theorizing Power, Empowering Theory 38, no. 4 (2013): 785–810. Corley, Kathleen E. Private Women, Public Meals: Social Conflict and Women in the Synoptic Tradition. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993. Davis, Kathy. “Intersectionality as Buzzword: A Sociology of Science Perspective on What Makes a Feminist Theory Successful.” Feminist Theory 9 (2008): 67–83. Douglas, Mary. “Deciphering a Meal.” In Myth, Symbol and Culture, edited by Clifford Geertz, 61–81. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1971. Fortier, Anne-Marie. “Too Close for Comfort: Loving Thy Neighbour and the Management of Multicultural Intimities.” Environment and Planning: D: Society and Space 25 (2005): 104–119.

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Friedrich, Gerhard. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Edited by Gerhard Friedrich. 10 vols. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985. Glancy, Jennifer A. Slavery in Early Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Green, Joel B. “Narrative Criticism.” In Methods for Luke, edited by Joel B. Green, 74–112. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Gunnarsson, Lena. “Why We Keep Separating the ‘Inseparable’: Dialecticizing Intersectionality.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 24, no. 2 (2017): 114–127. Hasan-Rokem, Galit. Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2003. Herzog, William R. Parables as Subversive Speech: Jesus as Pedagogue of the Oppressed. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994. Hezser, Catherine. “The Impact of Household Slaves on the Jewish Family in Roman Palestine.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 34, no. 4 (2003): 375–424. Johnson, Luke Timothy. The Gospel of Luke. Sacra Pagina Series. Edited by S.J. Daniel J Harrington. Vol. 3, Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1991. Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. “The Ambiguous Neighbour: Female Neighbourhood Networks and the Parable of the Lost Coin.” Neotestamentica 53 (2019): 271–289. Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. “‘Asking the Other Question’: An Intersectional Approach to Galatians 3:28 and the Colossian Household Codes.” Biblical Interpretation 18, no. 4–5 (2010): 364–389. Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. Gossip and Gender: Othering of Speech in the Pastoral Epistles. Bznw. Vol. 164, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009. Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. “Intersectional Studies.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies, edited by Julia M. O’Brien, 364–389. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland, and Anna Rebecca Solevåg. “The Ideal Meal: Masculinity and Disability among Host and Guests in Luke.” Forthcoming. 2022. Keddie, G. Anthony. “‘Who Is My Neighbor?’ Ethnic Boundaries and the Samaritan Other in Luke 10:25–37.” Biblical Interpretation 28, no. 2 (2020): 246–271. Kim, Grace Ji-Sun, and Susan Shaw. Intersectional Theology: An Introductory Guide. Fortress Press, 2018. Last, Richard. “The Neighborhood (Vicus) of the Corinthian Ekklesia; Beyond Family-Based Descriptions of the First Urban Believers.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 38, no. 4 (2016): 399–425. Levine, Amy-Jill. Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi. New York: HarperCollins, 2014. Liddell, Henry George, and Robert Scott. Greek-English Lexicon: Revised Supplement. Edited by P. G. W. Glare and A. A. Thompson. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996. Low, Setha. Spatializing Culture: The Ethnography of Space and Place. London, New York: Routledge, 2017. Maier, Harry O. “Roman Watching Romans: Christ Religion in Close Urban Quarters and Neighborhood Transformation.” Religion in the Roman Empire (Special Issue: Religion of Quarters) 6 no. 1 (2020): 104–121.

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Maloney, Linda. “‘Swept under the Rug’: Feminist Homiletical Reflections on the Parable of the Lost Coin (Lk. 15:8–10).” In The Lost Coin: Parables of Women, Work, and Wisdom, edited by Mary Ann Beavis, 34–38. London, New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002. Matsuda, Mari J. “Beside My Sister, Facing the Enemy: Legal Theory out of Coalition.” Stanford Law Review 43 (1990): 1183–1192. Meylahn, Johann-Albrecht. “Responsibility, God and Society: The Cry of the Other in the Sacred Texts as a Challenge Toward Responsible Global Citizenship.” HTS Theological Studies 65, no. 1 (2009): 1–5. Moxnes, Halvor. “Conventional Values in the Hellenistic World: Masculinity.” In Conventional Values of the Hellenistic Greeks, edited by Per Bilde, Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Lise Hannestad and Jan Zahle. Studies in Hellenistic Civilization; 8, 263–284. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 1997. Neutel, Karin Berber, and Marianne Bjelland Kartzow. “Neighbours near and Far: How a Biblical Figure Is Used in Recent European Anti-Migration Politics.” Biblical Interpretation (2020 (forth.)). Osiek, Carolyn, and Margaret Y. MacDonald, with Janet H. Tulloch. A Woman’s Place: House Churches in Earliest Christianity. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006. Painter, Joe. “The Politics of the Neighbour.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30 (2012): 515–533. Reid, Barbara E. “Beyond Petty Pursuits and Wearisome Widows: Three Lukan Parables.” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology July (2002): 284–294. Reinertsen, Ellen Aasland “‘I utgangspunktet velger vi lignelser som er sentrale’: ‘Kjernens’ kostnad i trosopplæringens lignelseslæring.” Prismet IKO Forlaget 69, no. 4 (2018): 263–279. Reinhard, Kenneth. “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor.” In The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology, edited by Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner and Kenneth Reinhard, 11–75. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013. Thiessen, Matthew. Contesting Conversion: Genealogy, Circumcision, and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Christianity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Uriciuoli, Emiliano Rubens. “(Good) People Next Door: Neighborhoods, Urban Religion, and Early Christ Religion.” Religion in the Roman Empire (Special Issue: Religion of Quarters) 6, no. 1 (2020): 20–47. Vearncombe, Erin K. “Searching for a Lost Coin: Papyrological Backgrounds for Q 15,810.” In Metaphor, Narrative, and Parables in Q, edited by Dieter Roth, Ruben Zimmermann, and Michael Labahn. Wunt, 307–337. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014. Žižek, Slavoj. Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours. Penguin Books, 2016. Žižek, Slavoj. “Neighbors and Other Monsters: A Plea for Ethical Violence.” In The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology, edited by Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner and Kenneth Reinhard, 134–190. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013. Žižek, Slavoj, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard. The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Part II

Islamic Neighbours, Near and Far

5

Aw qāla: ‘Li-jārihi’: Some observations on brotherhood and neighbourly love in Islamic tradition Oddbjørn Leirvik

When, in October 2007, 136 Muslim leaders and intellectuals published their open letter to the world’s Christian leaders, A common word between us and you (ACW), they proposed the double commandment of love as a common frame of reference for future dialogue and cooperation between Muslims and Christians. As for neighborly love, their biblical reference was the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.1 Regarding love of the neighbor in Islam, their primary reference was to a hadith which comes in two different versions, in S ahīhal-Bukhārī and S ahīhMuslim.2 In ACW, the two versions are quoted as follows: ‘None of you has faith until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.’3 And: ‘None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.’4

Brother or neighbor? As one can see, in citing the injunction to love for the other what you love for yourself, the hadith refers alternatively to ‘brother’ and ‘neighbor’ (in S ahīhal-Bukhārī and S ahīhMuslim respectively). With regard to isnād, all the variants are reported on the authority of Anas ibn Mālik, allegedly the last Companion of the Prophet to die in Basra (Juynboll 2007, 131)5 – but with differing chains of transmitters, including and not including Shub‘a ibn al-Hajjāj, who seems to have opted for ‘brother’. Al-Bukhārī seems not to be in doubt regarding the exact wording and renders the hadith using ‘brother’.6 In S ahīhMuslim, alternative versions that give preference to ‘neighbor’ and ‘brother’ are quoted side by side. In Abdul Hamid Siddiqui’s translation, the first one runs as follows: It is arrested [sic] on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) observed: one amongst you believes (truly) till one likes for his brother (akh) or for his neighbour (aw qāla: ‘Li-jārihi’ [or he said: ‘for his neighbor’]) that which he loves for himself.7

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The ensuing hadith in S ahīhMuslim renders the alternatives in the reverse order: It is narrated on the authority of Anas that the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) observed: By Him in whose Hand is my life, no, [sic] bondsman (truly) believes till he likes for his neighbour (jār), or he (the Holy Prophet) said: for his brother (aw qāla: ‘Li-akhīhi’), whatever he likes for himself.8 In some documents from the ACW process, the two versions are confused9 and no attempt appears to have been made in the context of ACW to examine the potential tension between the notions of ‘brother’ or ‘neighbor’ (for instance, in terms of group solidarity versus universal obligations).

Communal solidarity versus universal obligation? In light of other contemporary discourses, which emphasize Islamic brotherhood over faith- transcending community, it is nevertheless tempting to ask whether the cited alternatives (akh or jār) may be used to express different understandings of the range of moral obligation in Islam. Could the injunction to love your ‘brother’ be taken as referring to intra-Muslim solidarity and protection, whereas the admonition to love your neighbor as yourself would be understood to have more universal implications? The authors of A common word clearly read both versions of the hadith in a universalistic perspective. The same is true of contemporary reform thinkers, such as Abdullahi Ahmad an- Na‘im, who, in his outline of a legal reformation in Islam, reads the occurrence of the Golden Rule in different religions as a reflection of ‘the universal principle of reciprocity’ (an-Na‘im 1990, 1, 162–65). An-Na‘im does not give his attention to differing versions of the hadith in question but concentrates on warning against imposing communal (or gender-based) restrictions on the Golden Rule in whatever version it may be found in the world religions. He realizes that the Golden Rule can actually be read in a more narrowing, communalist sense: The problem with using the principles of reciprocity in this context is the tendency of cultural, and particularly religious, traditions to restrict the application of the principle to other members of its cultural or religious tradition, if not to a certain group within the given tradition. (ibid., 163) More specifically, and as a concrete background to his efforts at reinterpreting the Islamic sources so as to reconcile them with modern human rights standards, an-Na‘im notes that classical Shari‘a ‘denies women and non-Muslims the same degree of honor and human dignity it guarantees to Muslim men’ (ibid.).

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With regard to communal restrictions, this is actually how al-Bukhārī’s version of the hadith is interpreted in two commonly-used English translations of his S ahīh, both published in their present form in 1993. In the translation by M. Muhsin Khan, the hadith in question is rendered as follows: ‘None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself.’10 The same narrowing parenthesis is inserted in Mahmoud Matraji’s translation: ‘No one of you will become faithful till he wishes for his (Mulim [sic]) brother what he likes for himself’ (Bukhārī 1993, 1:15). As for Mahmoud Matraji’s translation of S ahīhMuslim, there is no corresponding parenthesis in his rendering of the alternative versions cited above: ‘No one amongst you believes (truly) till one likes for his brother or for his neighbour what he loves for himself.’ However, the heading of this hadith in Muslim unequivocally defines brother as a brother in Islam: ‘It belongs to the qualities of faith that one should like the same good thing for one’s brother in Islam as one likes for oneself’ (min khisāl al-īmān an yuhibba li-akhīhi al-muslim mā yuhibbuh li-nafsihi min al-khayr) (Muslim 1993, 1a: 37).11

Semantics and conceptual history In the following, I will examine the notion of ‘neighborhood’ and its relation to ‘brotherhood’ in Hadith, but I will first consider qur’ānic uses of akh and jār, in light of classical tafsīr and (in the latter part of the article) modern commentaries. (In this article, unless otherwise stated, the term ‘brotherhood’ refers to the status of being a brother, not to a brotherly organization, and ‘neighborhood’ refers to the status of being a neighbor, not to a locality). From a semantic perspective, it should be noted that jār, the common Arabic word for neighbor, belongs to a rather interesting field of meaning. The root meaning of the stem j-w-r might seem to connote injustice and oppression, as reflected in the noun jawr (Wehr 1979). Since nouns related to the third and sixth forms of the verbal stem may also have meanings related to proximity and neighborhood (jār, jiwār), one might speculate whether the stem itself reflects the fact that proximity in settlement may often be quite troublesome and morally challenging. As emphasized in the classical dictionary Lisān al-‘arab, the verbal stem can also (in its fourth and tenth forms) be used as an admonition to protect one’s neighbor (Ibn Manzūr 1955, 154–6). It can be argued that the ambivalence between foreigners both being a potential threat and having a right to protection (as guests) actually lies at the very root of jiwār and its Semitic cognates such as the Hebrew gēr (Lecerf 2010). Neighborly ambivalence seems thus to belong to the very etymology of jār, just as the word akh resonates with age-old tension between ties of kinship and communities of conviction.

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I would suggest, however, that the conceptual history of the notions in question is more important than sheer semantics. According to the German historian, Reinhart Koselleck, and his method of Begriffsgeschichte (conceptual history), every concept is associated with a word, but not every word is a concept. Different from a mere word, concepts ‘possess a substantial claim to generality and always have many meanings …’ (Koselleck 1985, 83). But words also resonate with historical context and Koselleck’s method may in fact be regarded as a way of connecting lexicography to social history, by literary investigation and socio-philosophical reflection. Koselleck emphasizes the role of the context in the shaping of a word into a concept: ‘… a word becomes a concept when the plenitude of a politicosocial context of meaning and experience in and for which a word is used can be condensed into one word’ (ibid., 84). Regarding the hadiths in question, their possible meaning in the ninthcentury social and political context of al-Bukhārī and Muslim is a complex historical issue, which cannot be further investigated in this article. Thus, in light of Koselleck’s understanding of Begriffsgeschichte as a meeting point between philology and social history, the following investigation will only scratch the surface of the conceptual histories of akh and jār. As for the modern context, is hard to guess what might have been the contextual impetus behind M. Muhsin Khan and Mahmoud Matraji’s insertion of a narrowing parenthesis (‘Muslim’) when rendering the word brother in Bukhārī’s version of the hadith. Did they want to correct popular usages in the Arab and Muslim world in which the notion of ‘brother’ (in tune with the generous usage in ACW) may be used to express heartfelt affection, irrespective of religious belonging? Or did the translators just link up with an established, interpretative tradition that takes for granted that akh in the canonical scriptures refers to a Muslim brother? There are clearly traditional reasons for taking brother as a reference to religious community. In al-Nawawī’s (1234–1278) famous explanation to S ahīhMuslim, he comments on the difference between Muslim’s and alBukhārī’s renderings of the hadith. He notes that Muslim (differently from al-Bukhārī and others) was ‘in doubt’ as to the exact wording, but alNawawī does not discuss any further the difference between obligations towards a brother and a neighbor. He does, however, seem to take ‘brother’ in the sense of a Muslim brother, citing the hadith specialist Shaykh Abū ‘Amr bin al-Salāh (1181–1245) who – in tune with the traditional heading in S ahīhMuslim – reads the hadith as ‘until he likes for his brother in Islam’ (li-akhīhi fī-l-islām).12

Kinship, brotherhood and neighborhood in the Qur’an Before exploring references to brothers and neighbors in Hadith, some observations regarding the notions of akh and jār in the Qur’an will be in order.

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The Qur’an contains numerous references to the bonds of kinship and pays due attention to kinship-related matters such as marriage and inheritance. However, in much the same way as in the Jesus movement (Moxnes 2003), the first Muslim community in Medina redefined the relation between family solidarity and obedience to God, also offering a new form of ‘household’ (eventually, a new umma) for those who, in the name of a higher obligation, broke with the ties of kinship. In this context, a special practice of ‘brothering’ (mu’ākhāt) in pairs immigrants from Mecca and ‘helpers’ in Medina was actually introduced (Watt 2010). In Q 9.23f, those who believe are admonished not to take for protectors ‘your fathers and your brothers if they love infidelity above faith’. This does not mean that the category of physical kinship is neglected. Out of 82 occurrences of akh in the Qur’an, 68 refer to physical brotherhood. But as Sūrat Yūsuf indicates (with its 18 occurrences of akh), brotherhood may be a trial and hindrance rather than a blessing and help for those who seek the will of God. In the Meccan revelations, as the conflict between Muhammad and his kinsfolk escalates, one may sense that kinship and brotherhood has already become a critical issue, but 52 out of 68 Meccan occurrences still refer to physical brotherhood. In the Medinan revelations, when a new community is formed, the situation – and hence the usage – is different. More often than not in Medina, akh now refers to symbolic brotherhood – as in Q 3.103: ‘For ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His grace, ye became brethren.’ All those who now repent become ‘your brethren in faith’ (Q 9.11), so that all believers constitute now ‘a single brotherhood’ (innamā al-mu’minīn ikhwatun, Q 49.10). In this sense, brotherhood in the Medinan revelations comes close to the notion of umma, as reflected in some translations into English: ‘And verily this brotherhood (umma) is a single brotherhood’ (ummatan wāhidatan, Q 23.52). In this context, a demarcation line is drawn not only against pagan kinsfolk but also against ‘misbelieving’ Jews and Christians. Thus in Q 59.11, the ‘hypocrites’ in Medina are cited as having declared their solidarity with ‘their misbelieving brethren’ (li-ikhwānihim alladhīna kafarū) among the People of the Book: ‘If ye are expelled, we too will go out with you ….’ This means that, in the Qur’an, the notion of brotherhood in Islam is shaped not only in contradistinction to ties of kinship (as in the Meccan phase), but also (gradually in Medina) in critical consciousness of competing religious allegiances. With regard to religious ties, it is well known that the socalled Medinan constitution (as later described in the Sīra) invited the Jews to form ‘one community (umma) with the believers’, although the Jews and the Muslims would nevertheless have their distinctive religions (dīn; Guillaume 1996, 233). As things evolved, however, with growing suspicion between Muslims and Jews in Medina, the notion of umma gradually acquired the

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meaning of Muslim brotherhood – supplanting even qur’anic usage which in many places presupposes ‘a plurality of ummas’ (Gibb and Kramers 1991, 603).13 This is probably how the evolving meaning of akh, in the direction of religiously defined brotherhood, should also be seen. As for the notion of neighbor, apart from a metaphorical usage in Q 5.48, the only occurrence of the term jār in the Qur’an is Q 4.36 (from Medina): Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good to parents, kinsfolk [bi-dhī al-qurbā; cf. 2.83], orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near [al-jār dhī al-qurbā], neighbours who are strangers [wa-al-jār al-junubī], the companion by your side [al-sāhib bial-janb], the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious. Strangely enough, A common word does not mention this verse. To illustrate ‘Love of the neighbour in Islam’, it quotes instead (in addition to the hadiths cited above) Q 2.177 and 3.92. Since our task in this article is to investigate the conceptual history of the notion of jār, we will nevertheless focus on Q 4.36 in what follows.

Classical tafsīr discussions: close in kinship or religion? In classical tafsīr, the discussion of this verse focused on how to understand the relation between the two categories of neighbors here mentioned: Is it simply a matter of neighbors who are kinsfolk or not, or does the latter category (al-jār al-junubī) also imply other distinctions, such as religious allegiance? This question was already discussed in the tafsīr attributed to the Prophet’s Companion Ibn ‘Abbās (d. 687), but is only accessible in much later editions, such as the fifteenth collection Tanwīr al-miqbās (Ibn ‘Abbās 2008). Here, ‘the neighbor who is near’ (al-jār dhī al-qurbā) is taken to be a neighbor who is also kin, whereas the other category (al-jār al-junubī) would then refer to neighbors who are not kinsfolk. Altogether, the explanation implies that there are three types of neighbors, all with different rights: ‘the neighbour who also happens to be your relative has three rights over you: the right of kinship, the right of Islam and the right of being a neighbour’ (ibid., commentary on 4.36). As one can see, religious difference appears here as a distinctive category in addition to physical kinship and local proximity. It is not further explained, however, what the different sets of rights might imply in concrete terms. As a contextual background to the tripartite definition of being a neighbor, it should be remembered that the coming of Islam created ruptures not only in the family structure but also in neighborhood relations. As Tarif Khalidi notes,

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… the Maghazi [books of war] depict what was all too often a war of cousins and neighbors, of clans who were one’s allies before the days of Islam but were now divided by religion. Indeed, one could read the Maghazi as an Arabian civil war. (Khalidi 2009, 91) From this perspective, the tripartite definition of what constitutes a neighbor implied in Tanwīr al-miqbās – i.e., proximity in locality, kinship or religion – could be taken as an attempt to redefine and graduate moral obligations in the light of new social divisions. The tripartite division is also found in other major works of tafsīr. For instance, in al-T abarsī’s Majma‘al-bayān (a Shī‘ite commentary from the twelfth century14), it is related that the Prophet said: There are three [types of] neighbors: the neighbor with three rights: the right of neighborhood (jiwār), the right of kinship (qarāba) and the right of Islam; the neighbor with two rights: the right of neighborhood (jiwār) and the right of Islam; and the neighbor with [only] the right of neighborhood, namely the idolator from among the People of the Book. (T abarsī 1959, 3–4:45; my translation) As one can see, al-T abarsī defines the ‘neighbor only’ category as a relation to unbelievers. In support of this interpretation, he cites scholars who point to the fact that the category of kinship has already been mentioned in the first part of this qur’anic verse: ‘do good to parents and kinsfolk (bi-dhī alqurbā)’. Ergo the dichotomy in the next part of the verse (between al-jār dhū al-qurbā and al-jār al-junubī) must refer to some other distinction where kinship is not a factor (ibid.). In the interpretation seemingly favored by al-T abarsī, religious difference in fact stands out as the most pointed one. It appears, however, that this view has been controversial in the history of classical tafsīr. In the comprehensive ninth-century tafsīr attributed to the Persian historian al-Tabarī (838–923), the discussion of Q 4.36 also concentrates on the relation between kinship and religious brotherhood (T abarī 1955–, 332–40). But al-T abarī’s perspective is different from that of al-T abarsī. He notes initially that the interpreters disagree in their understanding of this verse but proceeds by citing a majority of scholars (including Ibn ‘Abbās) who without any doubt identify the first category of neighborhood (al-jār dhī alqurbā) with kinship. He then notes that some scholars take it in another sense, namely as proximity in religion, i.e., Islam. But according to alT abarī, this interpretation is at odds with normal usage among the Arabs – ‘in whose tongue the Qur’an was revealed’ (ibid., 337). In conclusion: ‘That the neighbor is near (dhū al-qurbā) means that he is close kin (qarīb alrahim), not that he is close in terms of religion’ (ibid., my translation). Logically then, the other category (al-jār al-junubī) would be a neighbor who is not kin (qarāba), or as Ibn ‘Abbās has it, is of a foreign tribe (min

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qawm junub). Al-T abarī cites a number of authorities in support of this view, before taking issue with those who see foreignness as religious difference and identify the neighbor who is a stranger as an idolater, a Jew or a Christian. In al-T abarī’s conclusion, ‘the meaning of junub in this case is a distant stranger, be he Muslim or idolater, Jew or Christian’ (ibid., 339). Again, he argues that this interpretation (which concentrates on difference in kinship, not in religion) is closer to normal Arabic usage. Moreover, in another tafsīr from the ninth century, namely the Sufioriented Tafsīr al-Tustarī attributed to Sahl ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Tustarī (d. 896), the only distinctions drawn are those between kinship and geographical proximity. As for the outward meaning, says al-Tustarī, ‘the neighbour who is a stranger is the one who is not related to you and is foreign’ (Tustarī 2009, commentary on Q 4.36). But al-Tustarī, as a Sufi commentator, adds an inner meaning: ‘the neighbour who is near refers to the heart (qalb), and the neighbour who is a stranger is the self in its natural state (nafst abī‘ī)’. Al-T abarī’s view that the two categories of neighborhood in Q 4.36 primarily refer to whether or not there exists a relation of kinship (that is, not to religion) is followed in other major works of tafsīr such as the fifteenth-century one-volume commentary Tafsīr al-Jalālayn,15 which briefly states that the two categories of neighbors refer to kinship and physical proximity. Religion is thus not an issue (Mahallī and Suyūt ī 2008, commentary on Q 4.36). In view of these divergences among the commentators, the commentary on Q 4.36 in the tafsīr of Ibn Kathīr (1301–1373) is also interesting. Ibn Kathīr starts out by recalling Ibn ‘Abbās’ interpretation that the two kinds of neighborhood refer to whether or not a relation of kinship exists. He then adds (on the authority of Mujāhid) that the neighbor who is a stranger might just as well be a companion on a journey as a settled neighbor (Ibn Kathīr 2002, commentary on Q 4.36). Without mentioning the following idea cited in Tanwīr al-miqbās of three types of neighborhood, one of them characterized by proximity in religion, Ibn Kathīr simply goes on to quote several well-known hadiths that concretize responsibilities towards the neighbor – irrespective of which category he might belong to (ibid.). In conclusion, tafsīr interpretations differ between those that imply that the range of one’s obligations towards the neighbor may vary according to religious fellowship, and those that see no difference in this regard. As a background to modern interpretations, no clear development in any direction can be traced and a fuller investigation of different tafsīr interpreations of Q 4.36 would have to delve deeper into the historical context of each particular work and its general inclination with regard to interreligious relations.

Brotherhood and neighborly love in Hadith Proceeding now to different hadiths that speak of brotherhood and neighborly obligations, it should be noted that the notion of ‘Hadith’ itself should not be mistaken for a uniform body of canonical utterances. Views

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on the authenticity of individual hadiths and the canonical bearing of the different Hadith collections (or of Hadith in general) vary widely, even within Sunni Islam. The most important question is probably how and for which purposes particular hadiths are being invoked – to support this or that position in any given discussion about the right interpretation of Islam. This said, the Hadith collections abound with admonitions to care for a needy neighbor and with advice on good neighborliness in general. Religious difference is generally not a theme. However, a hadith reported by Abū Dāwūd in Kitāb al-adab explicitly identifies the neighbor as a Jew: Mujahid said that Abdullah ibn Amr slaughtered a sheep and said: Have you presented a gift from it to my neighbour, the Jew, for I heard the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) say: Gabriel kept on commending the neighbour to me so that I thought he would make an heir?16 This particular hadith is interesting for two reasons. (1) It presents the duty of neighborhood as reaching so far as to approximate responsibilities towards one’s own kinsfolk (‘so that I thought he would make an heir’). (2) This maximum expression of the duty of neighborliness is exemplified by one’s duty not towards a brother in Islam, but towards a neighbor who happens to be a Jew. It should be noted, however, that the Hadith collections also contain a number of Prophetic sayings that are not particularly friendly in relation to neighboring Jews.17 Whereas the mention of religious difference in connection with neighborhood seems to be unique to this particular hadith, the comparison of neighborly duties with family ties – as illustrated by the theme of inheritance – is also found in S ahīhal-Bukhārī18 and S ahīhMuslim.19 In al-Bukhārī, it is also stated – without any reservation regarding kinship or religious difference – that ‘the neighbour has more right than anyone else because of his nearness’.20 Although difference in religion is not a theme in this hadith, it is interesting to note that in the immediate context of Kitāb al-salam (‘The book of prepayment’), the Prophet’s readiness to mortgage even his iron armor in prepayment of some foodstuff bought from a Jew, is emphasized.21 A recurring feature of hadiths pertaining to neighborhood is their concreteness in delineating the duties of a true believer. It has to do with such issues as sharing food, generous irrigation, and neighborly rights of preemption in connection with real estate transactions. The regulating principle is ‘the need of one’s neighbor’.22 In some hadiths, the rights towards the neighbor are also compared with those towards a guest. In negative terms, Muslim’s ‘Book of faith’ has a separate subheading concerning the prohibition to harm the neighbor: ‘He will not enter paradise whose neighbor is not secure from his wrongful conduct.’23 Committing illegal sexual intercourse with the wife of one’s neighbor is singled out as a particularly grave transgression.24 As for brotherhood in Hadith, the duties towards an akh (whether he is kin or a brother in Islam) do not seem be qualitatively different from those

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towards a neighbor, although it could be argued that, in some hadiths, Muslim solidarity is emphasized in a special way: Do not hate one another, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not desert each other, and O, Allah’s worshipers! Be brothers. Lo! It is not permissible for any Muslim to desert (not talk to) his brother (Muslim) for more than three days.25 As in the case of the Golden Rule, here too the translator M. Muhsin Khan takes brother in the sense of Muslim brother. There are probably good semantic reasons for this, since both in the Qur’an and in Hadith akh seems to connote either physical kinship or brotherhood in Islam. There are also hadiths that literally address Muslims as brothers in arms, as in the following saying reported by al-Bukhārī in his ‘Book of afflictions’: None of you should point out towards his Muslim brother with a weapon, for he does not know, Satan may tempt him to hit him and thus he would fall into a pit of fire (Hell).26 Although ‘Muslim’ is again added by the translator, the immediate context indicates that his addition is reasonable (cf. the heading of this section: ‘Whoever takes up arms against us, is not from us’). On the other hand, it should also be noted that some hadiths emphasize that all God’s prophets are ‘brothers in faith, having different mothers’, with special emphasis of Muhammad’s proximity to Jesus.27 Brotherhood between Muhammad and Jesus does not, however, necessarily imply brotherhood between Muslims and Christians.

Brotherhood and neighborhood in modern usage (including modern commentaries) The question of religious difference as a possible criterion of differentiation between various types of neighborhood remains an issue in some modern commentaries on the Qur’an (‘Abduh, Asad), but seems in fact more often to be bracketed (Qut b, Maududi, Yūsuf ‘Alī). In fact, ‘Abduh and Islamist and modernist commentaries all seem to agree (explicitly or implicitly) that difference in faith does not take anything away from the moral obligation to do good towards your neighbor. The evidence might be different if modern commentators of the neo-traditional Salafi tendency were also examined (cf. Duderija 2010). The neighbor in modern commentaries The reform movement associated with Muhammad ‘Abduh (1849–1905) has inspired both Islamist and more liberal reformers in the twentieth

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century. Muhammad ‘Abduh and Rashīd Ridā’s Tafsīr al-Manār was initiated by ‘Abduh’s commentaries on Suras 1–4, which were printed in the periodical Al-Manār from 1900 onwards, continued by Ridā after ‘Abduh’s death in 1905, and completed in 1927. In the several pages dedicated to Q 4.36 (‘Abduh and Ridā 1928–1948, 5:90–93), ‘Abduh offers a detailed discussion of the implied notions of neighborhood. He notes that the mufassirūn differ in their interpretation of this verse and that some of them include difference in religion when explaining what is meant by ‘the neighbor who is a stranger’. In this connection, he also cites the tradition that operates with three types of neighborhood, one of them including fellowship in Islam. ‘Abduh characterizes this as a weak hadith and counters it by another hadith, mentioned above, which underlines the obligation to share food with ‘my neighbour, the Jew’.28 Although this hadith is actually found in Abū Dāwūd’s Sunan (cf. above), ‘Abduh refers to it as a sahīh hadith reported by al-Bukhārī (ibid., 5:92). In the following, ‘Abduh explicitly speaks of one’s duty to do good towards the neighbor as a general or absolute injunction (min al-wasāyā al-mut laqa) which includes ‘Muslim as well as non-Muslim neighbors’. He also mentions that the virtue of good neighborliness is actually a pre-Islamic virtue among the Arabs, which Islam further expanded. Sayyid Qut b’s (1906–1966) In the Shade of the Qur’ān is a widely read commentary on the Qur’an whose readership extends far beyond those who adhere(d) to his confrontational type of Islamism, which was characterized, among other things, by his aversion towards the perceived moral deviations of the West and his strong critique of Judaism and Christianity. The general heading of his commentary on Q 4.36–43 is ‘Unfailing kindness’ but he begins by noting that the passage’s exposition of some main features of the new Islamic life adds ‘a clear warning against the scheming of former religions, particularly the Jews in Madinah. Evil is ingrained in their characters’ (Qutb n.d., 120f.). As for verse 36, Qut b seems not to exclude either Jews or other non-Muslims from the ‘certain groups of one’s immediate family and of the human family at large’ towards whom kind treatment is required. In his elaborations on various degrees of moral obligation, Qut b discusses varying categories of social need but pays no attention to religious difference.29 With regard to kinship, his take on this category is to underline – ‘coherently with the Islamic view of social organization’ – family values as the anchoring point of any form of compassionate care and social security (ibid., 123). As for Islamist movements on the Indian sub-continent, among the most influential is Jamaat-e-islami, founded by Syed Abul A‘ala Maududi (1903–1979). In the Islamic Foundation’s English edition of Tafhim alQur’an (Towards understanding the Qur’an), religious differences are not discussed in connection with Q 4.36. The relevant part of the verse is translated as follows: ‘to the neighbour who is of kin and to the neighbour

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who is a stranger.’ Maududi offers no further explanation of this part of the verse and concentrates instead on the following sequence. His commentary shows that ‘the companion by your side (janb)’ is taken in a very inclusive sense: ‘for instance, either the person who walks beside one on the way to the market or who sits beside one while buying things from the same shop or one’s fellow traveler’ (Maududi n.d.). Turning to reformers of a more liberal inclination, the convert Muhammad Asad (1900–1992) offers an interesting example of how Q 4.36 might be read by a modernist with a universalistic perspective on ethics. In his commentary The message of the Qur’ān, Asad rules out kinship as a relevant category when trying to understand the distinction between neighbors near and far. Like many scholars (cf. al-T abarsī above), Asad notes that the category of kinship (parents, kinsfolk) is dealt with in the first part of the verse. The two categories of neighborhood must therefore refer to something else. According to Asad, al-jār dhū al-qurbā should be translated ‘your own people’. The distinction between the neighbor who is near and the neighbor who is a stranger thus refers to ‘whether he belongs to your own or to another community’. Asad does not explain exactly what he means by ‘community’. But from his commentary, it is clear that faith is at least implied: The Prophet often stressed a believer’s moral obligation towards his neighbours, whatever their faith [in Spanish: ‘de todo creyente’]; and his attitude has been summed up in his words, ‘Whoever believes in God and the Last Day, let him do good unto his neighbor ….’ (Asad 2007)30 In the case of Asad, then, his stress on community and faith does not mean that one has lesser obligations towards a neighbor who belongs to a different (faith) community. On the contrary, Asad stresses the faithtranscending universality of moral obligation in Islam. The last example to be cited is The meaning of the holy Qur’ān, the work of ‘Abdullah Yūsuf ‘Alī (1872–1953), which, like Asad’s The message of the Qur’ān, offers a translation of the Qur’an with explanatory footnotes.31 Yūsuf ‘Alī mentions neither kinship nor religious belong- ing when explaining the various degrees of proximity implied by Q 4.36. He sees neighbors who are near as those who are near ‘in local situation as well as intimate relationships’, whereas neighbors who are strangers ‘includes those whom we do not know or who live away from us or in a different sphere altogether’. He gives a similar explanation to the ensuing pair of ‘the companion by your side’ and ‘the wayfarer you meet’, implying that the duties towards the latter (who ‘may be a casual acquaintance on your travels’) represent the widest range of moral obligation. Summing up, neither Qut b, Maududi nor Yūsuf ‘Alī pays any attention to religious difference when commenting on Q 4.36. Whether this should be

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taken as neglect or as (implicit) inclusiveness, must be considered in light of the general tenor of their commentaries. ‘Abduh and Asad, on the other hand, are critically aware of religious differences but state emphatically that such differences do not take anything away from one’s obligation towards the neighbor. The relation between brotherhood and neighborhood in contemporary usage As for the notion of brotherhood, the prominence of the Muslim Brotherhood (al-ikwān al-muslimūn) has of course heavily influenced present-day usage of the term, which associates brotherhood in Islam with religiously-based group solidarity – and with Islamism. In late twentiethcentury discourses, the notion of Muslim brotherhood has also become embedded in various types of Muslim identity politics that emphasize religious belonging over against any other identity marker. Thus in the demonstrations in Oslo against Israel’s offensive in Gaza in 2009, many young activists explained their rage and solidarity by proclaiming that ‘All Muslims are brethren’.32 Correspondingly, when in 2010 taxi drivers in Oslo mobilized their protest against another caricature of the Prophet, textmessages called on ‘Muslim brothers and sisters’ to demonstrate, in a discursive framework dominated by the dichotomy of ‘you’ and ‘us’.33 On islamonline.net, the influential website associated with Yūsuf alQaradāwī, ‘Rights of brotherhood in Islam’ are explained by ‘A group of Islamic researchers’ in a posting from 2004.34 Here, brotherhood is dealt with entirely as a matter of intra-Muslim affection and solidarity. Indifferent Muslims are chastised for spending time in cafes and hotels ‘at the times that their brothers are being slaughtered at some other parts of the globe’. In this connection, the hadith about loving for one’s brother what one loves for oneself is also cited – with the clear implication that brother means Muslim brother. In a 2002 fatwa by al-Qaradāwī himself about ‘the true concept of brotherhood’, the dominant perspective is also intra-Muslim, although with emphasis on the more universal virtue of class-transcending equality.35 As for the notion of neighborly love in present-day usage, another article on islamonline.net explains what it means to show ‘kindness to a nonMuslim neighbor’.36 Emphasizing the tolerant aspect of Islam – ‘especially with people of other faiths’ – the author, El-Sayed M. Amin, states unequivocally that ‘it makes no difference whether the neighbors are Muslim or non-Muslim’. However, Amin goes on to quote the tradition cited above about three different categories of neighbors: a relative, a Muslim and a non-Muslim. This classical distinction implies of course some additional obligations towards one’s family and one’s fellow Muslims, in comparison with what you owe one who is a ‘neighbor only’. Notwithstanding such implications (which are not further developed), the author encourages

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searching for common ground if a non-Muslim neighbor brings up issues pertaining to religion, while nevertheless reminding the reader that opportunities to invite one’s neighbor to Islamic events should not be missed. But ‘you can also visit the church where your neighbors pray if they invite you to do that’. With regard to neighborly obligations, a book by the contemporary Saudi author Muhammad Ali al-Hashimi entitled The ideal Muslimah may be cited as a striking example of how care for one’s neighbor may also be thoroughly gendered. Two chapters in this book deal with ‘The Muslim woman and her neighbours’ and ‘The Muslim woman and her friends and sisters in Islam’. Commenting on Q 4.36, al-Hashimi emphasizes that ‘everyone whose home neighbours yours has the rights of a neighbour over you, even if you are not connected by kinship of religion’ (al-Hashimi 1994, ch. 8). Al-Hashimi proceeds to cite a host of hadiths relevant to the understanding of neighborly relations. The alternative versions of the Golden Rule (brother/neighbor) are noted but not elaborated upon. Noting that Islam wants to spread mutual love and affection among neighbors, faithtranscending obligations are once more emphasized. Under the heading ‘She treats her neighbours well even if they are not Muslim’, al-Hashimi states: The true Muslim woman does not restrict her good treatment only to neighbours who are related to her or who are Muslims, but she extends it to non-Muslim neighbours too, in accordance with the tolerant teachings of Islam which encourage kindness towards all people, regardless of their race or religion, so long as they do not commit any acts of hostility or aggression towards Muslims. (Ibid.) In the next chapter, the Muslim woman’s particular obligations towards her ‘friends and sisters in Islam’ are unfolded – in some more detail than in the case of neighborly duties. The examples cited above give an impression of how the notions of brotherhood and neighborhood are currently dealt with on influential Islamic websites. Although extra obligations towards fellow Muslims are often implied (typically, with reference to the notion of brother- or sisterhood), reflections on neighborly love seem regularly to have a more universal outlook, although the potential tension between universal obligations and brotherly (Muslim) solidarity is not explained.

Interreligious perspectives In circles committed to interreligious dialogue, other types of discourses seem to evolve, expanding the notion of brother- and sisterhood across religious divides. For instance, in connection with A common word, Archbishop Rowan Williams addresses his response to ‘Muslim brothers

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and sisters everywhere’ (Williams 2008). In conferences held in the context of A common word, similar interfaith extensions of brother- and sisterhood have also been heard from the Muslim side. Such ecumenical extensions of the notion of brotherhood might in fact correspond to widespread popular usages in which (as noted above) any good friend can be called a brother or sister, irrespective of faith. Different usages can also be combined in creative ways. In an interreligious meeting in an Oslo mosque in March 2010, held in connection with the launching of a Norwegian translation of Maududi’s translation of the Qur’an, the Muslim host addressed the audience with the following words: ‘Brothers and sisters in Islam, brothers and sisters in humanity.’37 Similar tensions between inclusive and exclusive notions of brotherhood can also be ident- ified in the Christian tradition. Whereas in the New Testament the notion of brotherhood refers mainly to intra-Christian solidarity, the word neighbor (plēsíon) pulls more clearly in a faithtranscending direction. In Rowan Williams’ abovementioned response to A common word, ‘love of our neighbour’ in the Christian perspective is illustrated by reference to (1) the commandment to love one’s enemy in Matthew 5 and Luke 6 and (2) the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10.25–37. The selection of references serves to illustrate a pivotal point in the Archbishop’s reasoning, namely the faith-transcending nature of neighborly love: Commentary on this parable frequently points to the way in which Jesus challenges the assumptions of the question; instead of defining a necessarily limited group of people who might fit the category of ‘neighbours’ to whom love should be shown, he speaks of the need to prove ourselves neighbours by compassion to whoever is before us in need or pain, whether or not they are akin to us, approved by us, safe for us to be with or whatever else. Such neighbourliness will mean crossing religious and ethnic divisions and transcending ancient enmities. (Williams 2008) Another feature of the New Testament’s treatment of the commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself is the way it functions as a summary of the entire Torah (cf. Romans 13.9–10 and Galatians 5.14). The same is true of the Golden Rule as formulated in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets’ (Matthew 7.12). In comparison, hadiths about neighborly love tend to be much more concrete, almost casuistic in their admonishment. As for the Golden Rule in Hadith, we have noted a potential tension between brotherhood and neighborly love, as reflected in the double rendering of the Golden Rule in S āhīhMuslim and in differing tafsīr interpretations of the various types of neighborhood implied in Q 4.36.

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Tensions between brotherhood and neighborly love – and their ethical implications – can clearly be found in the New Testament too. Brothers in a metaphorical sense refer mostly to ‘the faithful brethren in Christ’ (Colossians 1.2). As illustrated in 1 John 4.21, this also affects the understanding of love (agapē): ‘And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also’. Intra-Christian solidarity is also called for by use of other family-related metaphors: ‘Do good to everyone, especially to those who belong to the family of believers’ (oikeíous tēs pisteōs, Galatians 6.10). It could be argued, then, that the tension between religious group solidarity and universal obligations arises as a common theme from the classical Islamic and Christian sources.

Gender perspectives Further dialogue about and research into the notions of brotherhood and neighborly love in Islamic and Christian tradition will also have to deal critically with gendered aspects of the ethical and identity-related questions at hand. The notion of brotherhood is of course gendered in itself. Metaphorical use of the New Testament notion of adelphós (brother) abounds, on a par with the qur’anic notion of akh. Being semantically linked with filadelphía (love between siblings, cf. Romans 12.10), it could be argued that the plural form adelphoi refers in fact to siblinghood rather than brotherhood (Aasgaard 2004). The male form constitutes, however, the dominant norm and references to sister (adelphē) in the metaphorical sense are comparatively few in the New Testament (cf. Romans 16.1 and seven other places). In the Qur’an, there are no references to sister (ukht) in the metaphorical sense. The expression ‘(brothers and) sisters in Islam’ thus illustrates a modern need to balance the male notion of brotherhood with more genderinclusive usages. In further exploring the notion of brotherhood in Islam, critical gender analysis would also have to examine the extent to which this notion (as found in the classical sources and in later usage) implies a limitation on the equality in moral obligation and legal rights normally associated with the Golden Rule in its modern interpretation. As an-Na‘im has observed in his discussion of the Golden Rule, classical Shari‘a does discriminate against women in this respect (an-Na‘im 1990, 175–77). As we have seen, the Islamic version of the Golden Rule refers alternatively to ‘brother’ and (as in Christian tradition) ‘neighbor’. Just as a neighbor may be either male (jār) or female (jāra), neighborly duties in Hadith refer both to traditionally male spheres (real estate and irrigation affairs; males’ relation to others’ wives) and to female domains (sharing food, etc.). In a modern context – as reflected in The ideal Muslimah – neighborly love seems in fact to be further gendered, reflecting perhaps a feminized interpretation of good neighborliness with emphasis on empathy and care.

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The most pressing issue, however, is whether Shari‘a-based inequality between men and women in terms of rights is at all compatible with a universalistic interpretation of the Golden Rule (cf. an-Na‘im). With regard to the hadith in question, the critical point in any given interpretation would be whether ‘wishing for this brother the same as he wishes for himself’ is taken as a reference to male reciprocity only, within the framework of the religious community, or as a gender neutral and universal obligation. That obviously depends more on the eye of the beholder than on the actual wording of the hadith itself – although the words in question may carry a heavy weight of patriarchal reasoning.

Conclusion: texts and contexts In further research into the notions of brotherhood and neighborhood in Islam, varying views on the interreligious and gender implications of these notions should be examined in the light of changing contexts. The exposition above has focused on texts rather than contexts. Contextual aspects are hinted at but not explored in any depth. For example, the present study has not answered the question begged by the alternative versions in S ahīhMuslim of what might have been the contextual impetus behind the double rendering of the Golden Rule. That question remains to be explored. One might ask, for instance, whether people of different religious belongings lived more separately in the ninth century when the Hadith collections were put together, than at the time of the qur’anic revelation, when even members of the same household might have had different religious affiliations. One might also wonder whether, in the ninth century, moral obligations had generally come to be seen in the light of Shari‘aregulations, as is possibly reflected in tafsīr distinctions between moral obligations towards Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors. Too much focus on texts might also blur the way in which kinship remains a dominant category with regard to moral formation and imposed obligation. The notion of brotherhood in fact borrows the strong sense of affection and solidarity normally associated with family relationships.38 Although the notions of brotherhood in both Islam and Christianity initially implied a radical breach with established family ties, social anthropological research reveals that in many religious cultures family and kinship retain their status as a primary (and highly affective) frame of reference for moral obligation. The notions of kinship, brotherhood and neighborhood – and the implicit tension between them – thus capture some of the most pressing issues in modern ethics and moral identity formation today: the relation between family values, religious brotherhood and faith-transcending solidarity.

Acknowledgements I am grateful to Albrecht Hofheinz at the University of Oslo’s Arabic department, Safet Bektovic at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo

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(formerly, the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for European Islamic Thought) and anonymous referees for valuable comments to earlier drafts of this article.39

Notes 1 The biblical references are Matthew 22.38–40, Mark 12.31 and Leviticus 19.17–18 (A common word between us and you ACW 2007, part II). 2 Samir Khalil’s allegation (see section II in his response the ACW website: (http://www.acommonword.com/index.php?page=responses&item=14) that ACW simply borrows Christian language seems to overlook the fact that the rootmeaning of both plēsíon (in the New Testament) and jār (in numerous hadiths and in Q 4.36) is physical-geographical proximity, with the possibility for both notions to be expanded semantically. 3 Cf. Bukhārī n.d., book 2 (Kitāb al-īmān), number 12. Unless otherwise stated, Hadith references in this article refer to the numbering found in the web versions of al-Bukhārī and Muslim published by the Center for Jewish–Muslim Engagement, University of Southern California. 4 Cf. Muslim n.d., book 1 (Kitāb al-īmān), number 72. 5 Juynboll raises some doubt regarding the probability that Anas, who is said to have died in 712, could actually have been a companion of the Prophet (Juynboll 2007, 131). Tarif Khalidi, in his Images of Muhammad, seems not to harbor such doubts (Khalidi 2009, 51f). 6 Al-Bukhārī’s isnād runs as follows: Anas via Qatāda, Shub‘a, Yayā and Musaddad. 7 Muslim n.d., book 1, number 72. On the authority of Anas ibn Mālik, via Qatāda, Shu‘ba, Muhammad ibn Ja‘far, Ibn Bashshār, Muammad ibn alMuthannā. Shu‘ba has also transmitted another hadith modeled on a similar formula: ‘No one is a true believer until he loves me more than his son, his father or all the people together’ (Juynboll 2007, 479f). In Muslim, two versions of this hadith are quoted just before the two variants of the Golden Rule. According to Juynboll, Shu‘ba (the third authority in this chain) is frequently the common link ‘in traditions which represent a rather late stage in legal discussions that hark back to ancient times’ (Juynboll 2007, 479f). 8 Muslim n.d., book 1, number 73– on the authority of Anas, via Qatāda (but excluding Shub‘a), usayn al-Mu‘allim, Ya yā ibn Sa‘īd and Zuhayr ibn arb. 9 For instance, in t_he ‘Final Declaration’ from the _First Seminar of the Catholic– Muslim Forum (Rome, 4–6 November 2008) the version that reads ‘neighbour’ is erroneously attributed to al-Bukhārī (Catho- lic– Muslim Forum 2008, point 1). 10 Bukhārī n.d., book 2 (Kitāb al-īmān), number 12. 11 Note also that the heading qualifies ‘whatever one likes’ as ‘the good’ (al-khayr). With reference to al- Bukhārī, Ghassan Abdul-Jabbar notes that he uses chapter titles to guide the reader to his understanding of the hadith in question (AbdulJabbar 2007, 24). The same would apply to Muslim. 12 In addition, an-Nawawī underlines that what one likes for oneself (and hence for one’s brother) must be within the realm of ‘the good’ (al-khayr, cf. the heading of this hadith in Muslim), and not transgress the confines of Islamic law (Nawawī n.d., 64). 13 See Q 5.48: ‘If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single umma …’ (cf. 42.8). Compare the use of the term umma with reference to Jews and

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Christians in Q 5.66 and 3.133 and cf. Asma Afsaruddin’s discussion of inclusivist vs. exclusivist interpretations in Afsaruddin (2009). Abū ‘Alī al-Fal ibn al-Hasan al-Tabarsī died in 1153. By Jalāl al-Dīn al-Mahallī (d. 1459) and Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūī. Abū Dāwūd n.d., book 41 (Kitāb al-adab, in the section aqq al-jiwār), number 5133. For the Arabic original, see http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/ Display.asp?Doc=4&Rec=6405 (accessed 16 May 2010). See ‘Excerpts from the Canonical Hadith Collections’, in Bostom (2008, 229–34). Interestingly, these excerpts (which are compiled in order to illustrate ‘Islamic Antisemitism’) do not include the more friendly hadith quoted above. The story (much cited among present-day Muslims) about Muhammad showing care and compassion for a Jewish woman who used to throw garbage in his path, is not found in the canonical Hadith collections. Bukhārī n.d., book 73 (Kitāb al-adab), number 43–4. Muslim n.d., book 32 (Kitāb al-birr wa-al-salah wa-al-adab), numbers 6354 and 6356. Bukhārī n.d., book 35 (Kitāb al-salam), number 459. Ibid., number 453–4. Muslim n.d., book 22 (Kitāb al-adāhī), number 4833. Ibid., book 001 (Kitāb al-īmān), number 0074. Cf. Bukhārī n.d., book 73, number 45, 47f., 158, and book 76, number 482. Bukhārī n.d., book 60 (Kitāb tafsīr al-Qur’ān), numbers 4 and 284 as well as five other occurrences. Cf. Muslim n.d., book 1, number 156–7. Bukhārī n.d., book 73 (Kitāb al-adab), number 99 (cf. 100). Cf. Muslim n.d., book 32, number 6205. Bukhārī n.d., book 55 (Kitāb al-fitan), number 193. Muslim n.d., book 30, number 5836. Cf. Bukhārī, book 55 (Kitāb al-anbiyā’), number 51–52. Abū Dāwūd n.d., book 41 (Kitāb al-adab), number 5133. When the orphans and the needy are mentioned before the neighbor, this means (says Qutb) that ‘these are given precedence over one’s neighbours because their need may be more pressing and_ they must be looked after more immediately. Kindness is then urged towards a neighbour who may be a relation [relative?], and so to any other neighbour. Both takes precedence over friends [al-sahib bi-al-janb], because a neighbour always remains next to us’ (Qutb n.d, 124). Mohammed Knut Bernström’s translation (Asad 1998) takes Asad a step further by simply translating ‘community’ as ‘of same belief or not’ (in Swedish: ‘av samma tro eller inte’). Yūsuf ‘Alī’s translation and commentary was first published in 1934 and has long been one of the most commonly used English versions of the Qur’an. ‘Alle muslimer er brødre, og det som skjer på Gaza setter sinnene våre i kok …’. Aftenposten, 17 Januar 2009. http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/article2872 660.ece (accessed 16 May 2010). ‘Drosjesjåføren Muhammed demonstrerer mot trykking av karikaturer …’. Morgenbladet, 12 February 2010. Rights of brotherhood in Islam. http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename= IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503544842 (accessed 16 May 2010). What is the true concept of brotherhood in Islam? http://www.islamonline.net/ servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE& cid=1119503545426 (accessed 16 May 2010). Kindness to a non-Muslim neighbor, http://www.islamawareness.net/Neighbours/ kindness.html (accessed 16 May 2010).

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37 Islamic Cultural Centre, 14 March 2010. 38 Cf. Reidar Aasgaard’s observations regarding Paul’s use of the notion of brotherhood/siblingship: ‘Paul emphasized notions of harmony among Christian siblings: they were to display the unity expected of members of a family and of siblings. In particular, the emotional element was central: Christians were to harbour positive and strong emotions towards one another’ (Aasgaard 2004, 307). 39 This article was first printed in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 21(4):357–372, October 2010. Re-printed in 2013, in Mona Siddiqui (ed.): The Routledge Reader in Christian-Muslim Relations. London: Routledge 2013, p. 353–369.

References A common word between us and you (ACW). 2007. http://www.acommonword. com/index.php?lang-en&page=option1. Aasgaard, Reidar. 2004. ‘My beloved brothers and sisters!’ Christian siblingship in Paul. London: T&T Clark. abarsī, Abū ‘Alī al-Fadl ibn al-Hasan al-. 1959. Majma‘ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qur’ān. 10 vols. Beirut: Dār Ihyā’ al-Turāth al-‘Arabī. ‘Abduh 1928 ‘Abduh, Muhammad, and Rashīd Ridā. 1928–1948. Tafsīr al-Qur’ān al-hakīm al-shahīr bi-al-Manār. 12 vols. Cairo: Matba‘at al-Manār. Abdul-Jabbar, Ghassan. 2007. Bukhari. London: I.B. Tauris/Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. Abū Dāwūd. n.d. Sunan Abī Dāwūd. http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Hier.asp? Doc=4&n=0. Afsaruddin, Asma. 2009. The hermeneutics of inter-faith relations: retrieving moderation and pluralism as universal principles in qur’anic exegisis. Journal of Religious Ethics 37, no. 2: 331–354. al-Hashimi, Muhammad Ali. 1994. The ideal Muslimah: the true Islamic personality of the Muslim woman as defined in the Qur’an and Sunnah. http:// www.kalamullah.com/Books/The%20Ideal%20Muslimah.pdf. an-Na‘im, Abdullahi Ahmed. 1990. Toward an Islamic reformation: civil liberties, human rights, and international law. New York: Syracuse University Press. Asad, Muhammad. 1998. Koranens budskap. Trans. Mohammed Knut Bernström. Stockholm: Proprius förlag. Asad, Muhammad. 2007. The message of the Quran translated and explained by Muhammad Asad. http://aurthursclassicnovels.com/koran/koran-asad10.html. Bostom, Andrew G., ed. 2008. The legacy of Islamic antisemitism: from sacred texts to solemn history. New York: Prometheus Books. Bukhārī, al-. 1993. Sahih al-Boukhari. Trans. M. Matraji. 9 vols. Beirut: Dar el Fiker. Bukhārī, al-. n.d. Sahih al-Bukhari. Trans. M. Muhsin Khan. http://www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/. Catholic–Muslim Forum. 2008. Final declaration: first seminar of the Catholic–Muslim Forum. http://acommonword.com/en/attachments/108_FinalFinalCommunique.pdf. Duderija, Adis. 2010. Constructing the religious self and the other: neo-traditional Salafi. manhaj. Islam and Christian– Muslim Relations 21, no. 1: 75–93.

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Gibb, H.A.R., and J.H. Kramers, eds. 1991. Shorter encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden: Brill. Guillaume, A. 1996. The life of Muhammad. A translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah. Karachi: Oxford University Press. Ibn ‘Abbās. 2008. Tanwīr al-miqbās min tafsīr Ibn ‘Abbās. Amman: Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, http://www.altafsir.com/Ibn-Abbas.asp. Ibn Kathīr. 2002. Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr. http://tafsir.com. Ibn Manzūr. 1955. Lisān al-‘arab. 4. Beirut: Dār Sādir. Juynboll, G.H.A. 2007. Encyclopedia of canonicalH adīth. Leiden: Brill. Khalidi, Tarif. 2009. Images of Muhammad: narratives of the Prophet in Islam across the centuries. New York: Doubleday. Koselleck, Reinhart. 1985. Futures past: on the semantics of historical time. Trans. K. Tribe. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. Lecerf, J. 2010. art. DJiwār. In EI2. Mahallī, Jalāl al-Dīn al-, and Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūī. 2008. Tafsīr al-Jalālayn. Amman: Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, http://www.altafsir.com/AlJalalayn.asp. Maududi, Sayyid Abul Ala. n.d. Towards understanding the Qur’an (Tafhim alQur’an). Leicester, UK: Islamic Foundation. http://www.islamicstudies.info/ tafheem.php. Moxnes, Halvor. 2003. Putting Jesus in his place: a radical vision of household and kingdom. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. Muslim, Imam. 1993. Sahih Muslim. Trans. M. Matraji. 8 vols. Beirut: Dar el Fiker. Muslim, Imam. n.d. Sahih Muslim. Trans. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui. http:// www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/muslim/. Nawawī, al-. n.d. SahīhMuslim bi-sharh al-Nawawī. http://hadith.al-islam.com/ Display/Display.aspDoc=1&Rec=165. Qutb, Sayyid. n.d. In the shade of the Qur’an. Trans. Adil Salahi. http:// www.kalamullah.com/shade-of-the-quran.html. Tabarī, al-. 1955–. Tafsīr al-T abarī. 8. Cairo: Dār al-Ma‘ārif. Tustarī, Sal al-. 2009. Tafsīr al-Tustarī. Amman: Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. Watt, W. Montgomery 2010. art. Mu’ākhāt. In EI2. Wehr, Hans. 1979. Arabic English dictionary: the Hans Wehr dictionary of modern written Arabic. ed.J.M. Cowan. 4th ed. Ithaca, NY: Spoken Language Services. Williams, Rowan. 2008. A common word for the common good. http:// www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/media/word/2/j/ ACommonWordfortheCommon_Good.doc.

6

The ambiguous jār: Towards a Qurʾanic neighborhood ethics Nora S. Eggen

Introduction Concerned with all aspects of human life, the Qurʾān abounds in descriptions of social relations, guidance on organizing social life, advice for fruitful relationships, and warnings against less felicitous ones. The focus of this article is the Qurʾanic relational concept of the jār, which is semantically complex, although conventionally translated as “neighbor”. What are the delimiting criteria for the jār-hood, or who qualifies as a jār; a next door neighbor, the city dwellers, the family, the group? Are there preferences or restrictions based on affiliations or gender? From an ethical point of view, what are the expectations to and from the jār, and how does one deal with broken expectations? And moreover, what can a jār-hood ethics tell us about the conditions of human life, about the human being qua human? The semantic complexity, along with textual, contextual and exegetical complexities, inspires reflections on a Qurʾānic ethics as well as anthropology and psychology. The concept of the neighbor in Islamic foundational sources, traditions and thought has received some attention in recent scholarly literature. Some scholars have developed the neighborhood as a philosophical idea. For instance, conceptualizing the neighborhood as a politico-ethical concept enabled the Yugoslavian scholar Husein Đozo (d. 1982) to recognize the religiously other as an equal member of society (Dragouni 2015). Safet Bektovic discusses, with reference to the same region, how conflict may pose a challenge to such an optimistic view (Bektovic in this volume). These viewpoints pertain to a trend focusing on interreligious and intercultural relations and the role of a neighborhood ethics in times of conflict. Another trend focuses on the prescriptions and exemplary narratives from the Qurʾān and Prophetic tradition historically articulated in a virtue ethics urging the duties of keeping a good relationship to one’s neighbors through just and generous behavior, conceptualized as “rights/duties of the neighbor” (ḥuqūq al-jār) or “neighborly right/duty” (ḥaqq al-jiwār). Often these two trends, intercultural relations and prescriptive ethics, coincide. Thus, in one of the books born out of the A Common

The ambiguous jār 127 Word-initiative (2007), Habib Ali al-Jifri, Reza Shah-Kazemi, Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Bola Abdul Jabbar Ajibola write on the concept of neighborly rights and duties in Islam in view of the potential for reconciliation between Muslims and Christians (Volf, Bin Talal and Yarrington 2009).1 Similarly, in a discussion on Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions of hospitality, Jayme Reaves holds that contextualized within the Qurʾanic monotheistic framework (tawḥīd), “all of humanity is the Muslim’s neighbor,” (Reaves 2016: 115). Following a similar orientation, but with a historical perspective, Oddbjørn Leirvik investigates how the concept of the neighbor has functioned in discussions on communal solidarity versus universal obligation in Islamic thought, exploring interreligious perspectives and the potential for faith-transcending solidarity (Leirvik 2010 and reprint in this volume). Leirvik’s focus is Q. 4:36, which prescribes benevolence towards, among others, the two categories al-jār dhū l-qurbā and al-jār al-junub. Although Leirvik notes the apparent ambiguity in the semantics and etymology of the word jār (Leirvik 2010, 359), he assumes the common gloss “neighbor” and devotes most of his attention to the way classical and modern interpretations weigh three defining criteria for a neighbor: proximity in locality, kinship, or religion (Leirvik 2010, 361). Notwithstanding the criteria of proximity, equally constitutive of the concept of the neighbor is the boundary between Self and Other. Intermingling in shared spaces is conditioned by maintaining such boundary, although ideally the relationships between the parties are to some extent symmetrical. Inevitably, neither socio-spatial nor imaginative neighborhoods always comply with the ideal, and thus the tie of neighborhood is unavoidably ambiguous and marked by precariousness and uncertainty. The common depiction of the contemporary world as a global village where everybody is each other’s neighbor harbors paradoxes and ambiguities, for instance as pointed out in Slavoj Žižek’s criticism of Emmanuel Levinas’ ethics for excluding the possibility that the neighbor’s face might hide his or her sheer monstrosity (Claviez 2013, 24; 36–37, cf. Žižek 2005, 158). In this article I argue that this form of ambiguity, latent in any given social situation, is contemplated in the Qurʾanic discourse. Moreover, although the word jār is historically and today commonly understood in the semi-technical sense “neighbor”, the Qurʾanic discourse as well as its reception demonstrate an inherent and potent ambiguity of the notion jār, which informs an ethical reflection on what the Qurʾanic concept of the “neighbor” entails and how the moral frames for a Qurʾanic “neighborhood” relation could be construed. I investigate the notion of jār in the Qurʾān synchronically, basing my arguments on lexicographical and interpretational works including translations, as well as other extra-Qurʾanic sources. Unlike previous studies on the topic, I engage several parts of the Qurʾanic discourse and situate the notion of jār and its cognates within different literary and topical contexts in the text. The article follows two trajectories; one mainly concerned with

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semantics and the other with ethics. Other than the before mentioned Q. 4:36, the notion jār occurs once in the Qurʾān (Q. 8:48), and in addition a limited number of derivatives occur in different parts of the Qurʾān. I investigate the semantics of the notion jār, and I discuss in what ways the derivatives shed light on the semantic import of the main notion, and on a conceptualization of the jār and jār-hood. Adding to the textual richness is also an instance of alterative readings (qirāʾāt) of a Qurʾanic expression, which we will see has a certain interpretational import and thereby adding to the conceptual complexity. Furthermore, I argue that the inherent ambiguity of the notion, together with relevant material in the Qurʾān and the interpretational literature, stimulates an ethical reflection beyond the prescriptive level of neighborly rights. Thus, the ambiguity of the Qurʾanic jār is in this article examined from a semantic, conceptual, textual, literary, interpretational, and ethical point of view. My aim is not to disambiguate the notion of the jār nor to reach a conclusive understanding of the term in general, but rather to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the many-faceted category and role of the jār in the Qurʾanic ethical discourse.

The semantics of jār Early Arabic lexicographical literature insists on a morphologically based derivational semantics, starting from, or originating in, the consonantal root letters of the words. According to Ibn Fāris (d. 1004), the word jār derives from one origin in the consonantal root j-w-r, which he holds carry a basic semantic content “tilting, bending”, or “deviating from the path” (al-mayl ʿan al-ṭarīq) (Ibn Fāris 1979, 1:493). Ibn Fāris also mentions that this may be a case of an interchangeable first consonant root, so that it shares the origin with the root k-w-r, with the meaning to “round up and gather” (dawrin wa-tajammuʿ, Ibn Fāris 1979, 5:146). Another, although lesser, possibility is that jār derives from j-ʾ-r, with the meaning to make a sound, or to cry (for help) (Ibn Fāris 1979, 1:493) (cf. Q. 16:53; 23:64–65). al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī (d. 11th century) establishes a relation with jār to jawr in the sense of deviation from justice (ʿudūl), and to the cognate active participle al-jāʾir “someone who forbids commitment to what the divine norm prescribes” (allādhī yamnaʿu min iltizāmi mā yaʾmuru bihi l-sharʿ) (cf. Q. 16:9) (al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī 1998, 92). However, he understands the word jār in the general sense of proximity (al-qurb), and as a technical term with the semantic extension “someone living close by” (man yaqruba maskanuhu minka). al-Rāghib also remarks that this is a reciprocal noun, in that a person is only someone else’s jār if that someone is his own jār, in the same way as the words akh (brother) or ṣadīq (friend) (al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī 1998, 91). This observation points to the reciprocal, more or less symmetrical relationship between the two parties in this particular type of relation, at least in principal. The jār is in principal an equal, not only in humanity but also in situation.

The ambiguous jār 129 In a more elaborate discussion, the lexicographer Ibn Manẓūr (d.1311) holds that the noun jār (pl. ajwār, jīra, jīrān) derives from the stem I verb jāra (root j-w-r) with the basic meaning “inclining” (māla) and relates to jawr “violating justice” (nafīḍ al-ʿadl), or “deviation” (ḍidd al-qaṣd). In its stem III jāwara it takes on the meaning of “being close to”, and the noun jār derives from this form, with the meaning “someone who seeks protection with you”, or the more technical sense “the one that is close to you house to house” (man yujāwiruka bayta bayta) (Ibn Manẓūr 1999, 2:413–4). Ibn Manẓūr provides a list of semantic extensions for the word, some with and others without qualifying adjectives, among them are the interfering jār who is a stranger (al-jār al-nafīḥ), a property partner (sharīk fil-ʿaqār), a sharing partner (muqāsim), an ally (ḥalīf), supporter (nāṣir), business partner (sharīk fil-tijāra), a wife for a husband and a husband for a wife (imraʾat al-rajul wa-huwa jāruhā), a woman’s private parts (faraj al-marʾa), whatever is close to the house (mā qaruba l-manzil mina l-sāḥil), a hypocrite (munāfiq), an envious person (al-ḥasdalī), a multi-shaded person (albarāqishī). From this survey is we gather that the notion jār has several denotations as well as metaphorical connotations and semantic extensions. More importantly, this catalogue of idioms demonstrate a linguistic awareness that the next-door neighbor or nearby individual may indeed act in both positive or negative ways, which evokes the banal yet timely observation of the volatile, as well as ambiguous nature of the factual neighbor relationship. Ibn Manẓūr remarks that the basic sense of the word is closeness and help, and the quasi-active participle jār has the double meaning of both someone asking for help and someone extending help (allādhi yastajīru wa-lladhī yujīru) (Ibn Manẓūr 1999, 2:415). Thus, who holds which of these two positions in any given relationship is also ambiguous and context dependent. One may note that although there exists a feminine form jāra, the masculine form jār is by definition also gender inclusive (taghlīb). Only in the sense of “the private parts” we find a gender specific usage for the word, according to Ibn Manẓūr. It has on an etymological basis been argued that there is a linguistic ambiguity in the root meaning of j-w-r, related to the potential tension entailed in outsiders, such as invited guests or neighbors, becoming insiders. Or, as Leirvik remarks, “[n]eighborly ambivalence seems thus to belong to the very etymology of jār” (Leirvik 2010, 359, with reference to Lecerf 2019). The shared Semitic tripartite root j-w-r or double root j-r has produced words related to notions such as a “stranger” (Heb. gēr), “foreigner” (Syr. giyūrāʾ), “dweller” (Aram. gūr), “client” (Ph. gr) and “foreign resident” (Ug. gr) (Zammit 2002:129). J. Lecerf dismisses the Arabic lexicographers’ view that the basic meaning “to stay in the house of a host” is related to “to deviate” in some sense, but holds, with a reference to Theodor Nöldeke, that the Arabic jār “a protected client”, coincides with and has the same juridical sense as the Hebrew concept gēr “one protected

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by the clan or community” (Lecerf 2019). Lecerf also notes in this connection that there is an “almost universal semantic link between ‘foreigner, enemy’ (cf. Latin hostis) and ‘guest, client’”. However, although Nöldeke in the referred work states that he builds his account of autoantonyms on the linguist Ibn al-Anbārī (d. 1181) (Nöldeke 1910, 67), he does not refer to Ibn al-Anbārī in his discussion on the particular word jār, nor is there any reference to jār in Ibn al-Anbārī’s work ([Ibn] al-Anbārī 1987). Neither do other works of aḍḍād register jār as an autoantonym. But Nöldeke notes that this noun may refer to both the protector and the protected, which, he proposes, should be understood as two adjacent and reciprocal senses rather than autoantonyms (Nöldeke 1910, 73). Thus, the ambiguity here should not be ascribed to opposite meanings inherent to the word, but rather to the polysemantic lexical relation.

The distribution of j-w-r in the Qurʾān In a work in a lexicographical genre dedicated to the Qurʾanic vocabulary, the wujūh-literature, several different aspects of meaning is identified for the Qurʾanic derivatives listed under jār (al-Dāmaghānī 2003, 154–5). Other than what al-Dāmaghānī (d. 1085) gloss “the proper sense of adjacent” (almujāyir bi-ʿaynihi) in Q. 4:36, there is a quasi-active participle jār in the sense of helping in Q. 8:48. We will shortly return to these two only verses where the noun jār itself occurs. In addition, al-Dāmaghānī lists the active participle jāʾir (stem I) in the sense of “deviating” in Q. 16:9. There are also verbs in the sense of “seeking protection” (istajāra, stem X) and “providing protection” (ajāra, stem IV) in an inter-human relation in Q. 9:6. In some verses there is a verb in the respectively active and passive voice in context to God’s judgement, decree, or protection (ajāra, stem IV, Q. 23:88, 46:31, 67:28, 72:22). A stem III verb “remain close to” or “remain neighbor to” (lā yujāwirūnaka fī-hā, Q. 33:60), and an active participle meaning “adjacent”, used about plots of land (wa-fil-arḍi qiṭun mutajāwirāt, Q. 13:4), are not mentioned in al-Dāmaghānī‘s work. However, two more notions are listed under jār, which probably derive from different roots: the verb jaʾara “make a sound” or “cry (for help)” (root j-ʾ-r, stem I, cf. Q. 16:53; 23:64–65) and several verb and nouns derived from j-r-y with the sense floating, sailing (as al-jāriyāt Q. 51:3; al-jawār Q. 55:24) (al-Dāmaghānī 2003, 154–5). While the polysemantic nature of the Arabic language provides Qurʾanic commentators with ample opportunity for reflection, translators face the challenge of having to make a choice, which more often than not disambiguate the vocabulary. Translation choice concerns both the distribution of morphologically and/or semantically related vocabulary and translation of the vocabulary within a singular passage. Although most translators will negotiate different solutions, the overall choice stands between a coherent word- or root-meaning based translation strategy,

The ambiguous jār 131 and a co-textually based polysemantic translation strategy. In A concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic, Arne A. Ambros subscribes to the first strategy and provides vocabulary translations mostly pertaining to a uniform root meaning. However, in the case of the root j-w-r, Ambros suggests translations related to respectively “neighbor” and “protection” (Ambros and Procházka 2004:65). The Arabic-English Dictionary of Qurʾanic Usage by Elsaid M. Badawi and Muhammad Abdel Haleem, recommends a translation strategy taking the textual and narrative context in the Qurʾān into consideration, which produced vocabulary translations related to “neighborhood”, “protection”, “deviation”, and “adjacent” (Badawi and Abdel Haleem 2008: 181–2, cf. Abdel Haleem 2018). These observations demonstrate a keen interest in Islamic scholarly traditions for researching and discussing both the morphological and semantic aspects of the lexicon. We find a twofold tendency: to collect as many connotations and uses of the vocabulary as possible and to bring those differences together and organize them in semantic fields. Scholars were interested in identifying certain morphologic characteristics, but equally eager to document the great variety both in lexical meaning and in use. In terms of our concept of interest, the jār, the semanticists bring together ideas related to proximity on one hand and to support on the other, at the same time as they acknowledge varieties and other possibilities. The semantic ambiguity and polysemantic potential in the word jār with derivatives, seems to reside not only in different co-textually determined meanings, but there is a latent ambiguous potential in the notion itself. The jār may be a helper as well as someone receiving help, or someone close who may be of benefit, as well as the opposite. Likewise, this semantic excursus has illustrated the ambiguity in the fluidity between ideas of basic semantic content in a word, its rhetorical potentials and its relation to a technical nomenclature.

Neighborliness and asylum Two technical terms denominating specific ethico-legal concepts represent this double meaning formation in specific ways. The first is the concept jiwār, explained as “neighborliness” and considered a legal as well as an ethical term, and the second is ijāra, explained as “protection” or “asylum”. According to the reference work al-Maswsūʿa al-fiqhiyya, the legal term jiwār does not exceed the general lexical meaning, and denotes the double meaning of “cohabitation” and “contract and safety” (al-ʿahd wa-aman), in addition to the more specified semantic extension “seclusion in the mosque” (al-musākina, al-mulāṣiqa wal-iʿtikāf fil-masjid). The noun jār likewise carries two meanings “cohabiter” and “partner” (sharīk) either in renting, in trade, in marriage or in alliance (al-Maswsūʿa al-fiqhiyya 1989,16:216). In fiqh a host of regulations are discussed with regards to the neighborhood and legal neighborly rights, such as regulations for house

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construction with a view to privacy protection (ḥifẓ ḥurmat al-jār), preemption rights (al-shufʿa), and rights to dispose shared spaces like the street and shared resources like water (al-Maswsūʿa al-fiqhiyya 1989, 16:217–226). Who is a jār in the sense of cohabiter or neighbor in legal terms? Various legal traditions provide different answers. According to the shāfīʿī definition based on a Prophetic ḥadīth from Abū Hurayra, the neighborhood reaches forty houses to all sides (Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī no year, 10:447). The number forty is a recurrent number in the ḥadīth literature, but, as in this particular case, it is not always clear whether it refers representatively to “plentiful” or determinatively to the concrete number (Alavi 1983). In mālikī thought, the neighbor is someone living next door, or separated by a narrow alley only, or someone adherent to the same small mosque, unless custom (ʿurf) dictates otherwise. According to this view, the broader neighborhood of forty houses in all directions is an entity for general respect and protection (ihtirām, dafʿ al-ḍarar), not one of more specific legal rights such as pre-emption. Ibn Ḥanbal stipulated that the range was thirty houses (Ibn Ḥanbal 1981, 384), while Abū Ḥanīfa held that the jār is “a person whose house adjoins someone’s house” (al-Maswsūʿa al-fiqhiyya 1989, 16:217). There is also another definition based on shouting distance, and later ḥanafī scholars defined a neighborhood as those who belong geographically to the same mosque. The second ethico-legal term is ijāra, which refers to an age-old institution of granting protection.2 In this context, jār enters into a semantic field with other technical terms like the double sensed mawlā, denoting both patron and client, the reciprocal ḥalīf, denoting both parties in an alliance, and a host of singular sense terms such as dakhīl (stranger asking for protection), ḍayf (guest), dhimmī (a permanently and group affiliation based protected person), and mustaʾman (protected person) (Günther 2019, Hallaq 2009, 332–3). Abou El Fadl suggests in an article on migration, that the ethical impulse in the ijāra institution may be elevated to the status of a right in legal terms (cf. amān), although he admits the question needs further investigation (Abou El Fadl 2020, 19–20). Taher Zaman argues in a similar vein with the concept of jiwār (Zaman 2020). Nevertheless, a lexical connection between the concepts is established in the Qurʾān, with verbs pointing to the party seeking protection (istajāra, stem X) and the party providing protection (ajāra, stem IV), and the noun “safe space” (maʾmana): If any one of the polytheists should seek your protection (istajāraka), grant it to him (fa-ajirhu) so that he may hear the word of God – then take him to a safe space (maʾmana) – for they are a people with no knowledge. (Q. 9:6, transl. Abdel Haleem 20043) The wording in Q. 9:6 echoes a narration referring an incident in the earlier Medinian period, involving Zaynab bint Muḥammad and her husband Abū

The ambiguous jār 133 l-ʿĀṣ al-Rabīʿ. Ibn Hishām narrates in his sīra how Zaynab had become a Muslim in Mecca and followed her father, the Prophet, to Medina short time after the battle at Badr (2/624), while her husband stayed behind in Mecca without embracing Islam. Returning from a trading trip to Syria, Abū l-ʿĀṣ was raided on the outskirts of Medina, upon which he came into the town to look up the raiders. In order to stay safely in Medina, he asked his estranged, but not divorced, wife Zaynab to grant him protection, and so she did (fa-stajāra bihā fa-ajārathu). As people went out to pray the next morning, Zaynab announced to everyone that she had taken Abū l-ʿĀṣ into her protection (innī qad ajartu aba l-ʿāṣi bni l-rabīʿ), and the Prophet endorsed her ijāra with the words: “The meanest Muslim can give protection of their behalf (innahu yujīru ʿala l-muslimīna adnāhum),” (Ibn Isḥāq no year, 1:357–8, cf. transl. in Ibn Isḥāq 2004, 316–7). The sentence, which has the form of a general ethico-legal maxim, is in the grammatical masculine form, yet as both the Zaynab narrative and other narratives demonstrate, the institution is gender neutral and the right to extend this guarantee belonged to all members of the Muslim community (Abou El Fadl 2020, 20). Irrespectively of the particularities of the Zaynab narrative, the notion jār refers reciprocally to both the protecting and the protected person. In this particular instance, however, although there is a situationally based asymmetrical relation, the two parties are interrelated in very specific ways. As seen above, the word jār is used reciprocally both for a husband’s wife and a wife’s husband, and both senses “being close” and “extending protection” are within the range of the semantic content of the word. Consequently, there may be a subtle note on marital ethics built into this use of the word: As jār the spouse remains Other, not to be mistaken for Self, with reference to marriage in the Qurʾān being described as a solemn covenant (mīthāqān ghalīẓan, Q. 4:20). Although the literature does not provide us with reports indicating the historical circumstances (asbāb al-nuzūl) of the particular verse Q. 9:6, sūra 9 al-tawba as a whole was probably one of the latest Medinian sūras, and it is often discussed in thematic terms as related to the politics of peace and war (Takim 2011, Afsaruddin 2013:88–90). The Qurʾān commentator alZamakhsharī (d. 1144) notes that Q. 9:6 refers to a particular kind of situation, where there is no formal treaty already stipulated (lā ʿahda baynaka wa-baynahu wa-lā mīthāq) and where the request for protection is connected to the opportunity for the individual “to listen to the monotheistic faith (tawḥīd) and the Qurʾān you invite him to accept” (alZamakhsharī 1995, 2:240). al-Rāzī (d. 1210) notes the same, and emphasizes that the initiative for this type of protection should be on the person seeking shelter, who in this way may secure himself from being taken prisoner or being killed in battle (al-Rāzī 2009, 15:181). As it is this individual’s ignorance which prevents him from accepting the faith (cf. Q. 9:6 “for they are a people with no knowledge”), this form of asking for protection is in al-Rāzī’s reading not only related to an immediate physical

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danger, but also to a possible spiritual growth. Incidentally, al-Rāzī uses this opportunity to discuss the nature of the Qurʾān, as well as to extend a warning against (blind) imitation (taqlīd) in matters of faith. The importance of the ijāra in this context lays in the opportunity for the individual to decide on the matter of faith (al-Rāzī 2009, 15:182). After the person has been given the opportunity to listen and learn, he will be brought back to his people, to what is a safe place (maʾmana) for him, whereupon it will again be permitted to engage in battle with him and his people (al-Rāzī 2009, 15:183). Liyakat N. Takim holds that this may also be construed as an example of the Qurʾanic tolerance. Extending protection to strangers who openly declare idolatry indicates a vision of a diverse community that was united under common moral values (Takim 2011, 141). The jār-hood protection in this context was, however, understood by the exegetes as both individual and situational.

The jār in the Qurʾanic social web of beneficiaries The Qurʾanic guidance on social relations is sometimes offered in the form of exemplary, warning or illustrative narrative, and at other times ordained in prescriptive language as for instance in the form of entitlement lists. As pointed out by Todd Lawson (2014:68–71), a number of lists emerges from a reading of the Qurʾān, and the rhetorical figure of listing (enumeratio) is also a recurrent literary device in the text. Thus lists of social relations may be systematically deduced from the text, but several lists of beneficiaries entitled to charitable acts also occur as given in the text. I suggest these lists to be conceptualized as a category of beneficiary entitlement lists. Although these lists include different types of relations, the common denominator is that the relationships are morally defined by one party being instructed to grant another party a charitable act, provided the beneficiary belongs to a certain category. The modes of charity involve either material or moral support, or both. Eight beneficiary entitlement lists (Q. 2:83; 2:177; 2:215; 4.36; 9:60; 16:90; 17:26; 30:38) include all in all 15 categories of beneficiaries, which may be further systematized in four overall groups or categories based on the type of entitlement. The first category is characterized by holding genealogical relations but not necessarily having any specific needs, such as parents (al-wālidayn) and relatives (dhū l-qurbā) (Q. 2:83; 2:177; 2:215; 4.36; 16:90; 17:26; 30:38).4 The second category consists of individuals who by default are in need of protection or aid because of their personal situation, including the orphan (al-yatāma), the needy (al-misākīn), the poor (al-fuqarāʾ), the traveller (ibn al-sabīl), the beggar (al-sāʾil), the slave in order to ransom him (fil-riqāb), the debtors (al-ghārimīn), and “who your right hands possess” (wa-mā malakat aymānukum) (Q. 2:83; 2:177; 2:215; 4:36; 9:60; 17:26; 30:38). The third category are individuals who by virtue of their function merit a form of compensation, but who are not necessarily in need, including those

The ambiguous jār 135 who work to collect the alms (al-ʿāmilīna ʿalayhā), those “whose hearts are brought together” (al-muʾallafati qulūbihim), and those striving “in God’s way” (fī sabīli llāhi) (Q. 9:60). This leaves us with a fourth category consisting in three subcategories whose entitlement is neither based on kindred responsibility (although as we shall see, there is a possibility for this interpretation), nor of any specific need or merit: al-jār dhū l-qurbā, al-jār aljunub, and the companion at your side (al-ṣāḥib bil-janb) (Q. 4:36). We may note that these three subcategories stand out for being specified as beneficiaries entitled to good treatment (iḥsān), although the relation between the benefactor and the beneficiary is neither necessarily permanent and innate such as kin, nor necessarily a non-symmetrical relation, be it temporary or changing. These three subcategories of beneficiaries are not by default disadvantaged. What seems to be their common distinctive mark is the physical, social or moral proximity, and that all three categories in principle are voluntary and temporary relations, and balanced in terms of the situations of the parties. However, even if principally voluntary and provisional, there is potentially an ambiguity in these kinds of relationships born out of the particular social situation.

The differentiated jār in Q. 4:36 A major concern in the commentary literature has been the two categories of the jār, each qualified by an explaining element: al-jār dhū l-qurbā and aljār al-junub, and the question of who these categories refer to. Together with the expression “the companion at your [lit. the] side” (al-ṣāḥib biljanb), these three qualified nouns make up the fourth of the Qurʾanic beneficiary entitlement groups identified above. In the early exegetical traditions several solutions are suggested, and as we will see, these are reiterated in the classical exegetical literature as well as in contemporary translations. Summing up the interpretational opinions of many early authorities, among them companions of the Prophet such as ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, Mujāhid, Ibn ʿAbbās, and al-Ḍaḥḥāk, al-Ṭabarī (d. 923) holds that al-jār dhū l-qurbā refers to the relative, who in this way becomes doubly entitled to good treatment; both as a neighbor (jār) and as kin (qarāba and raḥim) (al-Ṭabarī 2009, 4:80–1). He discusses two other options, conveyed by lesser authorities. The first option is a shared religious affiliation (al-jāru dhū l-qurbā minkum bil-islāmi), transmitted from Nawf al-Bikalī, one of ʿAlī’s attendants. However, al-Ṭabarī argues exegetically on grammatical grounds that this interpretation must be rejected because it does not corroborate with the idiom of the Arabs. The other option is transmitted from Maymūn b. Mahrān (d. 735), that the expression al-jār dhū l-qurbā should refer to the neighbor of the relative. This option would certainly solve the puzzle of why the category of the relative seems to be mentioned twice in this list of beneficiaries. However, again al-Ṭabarī dismisses this option because of the

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grammatical inconsistency. The genitive dhī l-qurbā can grammatically only be an attribute to al-jāri and not belong to any other syntactical category. If Maymūn’s suggestion was to be correct, the text would have had to read wa-jārundhū l-qurbā with jār in the indefinite inflection, and this is obviously not in accordance with any of the accepted readings, al-Ṭabarī holds (al-Ṭabarī 2009, 4:80–1). Complementary to al-jār dhū l-qurbā as the neighbor relative, and based on a number of early authorities, such as ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, Mujāhid, Ibn ʿAbbās, al-Ḍaḥḥāk, Qatāda, Ibn Suddī, and Ibn Zayd, al-Ṭabarī holds that the second category, al-jār al-junub, is the jār who is not a relative (alṬabarī 2009, 4:82–3). Again, the interpretation involving religious affiliation is dismissed because it does not conform to the idiom of the Arabs and because the preferred interpretation is logically juxtaposing the interpretation of al-jār dhū l-qurbā as the neighbor relative. Consequently, in alṬabarī’s view, al-jār al-junub is the non-related (gharīb) neighbor, whether Muslim or polytheist (mushrik), Jew or Christian. The qualifying element al-junub derives from the root j-n-b with, according to Ibn Fāris (1979, 1:483), a twofold root meaning: a “position closely adjacent side” (nāhiya), or to the contrary, “distance” (buʿd). The latter semantic content has among others the semantic extension janāba referring to the state of major ritual impurity, which occasions distance from several religious rituals (al-Rāzī 2009, 10:78). In a canonical alternative reading (qirāʾa mutawātira), attested by al-Mufaḍḍal and transmitted from ʿĀṣim, the expression reads wal-jāri l-janbi (al-Rāzī 2009, 10:78), which entail a more conclusive meaning of nearness, and al-Rāzī suggests, without preferring one over the other, that this reading entails two possible meaning, the first related to proximity (al-nāḥiya) and the second to the rhetorical figure of exaggeration (mubālagha). As noted above, proximity is already considered to be intrinsic to the notion of jār, and it would seem superfluous to add more semantic content of the same kind. However, if jār is understood in the sense of cohabiter, it makes perfectly sense to differentiate between close and far. al-Zamakhsharī notes two possible interpretations: either related versus non-related neighbor, or geographically close versus distant neighbor (alladhī qaruba jiwārahu versus alladhī jiwāruhu baʿīdun). He does not offer his own conclusion, but he remarks that the first interpretation may be argued as a case of specification (takhṣīṣ), with reference to the category of dhū l-qurbā earlier in the verse, in the same way as “the middle prayer” (ṣalat al-wusṭā) is a specification of “the prayers” (al-ṣalawāt) in 2:238 (al-Zamakhsharī 1995, 1:498). al-Rāzī also refers to different views, among them the view that al-jār dhū l-qurbā has a house close by, and the al-jār al-junub farther away, or that al-jār dhū l-qurbā is kin living close by and the al-jār al-junub is a stranger (al-Rāzī 2009, 10:78). He discusses the “common idea” that the jār is someone located within the vicinity, and refers the ḥadīth stipulating it to

The ambiguous jār 137 forty houses in all directions. However, in his discussion on who falls under the definition of jār generally, al-Rāzī also refers to Q. 33:60 as an intraQurʾanic reference to assert that anyone within the same city must be considered a neighbor. al-Rāzī does not endorse these references as a valid argument for limiting the concept of jār to a technical definition, and he argues that the word must rather be understood in its basic semantic meaning: The linguistic meaning of jār is “vicinity” (mujāwir), and by extension “protection”. The one sought for protection may be a business partner, a husband for a wife and vice versa, an ally, or a supporter (al-Rāzī 2009, 10:78, cf. Ibn Manẓūr above). The Qurʾanic ethics of the jār is in Q. 4:36 framed by a general command to worship God, and is integrated into a broader beneficiary entitlement list with a number of other categories. In the approximately fifty English translations I have consulted, all have preferred the English word “neighbor” as translation for jār, but the two categories al-jār dhū l-qurbā and al-jār l-junub are to some extent represented differently, respectively opting for generic or exegetical interpretations, as in the following examples: “Worship God; join nothing with Him. Be good to your parents (bilwālidayni iḥsānan), to relatives (wa-bi-dhī l-qurbā), to orphans (walyatāmā), to the needy (wal-masākīni), to neighbours near and far (wal-jāri dhī l-qurbā wal-jāri l-junubi), [and to the companion at your side (wal5 ṣāḥibi bil-janbi) ], and to the travellers in need (wa-ibni l-sabīli), and to your slaves (wa-mā malakat aymānukum). God does not like arrogant, boastful people,” (Q. 4:36, transl. Abdel Haleem 2004). “To parents is owed kindness, as also to relatives, to orphans, to the needy, to a neighbour who is a relative, to a neighbour who is a stranger, to a companion by your side, to a traveller and to your slaves …” (Q. 4:36, transl. Khalidi 2008). “And do good to your parents, and near of kin, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the neighbour from among your own people, and the neighbour who is a stranger, to the friend by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom you rightfully possess …” (Q. 4:36, transl. Asad 1980). Although all translators interpret the notion al-jār as “neighbor”, there is a certain variance for the interpretation of the two subcategories al-jār dhū l-qurbā and al-jār l-junub. Abdel Haleem translated generically and with the qualifying elements understood as referring to proximity in locality: “to neighbours near and far”. Khalidi, on the other hand, choses the most specific interpretation among the three translators, understanding the qualifying adjectives in terms of kinship: “to a neighbour who is a relative, to a neighbour who is a stranger”. Finally, Asad opts for an exegetical, yet wide understanding where the difference between the two categories is one of proximity in a broad sense of either kinship or community: “the neighbour from among your own people, and the neighbour who is a

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stranger”. However, none of the consulted translations accentuate religious affiliations in their interpretation. In an explanatory note, Asad equates “people” with “community” and alludes with reference to a ḥadīth to difference in faith as a possible interpretation.

The ṣāḥib as beneficiary The categories in this Qurʾanic beneficiary entitlement group are all grammatically in the masculine gender, but, in accordance with the economy of the Qurʾānic rhetoric, semantically gender inclusive.6 This is also true for the third category, al-ṣāḥib bil-janb (Q. 4:36). The notion of ṣāḥib (pl. aṣḥāb) is abundant in the Qurʾān, but this is the only time the ṣāḥib is mentioned as an entitled beneficiary. The basic semantics of the notion of ṣāḥib is, according to Ibn al-Fāris (1979, 3:335), related to closeness. It has various semantic developments and extensions among others denoting different kinds of relations in which temporality and voluntariness as well as loyalty and commitment are considered important factors; relationships such as friendship, discipleship, companionship, and affiliation (Heindrichs 2020, Chamberlain 2002, 120–2). The qualifying prepositional expression bil-janb likewise entails a semantic content connected to proximity. The category of al-ṣāḥib bil-janb is according to al-Ṭabarī flexible and inclusive. With reference to different authorities, the ones listed above as well as others, he lists six possible interpretations in what he asserts is a non-exhaustive list: a companion (rafīq), a travelling companion (al-rafīq fil-safar), a wife (al-imraʾa), a sound friend (al-rafīq al-ṣāliḥ), a room-mate (alladhī maʿka fī manzilik), an adherent requiring your assistance (mulāzim), or anyone who stands by your side, emphasizing the moral responsibility and well as reciprocity in such a relationship (al-Ṭabarī 2009 4:83–5). In addition to these possible interpretations, al-Rāzī suggests to include that the expression al-ṣāḥib bil-janb may refer to anyone who accompanies you in studying for knowledge, in training for crafts or in seeking trade (al-Rāzī 2009, 10:78). It’s worth noting that al-Ṭabarī choses as a gloss the gender specific noun imraʾa (woman, female spouse), rather than the gender inclusive zawj (spouse), and without specifying a reciprocal potential such as the one we saw above in the gloss of jār as including both a wife for a husband and a husband for a wife. However, al-Ṭabarī does not refer to the grammatically feminine inflection ṣāḥiba either. This, I hold, is connected to the particular usage of this notion in the Qurʾān. In one context God (masculine form) is described by not having offspring and conjugal relations (child and (feminine) spouse (walad, ṣāḥiba), Q. 6:101 and 72:3), while the other is describing the human being (al-marʾ, masculine form) as isolated from mundane social relations on Judgement day (with masculine pronoun: his brother, his mother, his father, his (feminine) spouse, his children (akhihi,

The ambiguous jār 139 ummihi, abīhi, ṣāḥibatihi, banīhi), Q. 70:11–12 and 80:34–36). In spite of the Tabarian gloss, and in spite of the grammatical form, the Qurʾanic usage of ṣāḥib in Q. 4:36 should not be construed as gendered, nor should the usage of ṣāḥiba in Q. 6:101; 72:3; 70:12; 80:36. Rather the distribution here reflects three conceptualizations: related to the realm of the divine, to the ultimate human condition of solitude, and to the social human condition of temporary community. al-Ṭabarī addresses in connection to 4:36 this third, communal conceptualization, and his glossing ṣāḥib, admittedly in a non-exhaustive list, by the gendered notion “wife” (imraʾa) may reflect a societal concern of a certain gendered distribution between the benefactor and the beneficiary, and thereby to impress the obligation upon the husband to treat the wife well (bil-iḥsān). This could be understood in view of the literary context revolving around marital ethics generally and male authority in particular (cf. Q. 4:34).

The literary context of Q. 4:36 The beneficiary entitlement prescription in Q. 4:36 is in sūra 4 al-Nisāʾ integrated into a larger catalogue of admonitions and prescriptions, and except the two jārs and the companion, all categories from the beneficiary entitlement list are further considered in the same sūra. Immediately preceding is a normative passage with a series of instructions concerning financial matters, including inheritance regulations, property management for orphans, and regulations of marital life including monetary perspectives (Q. 4:2–35). The good treatment of the beneficiaries is in Q. 4:36 prescribed by the notion iḥsān, and the immediate following verses warns against miserliness (bukhl) and urges people to spend from the bounties God have bestowed upon them (rizq) (Q. 4:37–40). This seems to suggest that iḥsān here should be understood in material terms. However, there is nothing inherently material about the concept of iḥsān, with its semantic content related to both “beauty” and “good” (Ibn Fāris 1979 2:57–8). It is a broad and versatile ethical concept encompassing both material and immaterial kindness and beneficence, with both spiritual and socio-ethical aspects, within the Qurʾanic discourse as well as in the broader tradition (Shah 2020). We have in the preceding discussion considered the question of who are the beneficiaries regarding neighborly charity, but who are the benefactors? At whom is the Qurʾanic command directed? In terms of material resources there is an obvious difference, although potentially situational and changing, between the have and the have-nots, but in terms of good treatment and proper behavior the differences are not that obvious. In terms of group affiliation or personal motivation, it seems like the appellative imperative address in Q 4:36 and sūra 4 al-nisāʾ generally, with its prescriptive specificities and with the general framing of God fearing piety, is directed at the believers (cf. Gwynne 2004). Sūra 4 al-Nisāʾ is introduced

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by an inclusive vocative directing its message at “people” or “mankind” (yā ayyuhā l-nās, Q. 4:1), and it ends on the same note (Q. 4:174–5). The main body of the sūra with its series of specific admonitions, is most often directed at a plural “you”, sometimes in combination with a vocative address “oh, believers” (yā ayyuhā lladhīna āmanū, Q. 4: 19, 43, 59, 71, 94, 135, 136), or “oh, people of the book” (ahl al-kitāb, Q. 4: 47, 171). With its universal claim and ambition, the Qurʾān clearly addresses mankind just as often as it addresses specific groups and communities. The verse Q. 4:36 stands out in terms of its more general ethical admonition compared to the surrounding detailed prescribtions. Moreover, it is not introduced by any particular address, rather it is introduced with an appellative imperative to serve God (iʿbudū llāha) and worship him alone (wa-lātushrikū bihi shayʾan), evoking the fundamental Qurʾanic idea of tawḥīd – God’s oneness (cf. Reaves 2016). As the entitled jār may be of any category, and the jār is an inherently reciprocal notion, it follows that the Qurʾanic admonition to treat the jār right is part of a universal Qurʾanic ethics.

The Qurʾanic and the extra-Qurʾanic jār The concept of the jār and an ethics of jār-hood is frequently reiterated in extra- and post-Qurʾanic ethical discourse. In ḥadīth literature, prescriptions regarding the jār occur, inter alia, under subheadings such as honoring (ikrām) the jār, prohibiting damage (taḥrīm īdhāʾ) to the jār, or generally as the rights of the jār (ḥaqq al-jār or ḥaqq al-jiwār). We have already seen that there are legal terms connected to the institution of neighborhood. However, in the ḥadīth literature these prescriptions often fall under the general ethical category and literary genre of proper conduct (adab), and many of these narrations are gathered in al-Bukhārī’s book al-Adab almufrad (al-Bukhārī 1996, 33–9). Likewise, the two virtue ethics writers Ibn Abī l-Dunyā (d. 894) and al-Kharāʾiṭī (d. 939) introduce lists of practically oriented virtues which include expressions like “good neighborliness” (ḥusn al-jiwār) or “respecting the neighbor” (tadhammum lil-jār). One example is the following list, transmitted from the Prophet’s wife ʿĀʾisha: “The noble dispositions (makārim al-akhlāq) are ten: truthfulness in speech, truthfulness in the fortitude of obeying God, giving to the suppliant, repaying good deeds, keeping ties of kinship, fulfilling the trust, respecting (tadhammum) the jār, protecting the right of the companion, hospitality to guests, and the foremost one is modesty,” (Ibn Abī l-Dunyā 1989, 41; al-Kharāʾiṭī 1999, 53, cf. Eggen 2021). In Prophetic tradition and early works on social ethics, the notion jār is used in a self-explanatory and commonsensical manner, which suggests that the gloss “neighbor” was commonly acknowledged. Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 1449) explains in his ḥadīth-commentary that the most common sense of the word in these contexts is “cohabiter” or “next-door neighbor” (almujāwir fil-dār), while in some circumstances it takes on the more specific

The ambiguous jār 141 sense “protected individual” (al-dākhil fil-jiwār) (Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī no year, 10:442). In the ḥadīth and other early sources, respecting, protecting and helping the neighbor is not only strongly recommended as a socioethical value and virtue, but it is connected to true belief and to the final reckoning. Furthermore, the individual property of these virtues is emphasized, and they are neither inherited nor conditioned by socially defined characteristics such as age or social position. The Qurʾanic distinction between al-jār dhū l-qurbā and al-jār al-junub is in these texts only introduced when commenting upon the Qurʾanic concept of jār-hood. However, certain narrations and reports differentiate between neighbors on account of their communal affiliation. Thus, in a Prophetic ḥadīth transmitted from his companion Jābir b. ʿAbd Allāh (d. 697), three types of jār are listed, each with a specified set of rights. All neighbors have “one right” (ḥaqq wāḥid), the Muslim neighbor has a double right, and the Muslim and blood related neighbor has a triple right (Ibn Ḥajar alʿAsqalānī no year, 10:442). Ibn Ḥajar asserts that the unqualified noun jār already includes the Muslim and the non-believer, the obedient and the transgressor, the friend and the foe, the foreigner and the fellow villager, the kin and the stranger, the close and the far, the constructive and the destructive. They all have rights as neighbors, although Ibn Ḥajar admits them different degrees of rights according to their category. However, neither of these categorizations coincide with the two Qurʾanic categories, and they are not conceptualized in separate notions. In these reports the concept of jār is primary, while the differentiating qualifications are subordinate and secondary. The question remains whether the Qurʾanic differentiated jār-hood entails essentially different categories or degrees of jār-hood obligations, based in differences in location, kinship, or affiliation. The extra-Qurʾanic undifferentiated concept of the jār as well as the many interpretations of what the Qurʾanic differentiation entails, suggest that we are left with two options: The Qurʾanic differentiation may be understood either generically or technically. With the first option a contextualized interpretation is at the discretion of the committed reader, while with the second option further explanations must be sought in the interpretational literature and tradition. It may be suggested that the Qurʾanic differentiated concept of jār-hood, more than any decisive and essential categorization, indicate that social relations are, or should be, organized according to concentric circles of commitment and responsibility. According to this understanding, the differentiated Qurʾanic jār reminds the reader of the responsibility to prioritize immediate and proximate individuals, without, however, denying or neglecting the responsibility towards the distant. An idea of concentric circles of jār-hood is found in al-Qushayrī’s (d. 1074) tafsīr. This mufassir does not problematize the difference between the two qualified notions of jār, but rather treats them as one concept. However, he employs this concept and its semantic content of proximity

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together with the two qualifications to offer a geography of the human interior, where the degree of obligation follows a four-layered proximity schema: As the jār to your house has the right to good treatment, so does your heart (qalb), which is the jār to your soul (nafs), and more so your spirit (rūḥ) which is the jār to your heart, and even more so the inner secret (sirr), which is the jār to your spirit, and beyond the inner secret is only God (al-Qushayrī 2007, 1:206-7).7 al-Qushayrī’s jār becomes a concept not only of social relations and socio-ethical behavior, but one of a Qurʾanic anthropology and psychology. In typical Sufi terms, the geography of the human interior consists in a spiritual proximity between organs or faculties, as the subtle dimension (laṭīf) of the human being in parallel with and addition to the corporal (jism kathīf) ( Kamada 1983). Bearing in mind the semantics of the notion of jār including also the aspect of protection and assistance, one may interpret al-Qushayrī’s anthropology in terms of an educational and self-disciplining process: The human responsibility and obligation (ḥaqq) impresses upon each faculty to contribute to the development towards a complete spiritual fulfillment and wellbeing.

The Devil as jār As noted above, the noun (quasi-active participle) jār occurs in two Qurʾanic verses; in the beneficiary entitlement list in Q. 4:36 and in Q. 8:48. Leirvik holds that the usage in Q. 8:48 is metaphorical (2010, 361), but he does not offer his explanation or translation of the word. Here some commentators and translators prefer a basic semantic meaning for the word jār, thereby reversing the conventional semantic move from a material and literal meaning to a metaphorical meaning. See for instance in this translation: “Satan made their foul deeds seem fair to them, and said, ‘No one will conquer you today, for I will be right beside you (wa-innī jārun lakum),’ but when the armies came within sight of one another he turned on his heels, saying, This is where I leave you: I see what you do not, and I fear God – God is severe in His punishment.’” (Q. 8:48, transl. Abdel Haleem 2004) Another translator opts for a noun which highlights one aspect of the semantic meaning, protection, and lets the Devil say: “None among mankind shall overcome you today, and I am indeed your defender (wa-innī jārun lakum)…” (Q. 8:48, transl. Nasr et al. 2015) Arberry, on the other side, opted to translate jār in the Devil’s quote with the word “neighbor”:

The ambiguous jār 143 “Today no man shall overcome you, for I shall be your neighbour (wainnī jārun lakum)…” (Q. 8:48, transl. Arberry 1955) In the English language the word “neighbor” may refer to a technical term “someone living next door or very near”, and compared to the Arabic, the etymology of this term points more directly to this technical sense, from Old English nēah “near” + gebūr “inhabitant, peasant”, although it is also used in a metaphorical sense. (“Neighbour” 2020). The figure introducing himself as a jār in Q. 8:48 is the Devil. The thematic and narrative context in sūra 8 al-anfāl is, similarly to sūra 9 al-tawba and Q. 9:6 referred to above, one of conflict and battle. The immediate preceding verses consists in admonitions directed at the Muslims (Q. 8:46), followed by a description of their adversaries boastfully coming out and seeking support with the Devil, who presents himself as a jār to them, only to abandon them when faced with the enemy (Q. 8:47-8). al-Rāzī, as other exegetes before him, holds that this is a reference to a historical incident during the early stages of the battle at Badr (year 624), which was the first major military confrontation between the Muslims who at this point were established in Medina, and the Meccan tribes. According to this explanation, the Devil took in this incident on the form (ṣūra) of Surāqa b. Mālik alKinānī (d. 646), belonging to one of the tribes allied to the Quraysh. He rode in with the standard held high, but turned when he saw “Jibrīl and the thousand angels accompanying the Muslims” (al-Rāzī 2009, 15:140, see also Ibn Isḥāq 2004, 225–6). al-Rāzī relates this incident to a previous incident when, in the course of the emigration of the Prophet (hijra), the same Surāqa had been involved in chasing the Prophet, hoping for a reward of a hundred camels promised by the Quraysh, only to be repeatedly hindered and pushed back by what al-Rāzī interprets as divine intervention. The meaning of jār in Q. 8:48, al-Rāzī maintains, is “someone defending his companion from all kinds of harm (al-dāfiʿ ʿan ṣāḥibihi anwāʿa l-ḍarari), as a jār would defend his jār”, and he refers to the idiom of the Arabs: “The Arabs say: ‘I am your jār from someone, meaning protecting you from his harm so that nothing abominable on his part will reach you’,” (al-Rāzī 2009, 15:140). al-Rāzī’s explanation gives the notion jār a sense of not only two parties taking care of each other, but also defending each other against a third party, in alliance. In this Qurʾanic reference, it is the Devil who describes himself in this way, but the semantic content does not linger on who takes up the role of jār. al-Ṭabarī notes that it is exactly this semantic content which lends the reassuring (iṭmiʾnān) quality to the Devil’s appeal (al-Ṭabarī 2009, 6:265). According to this explanation, the notion jār is inherently positive, instilling an expectation of trust. Nevertheless, the Devil betrays his proclaimed intention and seizes to be a proper jār when turning his back at his allies. The message seems clear: the Devil cannot be trusted, and an implicit warning is issued: Beware of whom you accept as jār. When the promise is betrayed, the jār-hood dissolves, and the next verse (Q. 8:49)

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warns against hypocrisy and urges to trust God above all. In both the textual and narrative context the language reflects the proper designation of such behavior: hypocrisy (nifāq) in contrast to trust in God (tawakkul) (Q. 8:49) (cf. Eggen 2011, 73). According to al-Rāzī and other exegetes the historical reference to Q. 8:49 is a certain group of inhabitants in Medina (cf. Q. 33:60), thus the historical references for the two verses Q. 8:48 and 49 are given as two different incidents (al-Rāzī 2009, 15:140). However, there is little trace of such historical reference in the Qurʾanic text, and its general wording suggests an equally possible general interpretation based on the literary context. The intra-Qurʾanic reference pointed to here is Q. 33:60 where hypocrites and rumor-mongers are condemned. This is preceded by verses warning against insulting God, his Prophet, the believers, and in particular believing women, and followed by a prediction of the punishment of being removed from the jār-hood (Q. 33:57–67): “If the hypocrites, the sick at heart, and those who spread lies in the city do not desist, We shall rouse you [Prophet] against them, and then they will only be your neighbours in this city for a short while (thumma lā yujāwirūnaka fīhā illā qalīlan).” (Q. 33:60, transl. Abdel Haleem 20048) The jār-hood is in both contexts, Q. 8:48 and 33:60, neither a given nor a constant status, but a task or a relational and situational social position conditioned by a certain behavior. Devilish betrayal or hypocritical rumorspreading effectively abolishes the jār-hood. The notion of the jār retains in this way the primarily positive and anticipating aspects, and the jār-hood, or neighborhood, is retained as an ideal conception of shared common spaces and mutual respect. Consequently, the ambiguity resides rather in an acknowledgment of the fragility of this ideal and how susceptible to disappointments it is.

Concluding remarks: Towards a neighborhood ethics The Qurʾanic discourse on the jār is inscribed into several layers of ambiguities; semantically, textually, and exegetically. Although the semantics is arguably grounded in ideas of both inclination and deviation, the notion jār may entail closeness, and protection; a helper, but also someone requesting help. Do all the Qurʾanic references refer to one basic concept? If not, every reference may refer to a separate concept and be interpreted as such. But if yes; if based on a morphological and etymological argument one understands the Qurʾanic notion of jār as a focus term in a network of cognate notions, this may serve as a starting point for exploring a more complex Qurʾanic ethics of the neighbor, the outline of which I have proposed in this article. Qurʾanic jār-hood is inscribed into certain obligations

The ambiguous jār 145 (Q. 4:36, 9:6), but is versatile. The Qurʾanic jār is neither intrinsically good (Q. 8:48) nor a definite category (Q. 4:36). The jār might turn out to be disloyal (Q. 8:48), and failing to honor the norms of neighborly behavior may terminate the jār-hood altogether (Q. 33:60). This suggests a certain caution in social relations; only God offers an unwavering jiwār (Q. 67:28). Seeking the potential in Islamic traditions, Abou El Fadl suggests that the ethical impulses permeating this tradition, for instance concepts of freedom of movement to avoid oppression, hospitality, brotherhood, neighborly rights and sanctity of visitors, could create a normative universe from which inspirational ideological concepts, systematic legal conventions or even influential institutions could coalesce (Abou El Fadl 2020, also Zaman 2020). An immediate ethical impulse is the prescriptions of beneficiary deeds. The beneficiary entitlement list in Q. 4:36 consists on one hand in categories of beneficiaries who are mentioned elsewhere in the Qurʾān. I have tentatively categorized these beneficiaries into four groups or categories: relatives, the disadvantaged, the meritorious, and a fourth group of people entitled to beneficiary acts in their capacity of proximity in terms of location or relation: the two types of jār and the companion. These three subcategories are only mentioned as beneficiaries this one time. While some of the beneficiary entitlement lists are cast in a material setting with prescriptive language evoking economical charity (nafaqa, māl and wa-ʾāti … ḥaqqahu, 2:177, 215, 9:60, 16:90, 17:26, 30:38), this and one other list (Q. 2:83), is cast in a more equivocal setting with the notion iḥsān, which may entail material but also immaterial charity. al-Rāzī quotes several ḥadīths to the effect that such charitable acts comprises both financial aid or a loan when requested, and socio-moral acts like celebrations on happy occasions and extending sympathy on sad ones, support in sickness and prayer at death, and most importantly the obligation to be trustworthy (al-Rāzī 2009, 10:77–8). Together with the companion, the two jārs in Q. 4:36 are not by default needy, but they are still entitled to good treatment. The surrounding categories in Q. 4:36 are on the contrary individuals more typically susceptible to danger or harm, and hence in need for protection and help. It seems, then, that not only is the concept of the jār situational and conditioned by circumstance, but so is even the charitable mode entailed in the command to good treatment (iḥsān). Within the list of nine categories Q. 4:36 there is no stipulations differentiating between the categories in terms of priority; they seem to be at the same level as receivers of benefits or kindness at the discretion of the benefactor. However, it has been suggested that the order in which they occur in the verse indicates an order of priority (Ibn Ḥajar alʿAsqalānī no year, 10:441; al-Rāzī 2009, 10:77–8). The Qurʾanic beneficiary entitlement lists form part of a general ethos of humanitarian behavior and social responsibility, and they have served as inspiration for a normative discourse of virtue and praiseworthy conduct, an ethics of character (ʿilm al-akhlāq) as well as an ethics of action (ʿilm al-fiqh).9

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In spite of the inherent reciprocal aspect of the concept of the jār, the command in Q. 4:36 is grounded in one party bearing the ethical agency and responsibility. The role of the benefactor may shift from one jār to the other, and so on back and forth depending on the circumstances, as it would be in a more or less ideal neighborhood relation. Nevertheless, in any given factual social situation the totality of the burden is on the benefactor. This fundamental ethical problem of the ambiguity and inherent risk in the neighbor relation is in Q. 4:36 circumvented by the general command to worship God, who is at the same time the source, aim, and judge of the ethical obligation. The beneficiary act should be offered as a service to God, neither placing the beneficiary or anyone else in God’s place (wa-lā tushrikū bihi shayyʾā), nor boasting in self-important vanity (lā yuḥibbu man kāna mukhtālan fakhūrā). At the same time as the ambiguity of the Qurʾanic jār stimulates reflection, the Qurʾanic frame for an ethics of jār-hood, or neighborliness, requires both social responsibility and divine accountability. The proximity and distance of the jār may be social or geographical, and the geographically distant may be socially closer than the geographically close, or vice versa. These are certainly ambiguities resonating with both everyday life and a globalized world as we know it; could the relative nearness or distance of al-jār al-junub be envisioned as extended beyond the next-door neighbor, the forty houses, the city, to the globe? Yet it seems like the general Qurʾanic idea of the neighborhood is more local; the possibility to terminate the jār-hood wouldn’t make sense if the neighborhood compasses all (cf. Q. 33:60). Even if understood either in social, geo-political or imaginary terms, the aspect of nearness in the superordinate notion of the jār prevents the neighbor from becoming identical with oneself; the neighbor remains Other, and ambiguous. We have seen that the jār-hood in the Qurʾān, and in the interpretational literature and ethico-legal discourses, is conceptualized as situational and conditional, and may play out in temporary hierarchical structures, such as in the institution of the ijāra (cf. Q. 9:6), in spite of the general reciprocal, hence symmetrical, idea built into the concept. The motive of the Devil as a deceiving jār elucidates other aspects of the ambiguity and the possible fragility of the jār-hood as a socio-political institution. The Qurʾan acknowledges the possibility of deceit, and warns its reader about this possibility (Q. 8:48). This is where the ethical impulse converges with the realities and the impulses of the social and political domains, but also with the logic of the political. In Q. 8:48, the Devil plays on this logic, in Q. 33:60 it is the “hypocrites and rumor-mongers”. The jār may certainly prove to be monstrous, to reiterate Žižek (2005: 185). I would, however, argue that the monstrosity of the Qurʾanic jār is not born from the Self’s uncertainty of what to expect from the Other, or from the neighbor in a concrete or metaphorical sense, even when that jār is actually the Devil, from which deception must be expected. Rather, a Qurʾanic view on the monstrosity is in the very real possibility, as the events unfold, of

The ambiguous jār 147 deception of the positive expectation inherent in the jār-hood, which consequently needs constant moral maintenance, exactly as urged in Q. 4:36.

Notes 1 See also examples in Reynolds (2010) and Parrott (2017). 2 The term ijāra (j-w-r) is not to be confused with the legal term ijāra (ʾ-j-r): renting. 3 Abdel Haleem interprets this verse as directed to the Prophet specifically by inserting ”[Prophet]”, but as it is not part of the actual wording, I have omitted this here. 4 Translations of the Qurʾanic vocabulary are inspired from Arberry (1955) and Abdel Haleem (2004), translations of Qurʾanic passages and other texts are credited or otherwise mine. 5 … and to the companion at your side (wal-ṣāḥibi bil-janbi) is missing in this translation. 6 The phrase mā malakat aymānukum (lit. “whom your right hands possess”) is here translated as respectively “your slaves” and “those whom you rightfully possess”. According to Jonathan E. Brockopp, this Qurʾanic expression refers to “persons incorporated into a family in a subordinate position who are subservient to a master who owns them and may sell them” (Brockopp 2020). On the topic of slavery in Islamic though and history, see Brown (2019). 7 Incidentally, al-Zamakhsharī was known by the honorific nickname Jār Allāh, allegedly due to his prolonged stay in Mecca. 8 Abdel Haleem interprets this verse as directed to the Prophet specifically by inserting ”[Prophet]”, but as it is not part of the actual wording, I have omitted this here. 9 See on makārim al-akhlāq above. Several categories are also in the post-Qurʾanic literature operationalized in formal normative discourse, and one beneficiary entitlement list in its entirety (Q. 9:60) serve as a specification for the designated groups eligible to receive benefits from the prescribed compulsory charity (zakāt) (Harpci X:69). In 9:60, the word ṣadaqa is used. The two notions zakāt and ṣadaqa are in the Qurʾān sometimes used interchangeably and at other times in more particular meanings. See also Singer (2008).

Bibliography Abdel Haleem, M.A.S. (tr.). The Qurʾan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. Abdel Haleem, M.A.S. “The Role of Context in Interpreting and Translating the Qur’an,” Journal of Qur’anic Studies 20 (2018) 1, 47–66. Abou El Fadl, Khaled. “Islamic Ethics, Human Rights and Migration,” in Ray Jureidini and Said Fares Hassan (eds.), Migration and Islamic Ethics: Issues of Residence, Naturalization and Citizenship, 13–27. Leiden: Brill, 2020. Afsaruddin, Asma. Striving in the Path of God: Jihād and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Alavi, Khalid. “The Concept of Arba'īn and its Basis in the Islamic Tradition,” Islamic Studies 22 (1983) 3, 71–93. Ambros, Arne Amadeus, and Stephan Procházka. A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2004. Arberry, Arthur J. (tr.). The Koran Interpreted. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955.

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Asad, Muhammad (tr.). The Message of the Qurʾan. Gibraltar: Dār al-Andalus, 1980. Badawi, Elsaid M., and Muhammad Abdel Haleem. Arabic–English Dictionary of Quranic Usage. Leiden: Brill, 2008. Brockopp, Jonathan E. “Slaves and Slavery,” in Jane Dammen McAuliffe (eds.), Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. Consulted online on October 15, 2020, http:// dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uio.no/10.1163/1875–3922_q3_EQSIM_00393. Brown, Jonathan A.C. Slavery and Islam. London: Oneworld Academic, 2019. al-Bukhārī, Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl. al-Adab al-mufrid al-jāmiʿ lilādāb al-nabawiyya. [Edited by] Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī. No place: Dār al-ṣadīq, 1996. Chamberlain, Michael. Knowledge and Society Practice in Medieval Damascus, 1190–1350. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (1994) 2002. Claviez, Thomas. “Transcending Transcendence, or: Transcendifferances: Limping toward a Radical Concept of Hospitality,” in: Thomas Claviez (ed.) The Conditions of Hospitality : Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics on the Threshold of the Possible, 24–41. Fordham University Press, 2013. al-Dāmaghānī, Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad. al-Wujūh wal-naẓāʾir lialfāẓ kitāb Allāh al-ʿazīz. [Edited by] A. A. al-Ḥamīd ʿAlī. Beirut: Dār al-kutub alʿilmiyya, 2003. Dragouni, Olimpia. “The Category of Neighbourhood in Islamic Modernism of Yugoslavia. The Fetve of Husein Đozo,” Colloquia Humanistica 4 (2015), 61–82. DOI: 10.11649/ch.2015.004 Eggen, Nora S. 2011. “Conceptions of Trust in the Qurʾān,” Journal of Qurʾanic Studies 13 (2011) 2, 56–85. Eggen, Nora S. “Trust, Trusting and Trustworthiness in Ethical Discourse and amāna as a Key Concept,” Journal of Islamic Ethics 5(2021), 1–29. Fazlhashemi, Mohammad. “Faith-Based Welfare Practice: Reflections from the Perspective of Islamic Theology,” Diaconia, 8 (2017), 119–137. Günther, Sebastian. “Clients and Clientage,” in Jane Dammen McAuliffe, General Editor. Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. Consulted online on September 5, 2019 http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uio.no/10.1163/1875–3922_q3_EQSIM_00082. Gwynne, Rosalind Ward. Logic, Rhetoric, and Legal Reasoning in the Qurʾān: God’s argument. New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004. Hallaq, Wael. Sharīʿa; Theory, Practice, Transformations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Harpci, Fatih. “Sadaqa as a Sign of Sincerity: Secular and Spiritual Aspects of Charity in Islam,” in Julia R. Lieberman and Michal Jan Rozbicki (eds.) Charity in Jewish, Cristian and Islamic Traditions, 67–82. Laham: Lexington Books, 2017. Heinrichs, W.P. “Ṣāḥib,” in P. Bearman, and Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Consulted online on June 12, 2020, http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uio.no/10.1163/15 73–3912_islam_SIM_6464 Ibn Abī l-Dunyā. Makārim al-akhlāq. Edited by Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Qādir Aḥmad ʿAṭā. Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyya, 1989. [Ibn] al-Anbārī, Muḥammad b. Qāsim. Kitāb al-aḍdād. [Edited by] Muḥammad ʾAbū Fadl ʾIbrāhīm, Beirut: al-Maktaba al-ʿaṣriyya, 1987.

The ambiguous jār 149 Ibn Fāris Abū al-ḤusaynAḥmad b. Fāris b. Zakariyā. Muʿjam maqāyīs al-lugha. 6 vols. [Edited by] ʿAbd al-Salām Muḥammad Hārūn. No place: Dār al-fikr lil-ṭibāʿa wal-nashr wal-tawzīʿ, 1979. Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī. Fatḥ al-bārī bi-sharḥ ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī. 13 vols. [Edited by] ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Bāz. Beirut: Dār al-maʿrifa, no year. Ibn Ḥanbal, Aḥmad. Masāʾil al-imām Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal riwayat ibnihi ʿAbd Allāh b. Aḥmad. Beirut: al-Maktab al-islāmī, 1981. Ibn Isḥāq, al-Sīra al-nabawiyya li-bn Hishām. [Edited by] Muṣṭafā al-Saqā, Ibrāhīm al-Ibyārī, ʿAbd al-Ḥafīẓ Shalbī. 2 vols. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, no year. Ibn Isḥāq. The Life of Muḥammad: Isḥāq’s Sīrat Rasūl Allāh. Translated by A. Guillaume. Karachi: Oxford University Press, (1955) 1990. Ibn Manẓūr, Muḥammad b. Mukram. Lisān al-ʿarab. [Edited by] Amīn Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Wahhāb and Muḥammad al-Ṣādiq al-ʿUbaydī. 18 vols. Beirut: Dār iḥyāʾ al-turāth al-ʿarabī, 1999. Kamada, Shigeru. “A Study of the Term sirr (Secret) in Sufi latāʾif Theories,” Orient 19 (1983), 7–28. Khalidi, Tarif (tr.). The Qurʾan. London: Penguin Books, 2008. al-KharāʾiṭīAbū Bakr Muḥammad bJaʿfar b. Sahl al-Sāmirī. Makārim al-akhlāq wamaʿālīhā wa-maḥmūd ṭarāʾiqihā. [Edited by] Amīn ʿAbd al-Jābir al-Baḥīrī. Cairo: Dār al-āfāq al-ʿarabiyya, 1999. Lawson, Todd. “The Qur’an and Epic,” Journal of Qur'anic Studies, 16 (2014) 1, 58–92. Lecerf, J. “Djiwār,” in P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs(eds.), Second Edition, Encyclopaedia of Islam. Consulted online on September 5, 2019, http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uio.no/10.1163/1573–3912_ islam_SIM_2095 Leirvik, Oddbjørn. “Aw qāla: ‘Li-jārihi’: Some Observations on Brotherhood and Neighborly Love in Islamic Tradition,” Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, 21 (2010) 4, 357–372. Also published in this volume (chapter 5). al-Mawsūʿa al-fiqhiyya. 45 vols. Kuwait: Wizārat al-awqāf wal-shuʾūn al-islāmiyya, 1983–2006. Nasr, Seyyed Hossein et al. (trs. and eds.). The Study Quran: A new translation and commentary. New York: HarperOne, 2015. “Neighbour,” in Oxford English Dictionary. Consulted online on September 3, 2020: https://www-oed-com.ezproxy.uio.no/view/Entry/125923?result=1&rskey= IiuUGY&. Nöldeke, Theodor. Neue Beiträge zur semitischen Sprashwissenschaft. Strassburg: Verlag von Karl J. Trūbner, 1910. Parrott, Justin. “al-Ghazali and the Golden Rule: Ethics of Reciprocity in the Works of a Muslim Sage,” Journal of Religious & Theological Information 16 (2017), 68–78. DOI: 10.1080/10477845.2017.1281067. al-Qushayrī, Abū l-Qāsim ʿAbd al-Karīm b. Hawāzin b. ʿAbd al-Malik. Tafsīr alQushayrī l-musammā Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt. Edited by ʿAbd al-Laṭīf Ḥasan ʿAbd alRaḥmān. 3 vols. Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyya, 2007. al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, Abū l-Qāsim al-Ḥusayn, al-Mufradāt fī gharīb al-Qurʾān. [Edited by] Muḥammad Khalīl ʿῙtānī. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, 1998. al-Rāzī, Fakhr al-Dīn Muḥammad b. ʿUmar. al-Tafsīr al-kabīr ʾaw Mafātiḥ alghayb. 33 vol. in 17. Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyya, 2009.

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Reaves, Jayme R. Safeguarding the Stranger: An Abrahamic Theology and Ethic of Protective Hospitality. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2016. Reynolds, Thomas E. “Toward a Wider Hospitality: Rethinking Love of Neighbour in Religions of the Book,” Irish Theological Quarterly 75 (2010) 2, 175–187. Singer, Amy. Charity in Islamic Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Shah, Mustafa. “Iḥsān,” in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Third edition. Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 03 September 2020 al-Ṭabarī, Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad b. Jarīr. Tafsīr al-Ṭabarī. 13 vols. Beirut: Dār alkutub al-ʿilmiyya, 2009. al-Tahānawī, Muḥammad ʿAlī. Mawsūʿat kashshāf iṣṭilaḥāt al-funūn wal-ʿulūm. [Edited by] Rafīq al-ʿAjam, ʿAlī Daḥrūj, [transl. of Persian into Arabic] ʿAbd Allāh al-Khālidī, [transl. into foreign languages] Jūrj Zinādī. 2 vols. Beirut: Maktabat Lubnān nāshirūn, 1996. Takim, Liyakat. “Peace and War in the Qurʾan and Juridical Literature: A Comparative Perspective,” Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 38 (2011) 2, 137–158. Volf, Miroslav, Ghazi bin Muhammad Bin Talal and Melissa Yarrington (eds.), A Common Word: Muslims and Christians on Loving God and Neighbor. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009. al-Zamakhsharī, Abū l-Qāsim Maḥmūd b. ʿUmar. Tafsīr al-kashāf ʿan ḥaqāʾiq ghiwāmiḍ al-tanzīl wa-ʿuyūn al-aqāwīl wujūh al-taʾwīl. 4 vol. [Edited by] M. ʿAbd al-Salām Shāhīn. Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyya, 1995. Zaman, Tahir. “Jiwār: from a Right of Neighbourliness to a Right to Neighbourhood for Refugees,” in Ray Jureidini and Said Fares Hassan (eds.), Migration and Islamic Ethics: Issues of Residence, Naturalization and Citizenship, 47–66. Leiden: Brill, 2020. Zammit, Martin R. A Comparative Lexical Study of Qurʾānic Arabic. Leiden: Brill, 2002. Žižek, Slavoj. “Neighbors and Other Monsters: A Plea for Ethical Violence,” in Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard (eds.), The Neighbor: Three inquiries in Political Theology, 134–190. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Part III

Negotiating the ambiguous neighbourhood in peace and war, conflict and coexistence

7

Neighbour in the war: Saviour or murderer? Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia Safet Bektovic

A land of encounters and tensions The war in ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s, which had catastrophic con­ sequences for Bosnia and Herzegovina, attracted enormous attention from people across the world.1 There has been a lot of discussion over the last two decades on whether Bosnia can be considered a good example of co­ existence between different religious and ethnic groups or a proof of diffi­ culties, if not the impossibility, of peaceful coexistence. Evidence can be found in Bosnian political history for each of the two theses, since it is marked by alternating periods of peace and conflict. Before we move on to the discussion of war and peace in Bosnia, I want to provide a few historical facts that are necessary to understand the background to the topic. As a territory and a state, Bosnia has traditionally been open to others. In the Middle Ages, it was a refuge for various heretic groups (Bogumils, Cathars, Patarens, and Manichaeans) who were persecuted by the Western and Eastern Churches. Many Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain at the beginning of the 16th century also found refuge in Bosnia, and because of its multireligiousness, Sarajevo has often been referred to as the European Jerusalem. Over long historical periods, Bosnia was part of either an empire or a larger state, and due to its geopolitical position, it was often the scene of great power conflicts.2 World War I was thus sparked by the assassination of the Austrian heir to the throne (Franz Ferdinand) in Sarajevo. Some of the fateful Balkan battles against Hitler’s army also took place in Bosnia. And finally, the bloodiest (ethnic) war in Europe after World War II occurred in Bosnia. It is often said that Bosnia is a multi-ethnic and multicultural country. However, this is a truth with modifications. It was not until the late 19th century that Bosnian people began to define themselves in ethnic terms. Until then, they were just Bosnians of different religions. As part of the political development in the area and formation of Serbian and Croatian nationhood, Bosnian Catholics began to identify themselves as Croats,

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Bosnian Orthodox as Serbs, and Bosnian Muslims remained Bosnians or just Muslims (Mahmutcehajic, 2000; Majstorović, 1997; Malcolm, 1996). The aim of this text is not to give a comprehensive insight into the process of formation of Bosnian ethnicities, but rather an elaboration of inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations through the prism of neighbourhood. More specifically, I want to discuss inter-neighbourly relations during the war, which, I believe, uniquely reflect the specificity of the Bosnian society.

Personal and methodological-theoretical assumptions In the analysis of interethnic relations and neighbourhood, I will employ a variety of sources, including documents, personal stories, interviews, and film. The case material includes people of different backgrounds, ages, and gender, since the aim is to illustrate how ordinary people act towards their neighbours in a situation of conflict. At the very beginning, I would like to mention that I come from exYugoslavia (born in Serbia and lived in Bosnia), and that I have experience of close friendship with people from other religious and ethnic groups, as well as war experience.3 I was lucky to grow up in a peaceful and stable period of socialist Yugoslavia, when the economy was growing, opportu­ nities for travel and education were extremely favourable, and the solidarity of the Yugoslav peoples was at its highest. The whole society was based on the ideology of “brotherhood and unity” (bratstvo i jedinstvo) and toler­ ance between peoples. Truth be told, I also listened to some older members of my family who survived World War II talking about their negative ex­ periences with others, but I was convinced that it was just a past that would never happen to my generation. When it comes to the scholarly approach, there are different interpreta­ tions of the conflict in Bosnia. Referring to the theories of ethnic violence and authors dealing with the Balkans, Anthony Oberschall distinguishes between four characteristic perspectives: 1) Primordial – emphasising longterm animosities, latent mistrust, and hatred as the background of the conflict; 2) Instrumental – accentuating manipulation of political leaders and intellectuals as the root cause of the war; 3) Constructivist – inter­ preting national and ethnic identity as a dynamic process based on different constructs, such as historical experience, myths, and religions; and finally, 4) Insecurity-perspective – focusing on the people’s insecurity (for life, property, and the future) as a cause of fear generating mistrust towards others (Oberschall, 2010: 982–984). Each of the perspectives can be applied to the case of Bosnia, but none can offer a full explanation of what really happened.4 It is one thing to observe the conflict between different groups, but it is quite another to understand the shift in neighbourly relations from friendship to hatred and killing. What explains someone's taking up arms and attacking their longtime neighbours just because they belong to another ethnic group or

Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia 155 religion? What explains massacres and torture of innocent civilians, mass rapes, murder of an old woman or a small child by their long-time “good” neighbour? In terms of understanding the background to this drastic change, it is legitimate and useful to employ the mentioned theorical perspectives, but understanding the very act of violence and crime against neighbours re­ quires something more. According to Oberschall (2010), it is crucial to examine the cognitive settings of people involved in such violence. It is about understanding their unexpected attitudes and behaviours. According to him, any radical change in behaviour is conditioned by a change in the cognitive framework within which the image of oneself and others is formed. Oberschall (2010) thus analyses how the transformation of the so-called “cooperative cognitive frame”, which is responsible for stable and peaceful times (in our case, it corresponds to the period of socialist Yugoslavia), into a “crisis cognitive frame”, characteristic of the unstable and uncertain times (which correspond to the fall of communism and collapse of Yugoslavia) affects people’s behaviour (Oberschall, 2010:989–998). What happened? Religion and ethnicity, which were irrelevant to the identity of most people within the first frame, became totally determinative within the second.5 Benjamin Lieberman’s approach seems to be along the same lines. According to him, the key to understanding ethnic violence is “cognitive dissonance”. However, this does not arise as a direct consequence of a change in cognitive frame, but rather as a tension between two or more opposing but simultaneously held attitudes, which prevent one from having a stable relation witht the social reality (Lieberman, 2006:307).6 I will return later to the concepts of cognitive framework and cognitive dissonance, since they are the main analytical tools in my analysis of neighbourly relations during the war.

Open door, coffee drinking, and next-door violence Bosnians equally use two words for neighbour: komšija, which is originally Turkish (from “komşu” – neighbour), and susjed, which is Slavic (written and pronounced almost in the same way in many Slavic languages, in­ cluding Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian). The word susjed is made up of two parts: “su” + “sjed”. “Su” means co, and “sjed” sit. Thus, “susjed” designates one who sits near you. Consequently, neighbourhood (susjedsvo) denotes sitting together, being in relation in a physical proximity (Sorabji, 2008:100). Of course, Bosnian neighbourhood is not just about sitting together and chatting over coffee (which is, by the way, a cult in Bosnian popular cul­ ture), but rather a distinct type of communality and a model of social life (Simić, 2017, Mahmutcehajic, 2000). The neighbourhood often works as a homogeneous town quaternary or a village where people spontaneously

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establish relationships, practising solidarity and jointly celebrating religious and private holidays, as well as commemorations and sad events (Bringa, 1995; Donia and Fine, 1994; Campbell, 1998; Hunt, 2004). However, researchers disagree about the basis of Bosnian neighbourhood. Some researchers interpret it as a politically directed process of establishing social cohesion across differences, while others underscore moral and inter­ subjective relations. The first group of scholars are interested in the logic of “groupism as ethnic coding bias” (Brubaken, 2002), while the latter empha­ sise the mentality of people as the basis of grouping. Examples of the propo­ nents of the fifirst approach are Donia and Fine (1994) and Hayden (2002), while examples of those of the latter are Sorabji (2008) and Henig (2012).7 There is no doubt that the policy of nurturing interfaith and interethnic relations has been helpful in shaping local solidarity, but it did not create the Bosnian neighbourhood tradition as such. Understanding the concepts of house, hospitality, and community can more effectively explain the un­ iqueness of the Bosnian neighbourhood. Furthermore, a deeper under­ standing of it is almost impossible without understanding the tradition of sijelo – neighbour visit (Bringa, 1995), the custom of the open door (Henig, 2012), and the phenomenon of mahala as a local neighbourhood (Sorabji, Cornelia et al., 2008). Looking at the socio-cultural development in Bosnia during the second half of 20th century, one can argue that the high percentage of mixed marriages relaxed interethnic relations and thus indirectly strengthened the neighbourhood in mixed environments. This is especially true for the larger cities such as Sarajevo, where the proportion of mixed marriages before the war was about 30–40% (Fine, 1994:2). On the other hand, in the village areas, where people lived a more traditionalist lifestyle, the neighbourhood was maintained, thanks to the holding of tradition. Quite often people used to refer to religious ethics. I remember older pious Muslims quoting famous hadiths (prophet’s saying): “He is not a believer who spends the night while the neighbour to his side is hungry”, and “Whoever believes in Allah should not harm his neighbour”.8 In the same way, Christian ethics, based on the principle of loving one’s neighbour, also influenced the positive attitude of Christians towards the others. What is interesting is that religious and communist social ethics were not in opposition. On the contrary, many religious leaders openly supported the socialist idea of “brotherhood and unity”, justifying it with arguments from their own religions. A good example of this is Husein Đozo (a leading Muslim authority), who issued fatwas (nonbinding legal opinion) to Muslims about the duty of preserving socialist community, even though he personally op­ posed the communist ideology (Đozo, 1999; Dragouni, 2015). However, all this was not enough to preserve peace and communion in Bosnia. The disintegration of Bosnian society and the issue of ethnic violence has sparked an avalanche of discussions in academic literature and public

Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia 157 discourse. The main question has been whether “the good” neighbourhood was just a myth or illusion, as it was not able to prevent the conflict, or it had a real power, since in many cases, it preserved peace on the local level.9 Bearing in mind the numerous examples of selfless sacrifice for neigh­ bours, it still makes sense to talk about the neighbour in an honorary role, despite the cases of dehumanisation of neighbours belonging to other groups. This is a kind of contradiction that obviously has continuity in Bosnia, and the conflict of the 1990s merely confirms the rule.

From atheism to religious nationalism During the communist period, religion played no role in public life. Although religious activities, such as celebrating religious holidays and going to the church or mosque, were not directly banned, the use of religion in public was sanctioned.10 If you wanted to make a professional or poli­ tical career, it was conditioned by your membership of the Communist Party, which presupposed that you supported atheism.

Vlakovo cemetery in Sarajevo: Buried Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox, Jews and communists. All together, but each group in its own district. Neighbours in eternity? Photo: Pokop d.o.o Sarajevo Tito’s project was to create a common Yugoslav nationality across the various ethnic and religious groups, based on the platform of ideological unity. Any kind of ethnic nationalism was considered a threat to the state’s stability, and ideological enemies were severely punished (Malcolm, 1996; Banac, 1996; Bringa, 1995; John A. Fine, 1994). However, after his death in 1980, political opposition became legitimate and in the late 1980s an

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alternative ethno-nationalist ideology emerged in different parts of the country. Its protagonists were some dissident intellectuals, anti-communist activists, and some religious leaders.11 They launched a massive critique of communism, accusing it of political totalitarianism and violation of ethnic and religious freedoms. The idea of the historical need of the “return” to ethnic and religious roots, presented as a part of the struggle for a free and democratic society, began to gain sympathy among ordinary people. The nationalists managed to revive stories of the old war’s hostilities, frightening the people (as in conspiracy theories) with the alleged danger from others. For those to whom the idea of communism seemed worn out as being incapable of creating freedom and real equality, nationalist ideas sounded credible and promising. Accordingly, people began to think differently about their own identity and that of others. Eriksen and Stjernfelt (2003) describe this development as a mobilising movement from above which, for a period of several years, resulted in ethnic chauvinism. According to them, nationalist leaders, generals, teachers at uni­ versities, editors, and journalists were acting in an organised and synchronised manner. They created an image of others as enemies, forcing, at the same time, people to choose “the right side” (Eriksen and Stjernfelt, 2003:257–258). Due to the massive nationalist propaganda, even the “convinced” com­ munists changed their point of view and became supporters of the new ideology. It was surprising to see many former communists suddenly begin to participate in worship in churches (or mosques), emphasising their ethnic origin and religion. Given that this manipulation of ordinary people was obvious (and ef­ fective), it makes sense to apply the theory of manipulation, but I still be­ lieve that theories on the changing of cognitive frames, and of “cognitive dissonance”, are more appropriate for the analysis of this process. First, Yugoslavia in those years was not a dictatorship where different opinions and political orientations were illegitimate. Second, it is hard to imagine that people can change their view of the world overnight and totally reject what they have advocated for decades. However, the cognitive framework had changed. What was irrelevant within the (previous) cooperative frame became a priority in the (new) crisis frame. It can therefore be assumed that many of those being manipulated experienced a cognitive conflict by being involved in a radically new “reality” that contested their existing views. Before applying this, I would like to complete the presentation of the process of transforming the cognitive frames and then give (in the next paragraph) some examples that will be included in the analysis. In almost all Yugoslav republics, including Bosnia, nationalist parties won the first multi-party elections in 1990.12 Afterwards, the newly elected presidents of the six republics began negotiations on the political re­ organization of the Yugoslav federation as had been announced in the election campaign. Slovenia and Croatia sought secession, Bosnia and Macedonia leaned towards a confederation model, and Serbia and

Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia 159 Montenegro wanted to keep federation in a form that would give Serbs, as the largest ethnic group, more rights than they had before. The negotiations collapsed, and this led to an exacerbation of the crisis and armed conflict a year later. The war first began in Slovenia and Croatia, immediately after they de­ clared independence from the rest of Yugoslavia (June 1991). The Yugoslav army, which had the mandate to protect the common state, undertook military intervention against “secessionists”, whereupon local Serbs also joined it, since they were against secession. The situation in Bosnia was tense but stable until the spring of 1992, when Bosnia also declared independence.13 Yet many Bosnians still believed in peace, partly due to a positive attitude towards the multi-ethnic society, and it seemed illogical to many that there would be inter-ethnic hostility in Bosnia as well. However, people carefully followed the development of events in the area. Exposed to daily media coverage of the war in Croatia, the stories about paramilitary groups and extremists, and especially after the incursions of some Serb criminal groups that committed brutal crimes in north-eastern Bosnia, ordinary people began to doubt their safety and the ability of the state to protect them. Ethnic relations began to cool, and many decided to arm themselves illegally, just in case they needed to defend their home and family. The epilogue of the subsequent development, after three years of war, was a Bosnia in ruins. Entire urban settlements were devastated, mosques and churches destroyed, villages set on fire, and people separated along ethnic lines, including ethnically mixed families. Often, the nearest neigh­ bours and family members found themselves on opposite sides. Some of them chose it consciously (out of conviction that they were doing the right thing); some did it against their own will, being forcibly mobilised to fight. War stories about neighbourly relations during the war are equally un­ believable, whether they are positive or negative. In the next paragraph, I will portray a few of them.

Examples of evil and good The book Being Muslim the Bosnian way, written by Norwegian pro­ fessor of social anthropology Tone Bringa, illustrates in a vivid way the transformation of an idyllic local community characterised by good neighbourhood to being one of open hostility and conflict.14 The plot takes place in the late 1980s and early 1990s in a Muslim-Catholic village in central Bosnia. Bringa had the opportunity to be part of this community by experiencing how people live their everyday by sharing their joys and concerns, holding celebrations and private parties together, and building the church and the mosque in fellowship. Without imagining it, she also came to witness war crimes in the village.

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Baljvine (North-western Bosnia): The Orthodox-Muslim village where hate never triumphed. Photo: IWPR (The Institute for War & Peace Reporting) “I have been able to follow a Bosnian community over a period of six years, during which it has undergone dramatic changes. In the late 1980s people were working hard against economic crisis. In 1990 they were full of optimism for the future. In January 1993, the village was in fear, surrounded by war on all sides. In April 1993 it was attacked by Croat forces. In October 1993 none of the Muslims in the village remained. They had either fled, been placed in de­ tention camps, or been killed” (Bringa, 1995:20). This tragedy is also shown in the documentary “We Are All Neighbours”, produced by Granada Television in cooperation with Bringa. The film con­ sists of two sequences, the first before the Croat attack on the village, the second after the attack.15 In the first sequence, one Muslim and one Catholic woman, despite their concerns about the situation in the region, proudly point out that something like that would never happen to their village. Nusreta (Muslim): “Such is Bosnia. That is how it has always been. And yes, it will be in the future too ... We are neighbours and we will have to live together afterwards. However, some will be ashamed of their extremists” (my translation). The same was confirmed by two elderly women, Remzija (Muslim) and Anja (Catholic), who used to visit each other almost every day and drink coffee together. Anja points out: “We will be as we always have been. And if needed I will help (my Muslim neighbour). We will divide the last kilo of flour (between us), and whatever happens we will drink coffee together” (my translation).

Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia 161 The turning point is a scene in which a group of Muslims gathered in a private house, talking about the strange situation in the village, being worried because some Croats stopped saying hello to them. On the other hand, Slavka (a Croat) also emphasises that some Muslims are reluctant to greet her. A few months later (after the massacre), Bringa comes to the area (ac­ companied by UN forces) to find out what had happened. She managed to talk with some of her previous interlocutors. The surviving Muslims con­ vinced her the crime was committed by their Croat neighbours, but Slavka said it was probably done by some outsiders. In the final scene, Nusreta emphasises that nothing is as before, and adds, “It’s now impossible to live with them anymore” (my translation).16 The documentary has a paradigmatic message regarding the beginning of ethnic violence in a mixed area. The explanation given by Slavka (which, however, was later proved to be unreliable) – that the perpetrators of the crime were outsiders (ljudi sa strane) – corresponds to many other stories where people usually blamed extremist groups from outside for destroying neighbourhood.17 Obviously, this happened in many cases, but quite often members of the local community had cooperated with these (outsider) extremists. During the massacre of Muslims in the village of Biljani in western Bosnia (July 1992), committed by Serb extremists, local Serbs did not try to protect their Muslim neighbours. In fact, one of the commanders-in-chief (Marko Samardzija) was a long-time teacher in the village school.18 The persecution and killing of Muslims in eastern and northern Bosnia testify to a complete betrayal of neighbourhood. As part of the ethnic cleansing, Serb soldiers carried out mass rapes and according to many documents also established camps for the systematic rape of Muslim 19 women. In fairness, it should be mentioned that Muslim women were not the only victims of rape during the war in Bosnia (although they are in the largest number); Croats and Serbs were raped too.20 A Muslim woman talks about how she was arrested and raped in August 1992 by a group of “Chetniks” that included her boyfriend’s friend and next-door neighbour, as they came to her home and arrested her and her mother along with 12 other women and six children. She was later taken to an apartment and repeatedly raped.21 Amir Berberkić (Muslim), a medical doctor from Foča, testified about the attack on the village where he took refuge with his family. “All the soldiers that entered the weekend cottage were my neighbours … I knew them … and I had even treated some of them, as a doctor, while they were in hospital”.22 Quite the opposite of this, we have many stories about extremely good people. Svetlana Broz collected 90 testimonies about heroes who risked their own lives to guard their neighbours.23 One of her stories is from the village of Donje Baljvine (central Bosnia).

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It all began when a group of Serb soldiers stormed the village one summer evening in 1992. General Talic, who was leading the soldiers, gathered the villagers and addressed them with the following words: “You Muslims cannot stay here with the Serbs.” Among those gathered was also the village president, Šaban Habibović (Muslim), who reacted by saying: “As long as the army leaves us alone, we will have no trouble with the Serbs. They will not harm us.” Then the general asked Šaban: “If that is really true, do you dare go over into the Serbian part of the village?” “Sure, if you want me to do it,” said Šaban, and walked in the direction of another part of the vil­ lage, calling a Serb by name. A Serbian neighbour quickly ran out in his pyjamas and asked: “What’s wrong, Šaban? Something happen? You need help?.” “Yes, I need help”, answered Šaban. And the Serbian neighbour exclaimed: “Just let me throw some clothes on. I will be right back.” When the general overheard the conversation, he stepped forward and said: “God help us. You Muslims are not Muslims, and you Serbs are not Serbs. You must be somewhere else. In that case, go right ahead and live together if that is what you want” (Broz, 2004:7–8)

The problem of ethnic-religious homogenisation As already explained, the conflict in ex-Yugoslavia was preceded by the disintegration of the communist system and homogenisation on ethnicreligious grounds. It should be noted that the development of ethnic and national identities in Yugoslavia was like an uncompleted process that began in the late 19th and early 20th century when Yugoslav peoples, in step with the withdrawal of Ottoman rule, were fighting to establish their nation-states. The situation in Bosnia was particularly complex, partly because Bosnia belonged to Austria-Hungary after the Berlin Congress (1878) and partly due to ethnic and religious mixing and different views of the national question. For the majority group – Muslims – the option was independent Bosnia as a national state. However, most of the Orthodox aspired to unification with the Orthodox from Serbia, and many of Catholics sought unification with the Catholics from Croatia. Since neither Serbs nor Croats established their national states in the following period (but a common state – the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), the process of national identification in Bosnia remained unfinished. What is even more significant to mention is the curiosity of ethnic identities in Bosnia. People of the same origins, who had lived in the same area for centuries, who spoke the same language, who inherited the same culture, claimed to belong to different ethnic groups. But, if you look away from political orientation, the only difference between the peoples was religion. To be more precise, as highlighted by Vjekoslav Perica, the crucial difference among Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims is not re­ ligion as such (Orthodoxy, Catholicism or Islam), but a religiously based

Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia 163 “myth of national origin”, consecrated by the native religious institutions (Perica, 2002:5). Consequently, a different forging and interpretation of myths, and co­ operation between religious representatives, would probably create one common nation with three religions. Nevertheless, that simply did not happen. On the contrary, Bosnia became ethno-religiously divided and even the period of communism (in which ethnicity and religion played no role) did not prevent ethnic-religious differentiation. Due to the political background of this homogenisation and political use of religious nationalism, violence against others has become justified. A popular expression for this justification, which we find on all sides, is “It was the others who planned attacks on us, we were just defending ourselves”. No doubt that belonging to a group in times of turbulence and crisis provides a kind of security and protection. That is a way to understand ethnic mobilisation in ex-Yugoslavia, and the turning of people towards religious nationalism after the fall of communism. The famous Serbian writer Danilo Kiš described it as a “collective paranoia” in which the sense of social reality and responsibility of the individual disappeared (Kiš, 1996:13). “You just have to be better than your brother or half-brother; the rest is not important at all. […] Who cares about the others! … You do not jump or shoot to score a point, to reach the peak of your abilities, but only to defeat, to kill the others, those so similar and, at the same time, so different from you” (Kiš, 1996:15).

Conclusion: Dehumanisation, cognitive dissonance and the narcissism of minor differences The presented examples of evil, demonisation of others, and especially genocide according to which others ought to disappear from the face of the earth, prove the madness of exclusivity and paranoia, to use Kiš’s words.24 Criminal actions, such as mass extermination, torture in con­ centration camps, and mass rapes, could only happen if you dehumanise a group of people. Nevertheless, the question is how does one convince someone that their neighbour or a long-time friend is suddenly no longer a human being. On a more general level, we can benefit from the philosophical and so­ ciological analysis of the evil behind the Holocaust. In the case of Bosnia, one can also talk about authoritarian personality (Adorno), scapegoat (Girard), instrumentalisation of the other (Buber) and the banality of evil (Arendt) as aspects of dehumanisation of the other. However, in my view, this belongs to the general sphere of generating evil and does not necessarily determine the consciousness of the individual who commits evil against someone he knows to be innocent.

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That is why I am employing cognitive dissonance as an analytical tool. As already mentioned, cognitive dissonance refers to a simultaneity of op­ posing attitudes. This is a mental state in which a person experiences two incompatible beliefs, and it manifests as a conflict or rather a discrepancy between one’s attitude and one’s behaviour (Festinger, 1957; Lieberman, 2006; Smith, 2011; Struman, 2012). To reduce this discrepancy, the acting person resorts to justifying his act. This presupposes revising and explaining away one of the attitudes. Otherwise, it would be impossible to reconcile the act of killing with the conviction that it is inhuman to kill an innocent person. A sober person cannot attack his neighbour (by burning his house, by raping, and mur­ dering him/her) unless he reduces his cognitive dissonance, i.e., changes the original attitude (towards neighbour) in order to fit it with his inhuman behaviour.25 Thus, the attitude of a good neighbour must be changed into the attitude of a member of the enemy group, to be destroyed before he destroys you. That is why potential victims have always been considered dangerous extremists. Muslims were considered mujahideen (regardless of whether they believed in Islam) or descendants of the Turks to be avenged; Serbs were identified as Chetniks (Četnici), and Croats as Ustasha (Ustaše). War discourse and nationalist propaganda constructed the other as evil and thus contributed to reducing the cognitive dissonance of those who went into battle. As stated by Struman, such demonisation is what makes you feel better while destroying others (Struman, 2012:527). However, the question is whether the theory of cognitive dissonance encompasses war profiteers and gangs who expelled locals and looted their property, using the war chaos for personal gain. These individuals also swore allegiance to their nation and tried to play heroes of their group, but on the other hand, they were always ready to cooperate with the enemy for their own interest. It is similar to the phenomenon of celebrating war criminals, which is quite widespread among Serbian nationalists in Republika Srpska and Serbia in the post-war period. Is there a cognitive dissonance in the minds of these people? And if so, how does it remain stable during the 25 years of peacetime (after the war)? Another partly relevant theory is that of “narcissism of minor dif­ ferences”. Freud, who coined the term, applied it to both individual psychology and the philosophy of culture. In recent decades, this theory has been used in the analysis of violence (Blok, 1998; Ignatieff, 1999; Kolstø, 2007). Contrary to Huntington’s thesis on the clash of civili­ sations, caused by large and insurmountable differences between peo­ ples, we have witnessed some of the bloodiest conflicts to have occurred between groups that differ truly little or even belong to the same ethnic group. A perfect example of this is the conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda, as they have the same culture and religion

Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia 165 (both groups are Christians) and have shared the same country for hundreds of years.26 In Bosnia, we had a similar situation, given the fact that religious affiliation (before the conflict) was the` only difference between the ethnic groups, although the people were not religious. The slender dif­ ferences between Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs provoked the religious nationalists who wanted to make these three groups as different as pos­ sible. Creating distance between people and forcing a new collective identity based on animosity towards others was one of the main goals of nationalist propaganda. Those who did not succumb to this propaganda and did not take part in ethnic-religious homogenisation condemn religious nationalism as a driving force of conflict. The statement made by Bosnian Behzad Hadzic (inter­ viewed about the massacre in Biljani) expresses it in a very typical way. He said: “The Bosnian tragedy can be blamed on the narcissism of minor differences. The ethnic groups resemble each other to such a degree that insignificant differences have been nurtured and polished throughout history, sometimes to the brink of the obsessive” (Weiss and Fledelius, 2000:180–81). Yet the theory of “narcissism of minor differences” has its limitations. Going back to the process of othering, which occurred just before the war, one could argue that interethnic distance would not be established without manipulation and the abuse of history, by commemorating only the victims from one’s own group. And this manipulation would not have been effec­ tive if people had not been ideologically confused (after the fall of com­ munism). I therefore agree with Brock who claims that violence related to small-scale narcissism only occurs in unstable states (Blok, 1998). Relativisation of the common truth and ideology, and the disturbance of people’s attitudes towards social reality, only happen in situations of crisis and anarchy. According to Kalstø, conflict on the basis of small differences is similar to conflict due to large differences. He also underlines that the magnitude of the difference is always relative as it depends on the side from which it is viewed (outside or inside) and on the very perception of the difference (Kolstø, 2007:166–169). With this, I return to the theories of cognitive frame and cognitive dis­ sonance, which are after all the most appropriate, despite their limitations. Where there was no change in the cognitive frame, such as in the village of Donje Baljvine, differences between ethnic groups were not the subject of discussion, nor did war propaganda influence people’s behaviour. Consequently, I believe that if the current cognitive frame of crisis were to move back to a stable frame, if religious nationalism gave way to interreligious cooperation, if personal security were guaranteed, and social justice was established, then the tradition of the good neighbourhood would probably be revived.

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Photo: Jasmin Mehic/Ins.ba The town of Olovo (2018): Catholic priest (Ilija Božić) and imam (Esad Pepić) mark the beginning of the reconstruction of the church (shaking hands over Stećak – a monument of medieval Bosnia).

Notes 1 I am going to use the word Bosnia as an abbreviated version of the formal name of the country Bosnia-Herzegovina. This also applies to everyday language use. Bosnia is the country’s old name, which refers to the river Bosnia running through Sarajevo and central Bosnia. 2 In the Middle Ages, Bosnia was an independent state (The Kingdom of Bosnia) predominantly inhabited by Christians. In the middle of the 15th century, Bosnia fell under Ottoman rule and was for a long time the westernmost Muslim province of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire. After the Berlin Congress (1878), Bosnia – with a predominantly Muslim population – fell under AustroHungarian rule and became part of a modern European state. After World War I, Bosnia became part of a common state of the South Slavic peoples – the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians (Bosnians were not mentioned in the name of the state), which lasted until World War II. Afterwards, Bosnia was one of the six republics within socialist Yugoslavia, which collapsed in the early 1990s (Banac, 1996; Malcolm, 1996; McCharthy, 1994; Pinson, 1994). 3 That was in September 1992 when I came to Denmark (as a 26-year-old) to­ gether with another 15,000 war refugees from Bosnia. I lived in Denmark for over 20 years and in Norway for the last five, but I never severed my ties with my homeland, my family and friends in Bosnia and other ex-Yugoslav republics. There is no doubt that although I have adopted many norms and values of Scandinavian society, I am still Bosnian in many ways. 4 In that sense, I am inclined to agree with Majstorovic, who claims that every mono-causal explanation must fail. He is particularly sceptical of the theory of “ancient hatreds” as goes for a deterministic interpretation of history, and the

Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia 167

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

theory of manipulation, which treats people as objects, neglecting their personal responsibility. The explanation rather lies in a complex of interrelationships between historical experience, myths, cultural memory, ideological and political interests (Majstorović, 1997: 178–179). As happened in Yugoslavia in the late 1980s, when family stories and collective memories, accompanied by mass-media propaganda, become determinants of people’s self-understanding. Thus began a segregation based on ethnicity and creation of distrust of the others. Serbs actualised their old myths from Ottoman times and the memories of mass executions committed by the Croatian Ustashas during World War II; Bosniaks (then Muslims) revived the stories of their suf­ fering from Chetniks, and Croats exacerbated the stories of their suffering in Yugoslavia. The theory of cognitive dissonance is one of the most influential theories in social psychology over the last 60 years. Cognitive dissonance refers to the conflict of holding opposing attitudes, beliefs, or behaviours. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to the modification of one of the (opposite) attitudes in order to reduce the discomfort and restore balance (Festinger, 1957; Lieberman, 2006). For Donie and Fine, Bosnian neighbourhood does express a tradition of “tol­ erant pluralism” based on positive historical experiences, while for Hayden it is rather an artificially created “antagonistic tolerance” based on political awareness of the need to tolerate others in order to maintain stability. Based on their empirical research, Sorabji (who researched neighbourhood in the city area) and Henig (who did his research in a village district) deny that the Bosnian neighbourhood can be considered as a mechanism for regulating relationships between different groups; it is rather a model of community life rooted in a particular sociocultural environment, which does not depend so much on eth­ nicity and religion. The hadiths originate from the authoritative collections Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. In this volume, Nora Eggen analyses in detail the concept of neighbourhood (jar) based on the Qur’anic text, lexical and hadith literature. However, she does not go into the topic of implementation and practical functioning of the principle of good neighbourliness. Oddbjørn Leirvik discusses the concept of neighbourhood in the earliest Islamic tradition by paying special attention to the famous hadith “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself”. He reflects on its significance in estab­ lishing inter-tribe solidarity between Arabs of Muhammed time and shaping a general Islamic view of solidarity and tolerance. I lived in Sarajevo until mid-April 1992 and, like many others, believed that Bosnia would remain peaceful despite the ethnic war in neighbouring Croatia. However, the sudden shelling of the city by Serb forces stationed in the sur­ rounding hills shattered any illusion of peace. Regime restrictions were particularly severe in the first decades after World War II. Many monasteries and Sufi tekkes were closed, religious education was re­ duced and kept under the control of the authorities, some of religious symbols and customs were suppressed, headscarves for Muslim women were banned (Malcolm, 1996: 194–96). In his book Balkan Idols, Vjekoslav Perica shows how churches and religious organizations played an important role in national mobilization of the people in Yugoslavia during the 1970s and 1980s, creating a basis for development of religious nationalism (Perica, 2002: 123–185). He particularly emphasizes the negative role of historians, especially Serbian historians, who were pre­ occupied by the relationship between the nation and religion (Perica, 2002:

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13 14

15 16 17 18

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ix–xi). Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt, in their book Hadets anatomi (The Anatomy of Hate), also pay attention to the role of public figures, above all the nationalist intellectuals and political leaders, in creating mistrust towards others (Eriksen and Stjernfelt, 2003). Basing their political program on critique of communism, Bosnian Serbs, Croats and Muslims established national (read: nationalist) parties. It is significant that each of these parties’ names contained the word democracy. Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ – Croat Party), Serbian Democratic Party (SDP – Serb Party) and Party of Democratic Action (SDA – Bosniak Party). These three parties won the election and made the coalition that gained absolute power, thus driving the Communist Party into opposition after 45 years of rule. The Declaration of Independence was adopted in the Bosnian parliament after a referendum (February 1992) in which most of the population voted in favour of independence and secession from Yugoslavia. Bringa’s research focus was family life (household) and communality as prac­ tised in rural areas. Most of her interlocutors are women – both Muslim and Catholic. One of the messages of the book is that women are guardians of the home and bearers of good neighbourhood. A complete documentary which includes interviews conducted by Bringa with Muslim and Catholic villagers is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=mGbYqsXNBbI Ibid. Human Rights Watch Report, 1998. Then 249 men, nine women and one baby were killed, and they were found and identified in a mass grave four years later. Some of the survivors testified how their pre-war Serb friends, who knew what was going on, did not warn them to flee and escape the massacre (Weiss and Fledelius, 2000:8–12, 29–35, 51–64, 180). As early as 1993, Tadeusz Mazowietski, rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights in the former Yugoslavia, published documents on the systematic rape of women in Bosnia. Some Western journalists had already reported on this during 1992, mentioning, among other things, Partizan sports hall in Foca as a rape camp (Allen, 1996: 65–86). According to current estimations by the European Union and the Bosnian Ministry of Interior, 25,000–50,000 women were raped (Boeschoten 2003:44; Snyder et al., 2006:189). Documentation of mass rapes – primarily of Muslim women – and testimonies of victims show that sexual violence was used as a “legitimate” means of war. Thus, women as guards of good neighbourhood and open doors were among the first victims (The Observer, February 21, 1993). International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Krnojelac (IT-9725) “Foča” 13 March 2001, https://www.icty.org/x/cases/krnojelac/trans/en/01 0313it.htm Svetlana Broz travelled throughout Bosnia in search of people who witnessed sacrifices for others, confirming that good neighbourhood was maintained in many places during the war (Broz, 2004). The massacre committed by the Serbian army in Srebrenica in July 1995, when more than 8,000 Bosniaks were killed, was declared an act of genocide by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Due to massive indoctrination about Muslims as an enemy to be destroyed, many Serbian soldiers were probably convinced that they were doing the right thing. However, there are many testimonies of how they got drunk during the

Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia 169 crimes so as not to have compassion for the victims. As one of the survivors of mass killing reported, “once soldiers began drinking, the atrocities followed” (Sells, 1996:74). 26 It was the colonial authorities in the early 20th century that separated them as two ethnic groups, despite their only difference being in the tradi­ tional economy – agriculture. The conflict started after the Hutu president’s death in a plane crash, after which the Hutu people accused the Tutsi of conspiracy and started a war against them, during which over a million people lost their lives, most of them as victims of Hutu genocidal actions (Gourevitch, 1998).

Bibliography Allen, Beverly (1996). Rape Warfare. The Hidden Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. Banac, Ivo (1996). “Bosnian Muslims: From Religious Community to Socialist Nationhood and Post-Communist Statehood, 1918–1992”, in The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina (ed. by Mark Pinson), Harvard University Press, Cambridge. Blok, Anton (1998). “The Narcissism of Minor Differences”, in European Journal of Social Theory. SAGE Journals, Vol. 1 (1), pp. 35–56. 1993 The Observer (February 21, 1993). Guardian Media Group, London. Boeschoten, Van Riki (2003). “The trauma of war rape: A comparative view on the Bosnian conflict and the Greek civil war”, in History and Anthropology, Routledge, Vol. 14 (1), pp. 41–44. Bringa, Tone (1995). Being Muslim the Bosnian Way: Identity and Community in a Central Bosnian Village, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. Broz, Svetlana (2004). Good People in an Evil Time: Portraits of Complicity and Resistance in the Bosnian War, Other Press, New York. Brubaker, Rogers (2002). “Ethnicity without groups”, in European Journal of Sociology, Vol. 43 (2), pp. 163–189. Campbell, David (1998). National Deconstruction: Violence, Identity, and Justice in Bosnia, University of Minnesota Press. Donia, J. Robert and Fine, J. John (1994). Bosnia and Hercegovina: A Tradition Betrayed. Hurst, London. Đozo 1999 Đozo, Husein (1999). Fetve, Sarajevo, Bemust. Dragouni, Olimpia (2015). “The Category of Neighbourhood in Islamic Modernism of Yugoslavia. “Fetve” of Husein Đozo”, in Open Access article, Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences. Eriksen, Jens-Martin & Stjernfelt, Frederik (2003). Hadets anatomy, Lindhardt og Ringhof Forlag, Denmark. Festinger, Leon (1957). A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, Stanford University Press, Stanford. Fine, V. A. John (1994). “The Medieval and Ottoman Roots of Modern Bosnian Society”, in The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina (ed. by Pinson, Mark), Harvard University Press, pp. 1–21. Gourevitch, Philip (1998). We Wish to Inform you that Tomorrow we will be Killed with our Families: Stories from Rwanda, Picador, New York. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia – https://www.icty.org/ en/cases

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Hayden, Robert (2002). “Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites in South Asia and the Balkans”, in Current Anthropology, Vol. 43 (2), pp. 205–231. Henig, David (2012). “Knocking on my neighbour’s door’: On metamorphoses of sociality in rural Bosnia”, in Critique of Anthropology, Vol. 32 (1), pp. 3–19. Hunt, Swanee (2004). This Was Not Our War. Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace. Duke University Press, Durham & London. Ignatieff, Michael (1999). “Nationalism and the narcissism of minor differences”, in Theorizing Nationalism (ed. by Ronald Beiner), State University of New York, pp. 91–102. Kiš, Danilo (1996). “On Nationalism”, in Performing Arts Journal, Vol. 18 (2), pp. 13–17 Kolstø, Pål (2007). “The narcissism of minor differences -theory: Can it explain ethnic conflict?”, in Filozofija i drustvo, Vol. 2, pp. 153–171 Lervik, Oddbjørn (2010). “Aw qāla: ‘Li-Jārihi’: Some observations on brotherhood and neighborly love in Islamic tradition”, in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol. 21(4), pp. 357–372. Also published in this volume (chapter 5). Lieberman, Ben (2006). “Nationalist narratives, violence between neighbors and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Hercegovina: a case of cognitive dissonance?”, in Journal of Genocide Research, Routledge, Vol. 8 (3), pp. 295–309 Mahmutcehajic, Rusmir (2000). Bosnia the Good: Tolerance and Tradition, University of Washington Continuing Education Majstorović, Steven (1997). “Ancient Hatreds or Elite Manipulation? Memory and Politics in the former Yugoslavia”, in World Affairs, Vol. 159 (4), pp. 170–182 Malcolm, Noel (1996). Bosnia A short History, Pan Books, Macmillan McCharthy, Justin (1994). “Ottoman Bosnia, 1800 to 1878”, in The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina (ed. by Mark Pinson), Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Oberschall, Antony (2010). “The manipulation of ethnicity: from ethnic coopera­ tion to violence and war in Yugoslavia”, in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 23, 2000 (6), pp. 982–1001 Perica, Vjekoslav (2002). Balkan Idols. Religion and Nationalism in Yugoslav States, Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York. Pinson, Mark (1994). “The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina under AustroHungarian Rule, 1878-1918”, in The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina (ed. by Mark Pinson). Sahih al-Bukhari. Book 78 – Good manners and forms – https://sunnah.com/ bukhari Sells, A. Michael (1996). The Bridge Betrayed. Religion and Genocide in Bosnia. University of California Press, Berkeley Simić, Olivera (2017). “Drinking Coffee in Bosnia: Listening to Stories of Wartime Violence and Rape”, in Journal of International Women’s Studies, Vol. 18 (4), (on-line, open-access, peer reviewed feminist journal). 321–328. Smith Livingstone, David (2011). Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others. St. Martin’s Press, New York. Snyder, S. Cindy, Gabbard, J. Wesley, May, J. Dean and Zulcic, Nihada (2006). “On the Battleground of Women’s Bodies. Mass rape in Bosnia-Herzegovina”, in Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, Sage Publications, Vol. 21 (2), pp. 184–195.

Rethinking neighbourhood in Bosnia 171 Sorabji, Cornelia (2008). “Bosnian Neighborhood Revisited: Tolerance, Commitment and Komšiluk in Sarajevo”, in On the Margins of Religion (ed. by Frances Pine and João de Pina-Cabral), Berghahn Books, New York/Oxford, pp. 97–112. Struman, D. Edvard (2012). “Dehumanizing just makes you feel better: The role of cognitive dissonance in dehumanization”, in Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, Vol. 6 (4), 527–531. Weiss, Birte and Fledelius, Karsten (2000). Vanviddets vidner, Gyldendal, Nordisk Forlag, København.

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The childless woman and her neighbours: Exploring neighbourliness within a rural community in Cameroon Gladys Ekone Wang

Introduction To ask “Who is my neighbour” or to search for the meaning of the word “neighbour,” have been commonplace in all generations and amongst many religious groupings: Judaism, Islam and Christianity, to mention but a few. Yet, the answers remain ambiguous. The ways in which these religious traditions have developed in different corners of the world, also witness to great variety. In this chapter, a case study from Cameron will be the point of departure, to rethink the figure of the neighbour. I aim to explore some of the aspects of neighbourly understanding through the experience of a childless woman’s story in the Bakossi community. Here we find examples of good and bad neighbours, as well as different kinds of intersectional relationships and levels of reciprocity. This chapter explores the social and cultural interaction of “neighbourliness” as experienced by a childless woman, in conjunction with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29–37). I utilize storytelling or narrative method in exploring the concept of neighbourliness, for its appropriateness in making connection between faith and action and make use of experiences and reflections as the intervals of connection1. Susan Vanzantem observes that “Narrative, whether oral or written, exists in all known cultures and we find it much easier to understand and appreciate another culture’s stories than learn its language”2. Furthermore, my choice of storytelling or narrative method will enable readers to locate themselves with new cultural norms and ways of thinking, thus providing an invaluable resource for understanding and explicating the conduct of a person3. The conjunction of narrative and neighbourliness explored in this chapter gives an understanding of what a neighbour can be from the perspective of the narrator, in addition to exploring the narrator as a neighbour. Can reading a childless woman’s experience alongside the parable of the Good Samaritan help us reflect on the biblical imperative to love our neighbour? The concept and meaning of neighbour remain ambiguous as to whether it refers to physical neighbour, someone who share similarities in

The childless woman and her neighbours 173 culture or religion, meeting certain requirement of membership in a selected community, class, race, siblings or every living creature (person/human). For the purpose of this chapter, I will not want to limit the understanding of neighbour to the next-door neighbour and persons of the same religion (Christianity) or culture, although this is the understanding the narrator in the case study experiences. Accordingly, in the case study to be discussed, the neighbour means the concrete person living next door, or in proximity. This concept, however, potentially also relates to the overall fellow human being, as addressed in the parable. By neighbourly reading, I point towards a narrative, which recounts what a neighbour is, but the narrator(s) may as well be considered neighbours. Such reading recent neuropsychological studies suggest, has the potential to enhance our ability to be better neighbours in today’s global world4. My point of departure is from the fieldwork I conducted as a PhD candidate (University of Oslo – Norway) in Cameroon from August 2016 to June 2017 and January 2018 to February 2018. The focus was the experiences of childlessness couples among the Bakossi community in Cameroon. In the research, I made use of in depth interview method in collecting the data. My analytical lens was African Feminist theologies’ cultural hermeneutics. The result of the study pave a complex meaning of good neighbourliness. According to Esther Acolatse, the concept of good neighbourliness or communal living advocates the practice of tolerance, peacefully living together with one another as a good neighbours for the good of the self and for the harmony of the community. It is the principle that undergirds familial and group relationships and, in an ideal situation, ensures the well-being of the whole group5. Rationality and mutual interdependence ethos are expected and esteemed from all members of the community. Exploring into the lives of childless couples and persons among the Bakossi people and perhaps many other African communities, it has become more and more apparent that among the fundamental principles of interrelatedness and inequality in human dignity, lie ambiguities and contradictions in “good neighbourliness,” which deserve urgent consideration.

The childless woman and her neighbour In my fieldwork, I came across different ways in which the childless couples presented their daily experiences about their immediate neighbours and how this social interaction affects the lives of childless persons within the community. It is worth noting here that in such communites, childbearing in marriage is seen as a divine mandate to all humanity. Therefore, being married and childless are considered flaunting the divine command that God gave to the first couple as found in the creation narratives6. “And God bless them, and God said to them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it …” (Gen. 1:28). Consequently, childless couples suffer indignation and stigmatization from community members. One of

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the most important values in African culture is the primacy of human relationships – and the value immediately related to it the community7. Generally, within the African context no one lives in isolation. Others define whom you are and how you live. This way of living is a version of the good life and well-being embodied in the African philosophy of Ubuntu (the interconnectedness and interdependence of individuals embedded within networks of relationship within the community)8. Therefore, relationship or good neighbourliness is the central moral and ethical imperative in most African communities. This is because good neighbourliness or relationship help in the building up of a strong community and increasing the well-being of all individuals. Acolatse maintains: It is in relation to others that authentic identity emerges. Authentic identity is a prerequisite for mutual intimate relationship in which each is enabled to live in to her or his full humanity and is changed and enlarged by the encounter9. In this worldview of interconnectedness, the understanding of “who is my neighbour” may denote persons living next door or within the same vicinity, related by blood or tribe who in most cases join in celebrations of different situations or occasions: Birth, initiations /rite of passage, funerals etc. Given this background of interrelatedness of individuals and the community at large, I realize the significance of the neighbour figure. It is worth mentioning here that the informants live in a primarily Christian community, in which the Bible is read as proof texts. That is, in most cases people interpret and use biblical passages to justify both negative and positive actions. Thus, their worldview and social interaction are guided by both African cultural moral codes as well as Christian beliefs. Nevertheless, the influence of the Bible is not peculiar within African cultures, as many biblical scholars acknowledge that the Bible is an influential book in shaping and producing ideologies10. For example, Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza notes, “biblical texts affect the perceptions, values, and imagination not only of Christians, but of Western cultures and societies”11. The story that follows takes place in a context where biblical and African traditional moral and ethical values are interwoven and used in conceptualizing community living. Mrs Nzame, a pseudonym for a woman I encountered in the field, is a childless woman and dwells in a remote village in Ntehoo in Bangem subdivision, Cameroon. She is married and have no biological child. In responding to the interview question “How would you assess your relationship as a childless woman with members of this community?” Mrs. Nzame narrates her experiences: Our village is very small as such; it is like one big family. There is seemingly very good relationship with everyone. However, there are

The childless woman and her neighbours 175 some times you find it difficult living here. Some neighbours are very understanding and supportive, while others make our lives very miserable as a childless couple. Children are a useful asset in everyday life of each household. Characteristically, they run errands for their parents and any other elderly person. It is assume that a child belongs to both the parents as well as the community. Therefore, it is commonplace to ask your neighbour’s child to run errands. My experience with our neighbour does not resonate our tradition of considering their children as ours. We have a cordial relationship as I can say, but not when it comes to asking their children to run errands for us. On several occasions, our neighbour would have to intercept their child from performing an errant for us and assign the child to do something else. It is like when you need the help of their children that is when the parents equally have need for them. Whenever my neighbour does that, I feel shamed for not being able to bear a child. Most often, I wonder if we belong to the same community and church, where they teach us to love our neighbours as ourselves. I once approached her to find out why she usually restrict her children from assisting us. She said, it might be it is usually a coincident. To me that was not true, because the actions remained persistent. I have resolved not to request for favour from her children and that has given me some degree of peace.

Good neighbours and bad neighbours Before delving to explore how neighbourliness is played out in the above story, it is worth noting here that the discussion in this chapter relates exclusively to women, who tend to be more active locally than men are in the Bakossi community. Women in this locality interact more since women and children mostly carry out household chores. Another important dimension that should be considered when reading this text is that, in this community, overlooking offenses and maintaining good neighbour relationship with members of the community is a cultural and social code. Furthermore, the proximity of the next-door neighbour matters, because it offers general friendly chats and exchanges of material and human services. The narrative above reveals the importance of having a good relationship with the next-door neighbour. From Mrs. Nzame’s shared experience, one would quickly identify some categorisation of neighbourly relationship within this local community. She sees her community as one big family, suggesting a kind of supportive and collaborative spirit among community members. This notwithstanding, she points out some discrepancies in the form of attitude displayed by some members of her community. She therefore classifies some neighbours as good and others as bad. Amongst those she considers bad is her next-door (immediate) neighbour, whose attitude she brandishes as bad, uncaring, unsupportive, showing total lack of love towards her.

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Although Mrs. Nzame claims to have a good relationship with her immediate neighbour, her narrative suggests the contrary. Underneath the overt friendliness and good neighbourliness, as seen in the story, lie grudges that many people harbour against their neighbours. However, due to the cultural social code expected of every member of the community to be at peace with one another, these two women mask their true feelings about each other. Masking these feelings was an aspect of pretence inherent to the local code12. In Mrs Nzame’s words, “we have a cordial relationship.” By classifying their relationship as cordial connotes a somewhat tolerant for the sake of peace and a way of hiding from community critics. In the public space, they seem to be good neighbours yet they are at odds with each other. There is a regularity in the sociality, but not necessarily of great depth, perhaps just a warm approach to follow the social scripts13. Implicitly, there is a shallow demonstration of what the public expects in neighbour relationships, but their relationship and exchange never lead to a sustainable social bond of a neighbourly relationship. An important question that I ask is “in what sense can the social relationship, as in the story above, be considered good neighbourliness?” It is obvious that this relationship deviates significantly from the romantic depictions of communities that characterise some of the research literature of previous decades in which primary ties were considered virtual for community life14. As in most parts of Africa, in Bakossi too, one’s place of residence is where socialisation, formation of identity and accomplishment are celebrated. One cannot be complete without the other. To have a fulfilled life, to experience well-being, one has to participate in the life of the community, availing oneself of the caring resources of the community15. In accordance with this concept, neighbourliness becomes ideally an intimate secondary relationship. In an attempt to be at peace with one another, one finds ambiguity of a seemingly close relationship, yet dispensable relationship emerges. The very existence of neighbour relationship links to negative attributes like mutual dependency and vulnerability16. Mrs Nzame’s inability to have children leaves her more vulnerable in the slightest provocative attitude put forward by her immediate neighbour whenever she needs help from her neighbour’s children. She therefore interprets the neighbour’s refusal to let children assist her as shaming her. In Cameroon and perhaps most communities in Africa, interactions between those who can have biological children and those who are childless, especially women, have often depicted the worst-case scenarios of neighbourliness. The experiences ranges from insulting images (witch, dry stick, male pawpaw, beautiful orange tree without fruits), to feeling of self-pity, shame, lack of self-esteem and low social identity construction17. Sadly, good neighbourliness has its limitation in the context of being childless. Birenbaum-Carmeli maintains that, in a modern and postmodern context, neighbour relationship appear stressful and ambiguous18. While neighbourliness is acknowledge as invaluable, neighbours and even good

The childless woman and her neighbours 177 neighbours are generally considered interchangeable. This is so because, whilst some neighbour becomes social partners, most neighbour relationship are partial and extremely conditioned. In this regard, Blieszner and Adams conclude that neighbouring has been found to be the strongest predictor of social contract19. In Mrs Nzame’s story and understanding, good neighbours are people who make others feel more comfortable within their neighbourhood. According to Burrell Kathy, their sociality is useful primarily for the way it creates a more reassuring experience of place20. Seen in this way, social interactions are key to developing a sense of being. The neighbour of the childless woman despises her for not being able to bear children. The neighbour treats her as an outcast. In addition, she would not allow her children to perform menial jobs, which children in the community do for adults. Childbearing in marriage is somehow a mandatory role, a cultural assumption, which is used in measuring human dignity, especially women within the African context21. This accounts for Mrs. Nzame harbouring the feeling of being undignified by her next-door neighbour. Lamenting on the injustice practiced by the community on childless women, Kanyoro Musimbi observed that, “to be without a child is be considered a lesser person … the individual woman without a child suffers from not fulfilling the expectations of the community”22. Neighbour relationship within the community is to be harmonious and interdependent; or individuals will end up not being each other’s keepers. Here we find a partial and externally conditional good neighbour relationship. Childless women do not receive equal benefits from rationality and interdependent living. Thus, the question of “who is my neighbour” is not only at the heart of the human quest for meaningful relationship, it is also at the heart of our quest for peace and human dignity. The question “who is my neighbour?” can also be asked in terms of human dignity. In the context of African Feminist Theologies Cultural Hermeneutics, in which this study is rooted, the dialogue between biblical texts and everyday life of women and men is crucial23. Mrs. Nzame, as we could perceive from her shared experience, is left with the feeling of shame, loss of self-esteem and self-pity for not being able to procreate. Who has the right to define what makes the human being to be human? Human dignity is what God the creator gave to all humans ‘imago die’; in the image of God. He created them male and female (see Gen 1:28). Human dignity is not dependent on the ability to procreate but on the bases, that God created each human in his own image. Therefore, to exclude some people or show them less love is to deny the very love that God wants humanity to share. The Christian doctrine expresses that human beings are created for relationship, just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three persons in one (Trinitarian). Consequently, persons are not persons on their own account, but they are nonetheless persons by virtue of their participation in the life of the trinity through the Son “… their identity as persons is bound up with their relationship to Jesus, who as the incarnate son, is both the model and source of their own personhood.”24

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The neighbour to the childless woman is acquainted with the community’s status quo of what it means to live (life togetherness, showing love and concern) as neighbours. Yet in their daily interaction as close neighbours, she makes exceptions. Her reason of making exclusion is that in her eyes she sees the childless woman as the “other” or imperfect, because of her lack of the ability to have children25. Nasimiyu-Wasike maintains that within most significant African communities, childless women are considered a dead-end and useless to the community. To a lager extent, the community and the childless women see themselves as lacking identity when they are without children26. Mrs. Nzame’s neighbour finds it difficult to accept her as her fellow woman with whom she can relate just because Mr Nzame’s childlessness. They are not just neighbours; they are women (gender sameness), whereby we may assume they should be able to understand and be in solidarity with each other. Arguably, Kanyoro hypothesise that, for generations, women have guarded cultural prescriptions. The reason why some women uphold cultural practices of maltreating fellow women and practice such hideous customs that diminishes other women, is the conviction that they are preserving their cultural heritage27. Even their cultural and religious similarities in the teaching of good neighbourliness and interrelatedness among members of the community did not prod her conscience to be nice to the childless woman. The childless woman, like the man beaten and wounded by thieves and laying helpless at the roadside, needs interpersonal relationships. Mrs. Nzame is in need of a neighbour who could actively participate in her life by showing her love and sharing not only her love but also letting her feel the joy of bearing children. The childless woman’s wounds are both visible and invisible (physical assistance and psychological pain of being childless-emotional). The neighbour’s action of not allowing her children to come to the assistance of the childless woman can be compared to the Priest and the Levite who passed by the other side of the road (Luke 10:28). The South American liberation theologian explained what it means to be a neighbour “A neighbor is not [the one] whom I find in my path but rather [the one] in whose path I place myself, [the one] whom I approach and actively see”28. The childless woman is in need of a neighbour to be with in her predicament. Being with involves paying close attention to the needs of others. Loving our neighbour in all its fullness and paying close attention as elucidated by Simone Weil, simply means being able to say to the neighbour “what are you going through? It is a recognition that the sufferer exists, not only as a unit in the collection, or a specimen for the social category labelled “unfortunate”, but as a man, exactly like us”29. The recognition of our diversities or differences as human (ethnicity, culture, race, gender and bodily abilities), could be interpreted and analysed as Jesus’ intention in the story of the Good Samaritan. Having children as neighbours with whom to share affection with other than using children as service provider is neither given adequate attention

The childless woman and her neighbours 179 by Nzame’s neighbourly narrative, nor by the community. In the story and the cultural perspective, the children are to a large degree described as objects of property or capital, which could and should be shared and invested on, between family/adults and community members. Children are not valued as those to share affection with; rather they are valued more on the errands they perform to both their immediate families and community. This is apparent in Mrs. Nzame’s story, wherein she is not complaining of lack of love from the neighbour’s children towards her. Rather, she sees them more as resources for assistance/objects. It would not be an overstatement to argue that in this community, children are neighbours who suffer from multiple burdens. Adults have the right to use them for their stake and children are to obey. Children are generally seen as a great blessing within the African context. The idea of children being a blessing is absorbed towards satisfying adults individual ambition or desire (exploitation) and not care and concern (good neighbourliness). What this attitude suggests is that children as neighbours are expose to mistreatment or oppressed within the context of neighbourliness, by adults in the community. The conundrum here is how can children in this community reconnect their experiences within the ethical moral of the Good Samaritan story.

Neighbourliness and reciprocity Paramount to the moral and ethical obligations of communal solidarity or good neighbourliness is reciprocity among members of the community. That is, mutual exchange among community members, especially one’s immediate neighbours, is not a matter of choice but rather a command. It is one of the core value of hospitality where human beings meets the needs of one another. Emma Justes upholds: Reciprocity has its roots in our common humanity-in what we share with all other human being. Our common ground of shared humanity is found in our being created in the image of God. Every one of us carries the image of God and share in this image with all other human being … all of us have in common the human experience of pain, suffering, fears, loss and joy-every human emotion30. In this community, though children belong to a particular household, they are considered as belonging to the community. This idea is best expressed in an adage, which goes thus: When a child is in the womb, she or he belongs to the mother but as soon as the child is delivered, she or he belongs to the entire community. The oral tradition requires that children come to the assistance of their immediate parents as well as other community members (Neighbours). Secondly, this exchange of services done by children is not limited to those with children and, rather, include every

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member of the community. Therefore, relationships within the community are characterised by reciprocity. The neighbour to the childless woman fails to implement this concept in their daily interaction and denies interdependence/reciprocity. Children assisting neighbours, exchange of pleasantries and sharing of material things constitute good neighbourliness. The proximity of the next-door neighbour position remains crucial as far as reciprocity amongst neighbours is concerned. Amin and Thrift have opined through material goods and related practices, social act and mediated lead to relationship of greater trust between neighbours31. The childless woman’s neighbour’s attitude contradicts the very societal ethics of love for neighbour, which promotes the idea that humans depend on each other’s generosity for their survival. She displays “self-sufficiency” because she thinks her children will also be around to help her out in whatever situation she finds herself. She equally undermines the principle of reciprocity. In other words, she has failed to recognise that everyone has a need in one circumstance or another. Thomas Reynolds opines, The ethics of exchange indicates that human beings share a base line of vulnerability that is worth protection, it fosters a dependence upon the generosity of others. Indeed justice requires an economy of compassionate reciprocity that welcomes and provides for the vulnerable32. Therefore, there is always a need for persons to come to the aid of other members of the community. If we accept the venerability of all humans and that we as well as others can be exposed to some disadvantage position in life, it will give humanity the ability to recognise and empathised with people who are not very different from themselves. Coming back to the value of children within the community vis-à-vis reciprocity: Children as neighbours have a double burden of responsibility; they equally share blessings from their immediate families as well as the community. It is expected that as children render services to other members of the community, something that the members equally reciprocate by offering gifts to the children in appreciation. Not only is the community expected to reciprocate love for children by offering them material gifts and food, the general upbringing of children is a communal responsibility. It is with this understanding that neighbours, especially adult members of the community, are to reprimand children when found going against accepted norms of the community. In other words, rendering parental nurturing to children is equal to good neighbourliness. Implicitly, the wellbeing of all members of the community within the African setting fits into the story of the Good Samaritan, which focuses on doing good to all humanity irrespective of their differences. Another important aspect that is apparent in the story about the childless woman and her next-door neighbour is that they share religion, cultural and gender, which necessitate that they ought to have a good neighbourly

The childless woman and her neighbours 181 relationship. By referring to their religious and cultural sameness, Mrs. Nzame supposes her neighbour to show her more love and understanding, which unfortunately is not the case. Sameness be it religious, cultural or gender etc. is not a guarantee to good neighbourliness. The figure of the neighbour is complex, balancing between insider and outsider, same and different, friend and enemy. The good neighbour, as it is, depends on an intersectional web of categories. In the case of Mrs. Nzame, who has so many qualities making her potentially a good neighbour, childlessness disturb her possibilities to be included on equal terms in the neighbourhood.

Towards a theology of neighbourly love In the New Testament narrative, we have a discussion with Jesus responding to a lawyer’s question on who is my neighbour. According to several interpreters of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus’ responds show that a neighbour is everyone without exception, no matter who they are or what they have ever said or done.33 Yet, both within and outside the Christian community, humanity continues to exclude people who may not look the same, people with different religious believes, ethnicity, nationality, political and social camps, physical abilities, to mention a few. Because of these human created barriers or orders, people refuse to see others as their neighbours. One way to learn to identify “who is my neighbour” is through stories or shared experiences like what Jesus did in responding to the Lawyer “but who is my neighbour”? (Luke 10:28) or to the childless woman in Cameron. Jesus uses storytelling or narratives with potential experiences from everyday life in the “parable of the Good Samaritan,” to expound on the question “who is my neighbour?” How can Jesus’ parable about the Good Samaritan fit into the context of neighbourliness and childlessness? Are there any comparable aspects that can provide a more cordial relationship between neighbours who can bear children and those who lack the ability to bear children (childlessness)? The moral analogy in the parable of the Good Samaritan is love for fellow human. It is about stepping out of one’s comfort zone and meeting others in their point of need. Love stands out to be the greatest commandment in Christianity. That is love for God, love for the self and love for neighbour. Jesus in summing up the greatest commandments when he points out: Love the Lord God with all your heart and love you neighbour as yourself. Thus besides loving God all humans are expected by the creator to love one another. Loving one’s neighbour is an essential and integral part of faith in God. This love for neighbour is not restricted to the person next door but showing care and kindness to all who come our way. I agree with Reynolds Thomas, who argues that love for God is intimately correlated to the love of neighbour. Because love comes from God who loves us first, we are expected to love others (Neighbours). But loving neighbour does not

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simply entails compassion and respect for those who are close or with those we are related to or share affinity with; it also stretches to include those from afar, who affinities are not shared, those in the biblical tradition call “strangers”34. In the case of the story above, the childless woman represents the ‘stranger’ image of neighbour depicted in the biblical tradition. One cannot claim to love God whom we do not see when the person does not love the neighbour whom he or she can see. Therefore, in loving God, humans are required to love each other (1 John 4:19--21). Good neighbourliness obliges a kind of concern and care that transcends sameness and opens up towards the community of humankind. Loving God is not different from the performance of loving one another, such that by loving each other, we love God. The vertical and the horizontal love are inextricably woven together35. One of the way of keeping good neighbourliness is by placing yourself in someone’s position. Sharing in someone’s pain allows us to taste what God did for us when He came as a human to endure the cross. Loving and keeping good neighbourly relationship is a matter of choice. When we choose to imagine what someone else is going through, we can then show that person true compassion. Are childless persons not also our neighbours? Should we not love them too, despite their inability to have children? The parable of the Good Samaritan demonstrates love in action, practical love, which should characterise Christian love. Love for neighbours demands that human beings show love to all irrespective of tribe, ethnicity, loyalty, religion, disabled and abled bodies, race, culture and social beliefs. The Samaritan saw that the man who is wounded needs compassion. He acted according to his convictions and understandings regarding the values of his community, which was love for one another. Susan Vanzantem has argued that the parable of the Good Samaritan points to the prominence of love without boundaries. She stresses, Even those we might regard as alien or an enemy are to be treated as neighbours, for restricting benevolent acts to one’s own family, tribe, class, religion, or nation expresses only self-love36. As human, we are expected to love ourselves, but for that love to be fully made manifested, it requires us to share it with others irrespective of who they are and where they come from or what they believe in. However, there are challenges and difficulties that arise with loving one’s neighbour as oneself, because the neighbour is not thyself. This notwithstanding, the preservation of difference is a central element of neighbourliness; we are not to make our neighbours into ourselves but rather to honour their differences37. Thomas Aquinas equally argues that we do not love our neighbours because they are our friends; instead, we love them because God loves them, regardless of our differences38. Every human is created for relational and interconnectedness of self and community. The

The childless woman and her neighbours 183 relationship of a person to the self does not deny interdependence; neither does it posit independence self-sufficiency. Rather, it calls for identifying with all human beings and treating them with love by placing oneself in the position of the needy person. Consequently, when speaking for love of neighbour we should equally seek to be good neighbours to the people who are oppressed or are suffering from any form of prejudices or injustice. In other words, good neighbourliness is effective when we seek out for each other. According to Prachi Patil, The Good Samaritan represents the act of transcending the borders of stratified neighbourhood- the Samaritan goes out of his way to help the man, considering it his human/moral duty. He recognizes the victim as his neighbour. This transcendence into neighborliness is vital for a fully human existence39. Another important step towards good neighbourliness as projected from the story of the Good Samaritan is to sacrifice one’s plans and position. The Samaritan invested his time, money and his resources into saving the wounded man, just as Jesus surrendered himself so that we could have abundant life. Sacrificial love costs us something but the return is healing and forgiveness. The childless needs healing, which is not just the absence or present of a disease, physical illness, or disorder, but a sense of one’s contentment, acceptance, and sense of meaning derived, despite one’s physical condition40. Furthermore, good neighbourliness necessitate taking specific action. The Samaritan showed the man that he cared by helping him. It was that decision that led to restoration. In the same way, we must be willing to act in ways that demonstrate empathy, humility, and grace. Compassion, in order to be effective, has to lead to reciprocity. The fact that the childless woman lacks the ability to have children, does not mean she does not have other God-given talents, which the neighbour with children may need. To be a good neighbour is to bear over with difference and be prepared to help. I agree with John Calvin who believes that God created human beings with both gifts and needs; one person’s gifts meet other people’s needs, so human communities are complex ecological systems of gifts and needs, with neighbours found at every turn41. The straightforward answer to the question of who is my neighbour in this case could simply mean anyone who needs your care. Nevertheless, a neighbour is not one who meets the needs of others or who show mercy to the afflicted. A neighbour could as well be those who do not show mercy to others, like in the case of the childless woman and her next-door neighbour in the narrative above. We cannot deny that the two women are neighbours. In a similar manner, McFarland argues, It is true that the one who showed compassion was a neighbour to the

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Gladys Ekone Wang man who fell among thieves, but Jesus’ final words to the lawyer are in the imperative rather than indicative mood: “you go and do likewise”. The lawyer is not told who his neighbour is. He is simply commanded to imitate the Samaritan’s compassion without being given any specific criteria regarding those to whom compassion is owed42.

Implicitly, neighbourliness is not all about being nice or compassionate to others. Even those at odd with each other can still be neighbours. Good neighbourliness is being involved and paying close attention to the particularities of others. As Simone Weil explains: Not only does the love of God have attention for its substance; the love of our neighbour, which we know to be the same love, is made of this same substance. Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them their attention43.

Conclusion It is not easy to tell who a neighbour is or what constitutes good neighbourliness, in any given circumstance. Jesus’ response is an indication that “who is my neighbour” was not intended to mean who is my next- door neighbour, and rather points to whom one should act in a neighbourly way. The obvious answer, as I have interpreted the possible meaning behind the story of the Good Samaritan to be, is that the whole world becomes one’s neighbourhood; yet what counts is not neighbourhood rather it is neighbourliness. Neighbourliness, in its universality, points to the demonstration of practical love, which must break all sorts of barriers: Religious, cultural, ethnicity, social background, race, gender, able bodies and the list continuous. Conversely, those who are in need have a claim on our love. Exploring the dynamics of neighbourliness from the experience of a childless woman and the parable of the Good Samaritan opens up fresh possibilities for understanding how the love of God is inseparable with the love of neighbour. If anyone says, I love God, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must love his brother (1 John 4:20--21). The narrative from the childless woman reveals that the African Philosophy of Ubuntu, which is communal solidarity (I am because you are and if you are then I am), is not applicable to all in everyday life, especially in the context of childlessness and good neighbourliness. This, therefore, a move beyond mere pretense to a mutual respect of each human person and a

The childless woman and her neighbours 185 cooperative sharing of differences, in welcoming one another irrespective of diversities. Loving our neighbour to get involved in hearing, listening carefully and attentively, welcoming and appreciating the gifts and talents they offer, being willing to be with the neighbour without turning them into ourselves.

Notes 1 Kanyoro Musimbi 2002. Introducing Feminist Cultural hermeneutics: An African perspective. Sheffield Academic Press. Pp. 23. 2 Vanzantem Susan 2016. Narrative and neighbourliness. Christian Scholar’s Review. XLVI: 1, Pp. 19. 3 Herman, David. 2013. Storytelling and the Science of the Mind Boston: MIT Press. Pp. 294. 4 Vanzantem, Susan. 2016. Narrative and Neighborliness. Christian Scholar’s Reviews. XLVI: 1. Pp. 9. 5 Acolatse, E. 2010. Unravelling the relational myth in the turn towards autonomy. In Stevenson-Moessner and Snorton (eds). Women out of order: Risking change and creating care in a multicultural world. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. pp. 218. 6 Gladys Ekone Wang. 2020. Childlessness in Marriage among the Bakossi community in Cameroon: an African feminist contextual pastoral theology of procreation. Faculty of theology – University of Oslo-Norway. Pp. 149. 7 Nyengele Fulgence. 2014. Cultivating Ubuntu: An African postcolonial pastoral theological engagement with positive psychology. Journal of Pastoral Theology. Vol. 24, (2), pp. 14. 8 Ubuntu is a complex and polysemouse concept to define because it is meaning things to many people: social scientists, historians, philosophers, community members, politicians and the list continues. However, it is characterised by some basic values like humanness, caring, respect, empathy, reciprocity, love, sensitive to the needs of others, commitment and patient. The core principle of Ubuntu is the understanding that one cannot be fully human alone. Humans are created for relationship and it is only through this interaction and involvement with others persons that an individual is connected with all things (animate and inanimate). See Nyengele 2014 ‘Cultivating Ubuntu: An African postcolonial pastoral theological engagement with positive psychology, pp. 16–17; Also see Idoniboye-Obu and Whetho Ayo 2013. “Ubuntu: ‘you are because I am ‘or I am because you are? pp. 231–233. 9 Acolatse Esther. 2010. Unravelling the relational myth in the turn towards autonomy. In Stevenson-Moessner and Snorton (eds). Women out of order: Risking change and creating care in a multicultural world. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. Pp. 220. 10 Musa Dube. 2000. Postcolonial feminist interpretation of the Bible. St. Louis Missouri: Chalice Press. Pp. 23. 11 Fiorenza, E. 1992. But She Said: Feminist Practices of Biblical Interpretations. Boston: Beacon Press. Pp. 47. 12 Birenbaum-Carmeli, D. 1999. Love thy neighbor: Sociability and Instrumentality among Israel neighbors. Human Organization, vol. 58, No. 1, pp. 85. 13 Laurier E. et al. 2002: Neighbouring as an accessioned activity: “Finding a lost cat” Space and Culture, vol. 5, (4). Pp. 353. 14 Birenbaum-Carmeli, D. 1999. PP. 91. 15 Nyengele Fulgence 2014. Cultivating Ubuntu: An African postcolonial pastoral

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18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

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theological engagement with positive psychology. Journal of Pastoral Theology, 24(2). Pp. 21. Birenbaum-Carmeli, D. 1999. Love thy neighbor: Sociability and Instrumentality among Israel neighbors. Human Organization, vol. 58, No. 1, PP. 82. Gladys E. Wang. 2020. Pp94. More details on abuse and insults on childlessness see also Auli Vahakangas. 2009. Christian couples coping with childlessness: narratives from Machame, Kilimanjaro. Pickwick Publications USA. Pp. 128–129. Ibid. pp. 82. Blieszner R. and Adams R. 1992, Pp. 78. Burrell Kathy. 2016. Lost in the “chun” locating Neighborliness in a Transient neighbourhood. Environment and Planning A, vol. 43 (8). Pp. 1612. Bahemuka, M, 1992. Social Changes and Women’s Attitude towards Marriage in East Africa. In Oduyoye and Kanyoro (eds.) The Will To Arise: Women, Tradition, And The Church In Africa. Eugene: Orbis Books. Pp 120. Kanyoro R. Musimbi. 2002. Introducing Feminist Cultural Hermeneutics: An African Perspective. Sheffield. Pp. 69. Ibid. PP. 7–9. McFarland, A.I. 2001. Who Is My Neighbour? The Good Samaritan as a Source for Theological Anthropology. Modern Theology, vol. 17 (1). Pp. 64. It is worth noting here that a woman who cannot or has not given birth is a social misfit. If she have never conceived, she is in most cases openly ridiculed and told that she is not a woman. For details on motherhood and the African women, see Metuh Ikenga 1999. Comparative studies in African Religion. Enugu. Pp. 188. Nasimiyu-Wasike, A. 1992. Polygamy: A Feminist Critique. In Oduyoye and Kanyoro (eds). The Will to Arise: Women, Tradition, and the church in Africa. Wipf &Stock Eugene, Oregon. Pp. 103. Kanyoro, R. M. 2002. Introducing Feminist cultural Hermeneutics: An African Perspective. Sheffield Academic Press. PP. 15. Gustave Gutiérrez. 1993. A Theology of Liberation. Maryknoll, New York. Pp. 198. Weil, Simone. 1951. Waiting for God, Trans. By Emma Craufurd. New York: Harper 1973, PP. 64. Justes, J. E. 2006. Hearing Beyond the words: How to become a listening pastor. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Pp. 95. Amin, A and Thrift, N. 2002. Ethnicity and multicultural city: living with diversity. In Environment and planning A, vol. 36 (4). Pp. 959. Thomas, E. Reynolds. 2010. Towards a wider hospitality: Rethinking love of neighbour in Religions of the book. Irish Theological Quarterly, vol. 72 (2). Pp. 180. Nolan, Albert. 2009. Hope in an age of Despair. Orbis Books: Maryknoll, New York. Pp. 121. Reynolds E. Thomas. 2010. Towards a wider hospitality: Rethinking love of Neighbor in Religion of the Book. Irish Theological Quarterly, vol. 72 (2). Pp. 176. Ibid. pp. 177. Vanzantem Susan. 2016. Narrative and neigborliness. Christian Scholar’s Review. XLVI: 1, Pp 13. Ibid. Pp 13. Summa Theologica, Volume 3 (Part II, Second Section), question 26. Patil Prachi. 2016. Jesus’s two great commandments: Analysing Indian Theology through Caste and Gender. Feminist theology, vol. 25 (1). Pp. 58. Mucherera, Tapiwa. 2017. Healing in contemporary African Christian contexts

The childless woman and her neighbours 187 in the face of the HIV &AIDS Pandemic. In Mucherera, T. and Lartey, E. (eds) Pastoral care, health, healing, and wholeness in African Context: Methodology, context, and issues. Africa practical theology volume 1. Wipf &stock Eugene. Pp. 34 41 John Calvin, Commentary on Acts, vol. 1, 36, Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Accessed June 5, 2020, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom3 6.xx.vii.html. 42 McFarland, A.I. 2001. Who Is My Neighbour? The Good Samaritan as a Source for Theological Anthropology. Modern Theology, vol. 17 (1). Pp. 60. 43 Weil Simone. 1973. Pp. 64.

Bibliography Acolatse, Esther (2010). Unravelling the relational myth in the turn towards autonomy. In Stevenson-Moessner, J. and Snorton, T. (eds). Women out of order: Risking change and creating care in a multicultural world. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. Pp. 220–248. Amin, Ash and Thrift, Nigel (2002). Ethnicity and multicultural city: living with diversity. In Environment and Planning A vol. 36 (4), Pp. 959–980. Bahemuka, M., (1992). Social Changes and Women’s Attitude towards Marriage in East Africa. In Oduyoye, M. A. and Kanyoro, M. R. A. (eds) The will to arise: Women, tradition, and the church in Africa. Eugene: Orbis Books. Pp. 119–134. Birenbaum-Carmeli, D. (1999). Love thy neighbor: Sociability and Instrumentality among Israel neighbors. Human Organization vol. 58 (1), Pp. 82–93. Blieszner R. and Adams R. (1992). Adult Friendship, Newbury Park, Calif: SAGE Burrell Kathy (2016). Lost in the “chun” locating neighborliness in a transient neighbourhood. Environment and Planning A vol. 43 (8), Pp. 1599–1616. Calvin, John, Commentary on Acts, vol. 1, 36, Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Accessed June 5, 2020, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom36.xx.vii.html. Gutiérrez, Gustave. (1993). A Theology of Liberation. New York: Maryknoll. Pp. 198. Herman, David. (2013). Storytelling and the Science of the Mind. Boston: MIT Press. Justes, J. Emma. (2006). Hearing Beyond the Words: How to Become a Listening Pastor. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Kanyoro, R.M. (2002). Introducing Feminist Cultural Hermeneutics: An African Perspective. Sheffield Academic Press. Laurier E. et al. (2002). Neighbouring as an accessioned activity: “Finding a lost cat”. Space and Culture vol. 5 (4), Pp. 346–367. McFarland, A.I. (2001). Who Is My Neighbour? The Good Samaritan as a Source for Theological Anthropology. Modern Theology vol. 17 (1), Pp. 57–66. Mucherera, Tapiwa. (2017). Healing in Contemporary African Christian Contexts in the Face of the HIV & AIDS Pandemic. In Mucherera, T. and Lartey, E. (eds) Pastoral care, health, healing, and wholeness in African context: Methodology, context, and issues. Africa practical theology, volume 1. Wipf &stock Eugene, Pp. 32–48. Musa Dube. (2000). Postcolonial Feminist Interpretation of the Bible. St. Louis Missouri: Chalice Press. Nasimiyu-Wasike, A. (1992). Polygamy: A Feminist Critique. In Oduyoye, M. A.

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and Kanyoro, M. R. A. (eds). The will to arise: Women, tradition, and the church in Africa. Oregon: Wipf &Stock Eugene. Pp. 101–118. Nolan, Albert. (2009). Hope in an Age of Despair. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books. Nyengele Fulgence. (2014). Cultivating Ubuntu: An African postcolonial pastoral theological engagement with positive psychology. Journal of Pastoral Theology vol. 24 (2), Pp. 1–35. Patil Prachi. (2016). Jesus’s two great commandments: Analysing Indian theology through caste and gender. Feminist Theology vol. 25 (1), Pp. 53–61. Reynolds E. Thomas. (2010). Towards a wider hospitality: Rethinking love of neighbor in religion of the book. Irish Theological Quarterly vol. 72 (2), Pp. 175–187. Schüssler Fiorenza, E. (1992). But She Said: Feminist Practices of Biblical Interpretations. Boston: Beacon Press. Vanzantem, Susan. (2016). Narrative and neighborliness. Christian Scholar’s Review vol. XLVI (1), Pp. 9–25. Wang, G. Ekone. (2020). Childlessness in Marriage Among the Bakossi Community in Cameroon: An African Feminist Contextual Pastoral Theology of Procreation. PhD. Dissertation, Faculty of Theology UIO-Norway. Weil, Simone. (1951). Waiting for God. Trans. Emma Craufurd. New York: Harpers. Pp. 1973.

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Imagining the everyday life of Jewish and Christian “neighbors” in Late Antique Capernaum: Beyond church and synagogue – and back again Wally V. Cirafesi

Introduction The fourth to the seventh centuries of the Common Era represent a period both rich and complex for the study of Jewish – Christian relations, ren­ dering a wealth of archaeological and literary data. In this treasure trove of sources, we see, at various times and in various places, a wide range of potential interactions between Jews and Christians, from violence, aggres­ sion, and separation (rhetorical and real),1 to affinity, attraction, and partnership (again, rhetorical and real).2 We also see in some cases a blurring of the distinction between “Jewish” and “Christian” altogether,3 as individuals and communities, texts and objects position themselves in both categories simultaneously.4 Perhaps one of the richest sites in all the Late Antique East for exploring the sociospatial interaction between Jews and Christians is Capernaum, a small town located on the northwest shore of the Lake of Galilee famous for its role in the New Testament Gospel narratives as the home of the apostle Peter and a place where Jesus taught and performed many mira­ cles.5 Capernaum’s history significantly predates the time of Jesus and ex­ tends to a time well after, stretching back to as early as the Bronze Age, with continual occupation into the Crusader period.6 Before the fourth century CE, Capernaum, like most towns and villages west of the Jordan River, was a Jewish town.7 By the sixth century, the town had become a Christian “holy” hot spot, with pilgrims all over the Byzantine Empire trickling in to pay homage to the cult of St. Peter, where an octagonal church had been built in the fifth century over the supposed site of the apostle’s house.8 At the same time, Capernaum had become the home of one of the grandest synagogues in all of Palestine, erected a mere twenty-five meters to the north of the church (see Figure 9.1).9 In the sixth century, the town had reached its peak in urban development and economic prosperity, but the balance of its demographics had shifted, with Byzantine Christianity in its newly invented “Holy Land” reaching the height of its imperial power;10

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Figure 9.1 Town plan of the Franciscan site of Capernaum. Plan reproduced here with permission is from B. Callegher, Cafarnao IX (Jerusalem: Edizione Terra Santa, 2007), pp. 16–17.

Capernaum’s Jewish community – now a colonized minority carving its cultural and political agency into the landscape of Byzantine power through the architecture of its monumental synagogue11 – shared Capernaum as a social space with politically empowered Christians emigrating from throughout the Byzantine world.12

Beyond church and synagogue 191 With these imposing structures dominating Capernaum’s built landscape, it is no wonder that what little scholarly discussion has been had about Jewish–Christian relations in the town has revolved solely around these two buildings. Their architectures, chronologies, and proximity to one another have led to proposals of various interactional paradigms, such as “conflict,” “co-existence,” “competition,” or “rivalry.”13 However, to date, no study has considered the question of Jewish–Christian relations in Capernaum from the perspective of the archaeology of the town’s surrounding domestic environment. This has led to the current status in research, in which the identity-shaping symbolism of the octagonal church and limestone syna­ gogue are interpreted in a social and material vacuum. In this essay, therefore, I wish to move the question of Jewish–Christian relations in Capernaum beyond merely the church and synagogue, and to bring the town’s two social-architectural spheres together analytically – the domestic and the monumental – to address the question afresh. Adapting several insights from the work of social theorists Michel de Certeau and Pierre Mayol on the concepts of “everyday life” and the “neighborhood,” as well as Cynthia Baker’s work on the architecture of gender in Late Antique Galilee, I first explore how Capernaum’s “neigh­ borhood architecture” – its socio-material network of houses, shops, and streets – contributes to the way in which we imagine the functional aspects of Jews and Christians having lived together as “neighbors.” I then tie this discussion of neighborhood architecture back into the question of the sup­ posed “religious” boundary projected by the architecture of Capernaum’s church and synagogue. Recognizing the limitations of the archaeological record, here I introduce several contemporaneous and geographically prox­ imate literary sources that, I argue, provide further hermeneutical insight into the entangled relationship between Capernaum’s monumental and domestic landscapes and that allow us to generate a more robust historical imagination of Jewish – Christian interaction in the town.

“Neighborhood” and “neighbor” in Michel de Certeau’s and Pierre Mayol’s social theory In his The Practice of Everyday Life, Michel de Certeau draws the now well-known distinction between “strategies” and “tactics,” two cultural categories (and metaphors taken from military parlance) that oppose one another in their calculation of power relationships within a given society.14 Every “strategic rationalization” stems from the purview of power, a setting of control, in which the subjects, the producers of strategy, distinguish their “own place” as an in-group in the social hierarchy from an out-group, from other objects. Governments (national or local), managers of institutions (large or small), and city planning commissions are good examples of

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subjects with “strategic” power. Self-segregated from the invisible objects they lead, producers of strategy determine the “rules of the proper;” they create from a panoptic vantage point the official “environment,” the public space, in which external social agents act. “Tactics,” on the other hand, are the everyday calculated actions of the non-powerful “users” of this environment. Tactics lack their “own place,” because they are always executed on someone else’s turf, in the space of the other. Tactics are, as de Certeau puts it metaphorically, maneuvers “within enemy territory.”15 While tactics are influenced by the rules that already exist in culture through strategic power, they operate as isolated actions, unpredictable and creative, and never wholly determined by those rules. Strategies utilize to­ talizing discourses to transform and control objects they wish to include within their all-encompassing scope of vision; tactical movements are opportunistic, spontaneous, and work at the “ground level.” De Certeau illustrates this relationship between “strategy” and “tactics” by contrasting the concept of “the city” with the “ordinary walker” in the city.16 “The city” is projected by governments and institutions as public space, as a unified whole, through maps, street grids, and urban planning. The “ordinary walker” – who, for example, needs to arrive at work on time – tactically adapts, manipulates, and even resists this environment by taking shortcuts, generating bypasses, hopping fences, and infracting pe­ destrian laws by jaywalking. The environmental “rules of the game” that strategic power produces and imposes from its surveillance tower are not necessarily rejected, but they are, indeed, poached on and transgressed in the process of everyday life, as “ordinary” dwellers in the city attempt what de Certeau terms “to make do.” Working within de Certeau’s theoretical framework, Pierre Mayol has described how the notion of “neighborhood” is an important bridge-concept that links the spheres of strategic power and everyday tactical action.17 The neighborhood, for Mayol, is not a static place. Rather, it is a dynamic cultural practice involving a “progressive apprenticeship” that grows out of the re­ petition of a dweller’s bodily engagement in the unknown totality of public space until they achieve a kind of appropriation of this space, that is, until they have adapted it to particularized and advantageous use.18 The neighborhood is a living and fluid extension of one’s abode, which, little by little, insinuates itself into the public space of strategic power through the everyday tactical use of this space. The concept of neighborhood, therefore, both depends on and complicates the delimitation of “private” and “public” space; it is always shifting as one, through repetition, becomes a master of their spatial en­ vironment. As Mayol says, “The public and the private are not both dis­ regarded as two exogenous, though coexisting, elements: they are much more constantly interdependent, because, in the neighborhood, one has no meaning without the other.”19 If the repetition of everyday cultural habits is the key to understanding the neighborhood as an environment in which a dweller appropriates

Beyond church and synagogue 193 (tactics) public space (strategy), then recognition is the key to understanding the neighborhood as a network of social relations within that appropriated environment.20 The neighborhood is a social space known to a dweller, but it is also a social space in which a dweller knows her or himself to be recognized, to a greater or lesser degree, by others. The neighborhood is always, as Mayol asserts, “the space of a relationship to the other as a social being.”21 As soon as one steps out of their house and on to a street, they have taken up an identifiable place in a pre-existing network of social signs, a place that makes them recognizable – they have a face – and, at the same time, distinguishes them from the other. This other is “neither intimate nor anonymous” but rather a neighbor.22 The recognition of a neighbor – their being “known” – results from the repetitive and proximate performance of their commitment to the “rules of propriety,” that is, the implicit social contract that makes everyday life possible rather than a living hell. Of course, this contract can experience violent rupture – neighborhood life can, indeed, become an anarchic, “monstrous” hell23 – and thus “making do” in the neighborhood can become impossible. Making do in everyday life, therefore, is predicated on both one’s resistive adaptation of strategic power and the commitment of members within the social network to “pay the price” of renouncing individual impulses with the goal of gaining the symbolic benefits of being recognized.24 In sum, in de Certeau’s and Mayol’s theory, repetition of tactical action in concrete proximity and recognition of the “neither intimate nor anonymous” neighbor are the sociospatial building blocks of everyday life, of “making do,” in the neighborhood. Together they represent adaptive responses to and within strategic power, which is, by contrast, singular and faceless. This framework goes a long way to highlight the functional interconnectivity of and, simultaneously, the discrepancy between strategic and tactical elements of society. While the “society” that de Certeau and Mayol have in mind here is modern – and particularly French – their theory opens up new ways of con­ figuring social relations between Jews and Christians in an ancient context like Capernaum, where the dynamics of strategic power and tactical action can be theorized through its built environment.

Jews and Christians in the “neighborhood” in Late Antique Capernaum Capernaum’s grand synagogue and octagonal church are clear, if com­ peting, expressions of ethno-religious institutional strategy. Each functions to claim an autonomous place, to construct an “official environment” in which to control its objects. Together they construct sociospatial bound­ aries, self-segregating distinctions (concrete or conceptual) between subjects and objects, a set of rules by which those “out there” are compelled to play. How well did the town’s Jews and Byzantine Christians play by these rules? How well could they have played by them in light of the architecture

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of Capernaum’s domestic landscape? In what ways and to what extent did Jews and Christians here adapt, resist, and particularize their official en­ vironment in relationship to each other as “others”? It is impossible to answer these questions with certainty and specificity; tactical actions do not always leave discernible traces in the archaeological record. We can, however, get at some answers by using the de Certeau-inspired concept of “neighborhood” to open up Capernaum’s non-monumental landscape in relation to the landscape of the church and synagogue. I suggest we do this by considering three micro-zones that represent the appropriation of public space for particularized everyday use, that is, the intersection, or perhaps better, the mapping, of “private” onto “public” space. These micro-zones are specific areas in Capernaum’s non-monumental landscape that lend themselves the most to theorizing “life in the neighborhood,” the processes of repetition and recognition, of “making do,” and of knowing and being known by the other: houses, the marketplace, and streets. I will argue that the practice of “neighborhood” in Capernaum draws Jewish–Christian relations into processes of liminality, fluidity, and intense sociality, while the strategy of the church and synagogue is to demarcate place as the pri­ mary marker of Jewish and Christian identity, that is, to distinguish be­ tween static subjects, and that we are to read a strong functional element of resistance to strategic power within Capernaum’s domestic landscape.25 Capernaum’s houses and the domestic landscape As in many societies today, the house in ancient Palestinian society lied at the center of the practice of neighborhood. However, in contemporary (especially European and North American) societies, as well as in de Certeau’s and Mayol’s social theory, the concepts of “house” and “neigh­ borhood” are predicated upon a strong distinction between the more basic concepts of private and public space: “the house” is understood to exist within the realm of the private, while “the neighborhood” is seen as a middle concept between it and public space. As demonstrated by Cynthia Baker in her study of gender and space in Late Antique Jewish society, houses throughout the Roman and Byzantine East entertain no such dis­ tinction.26 That is, the house was, itself, the middle concept, the starting point for the adaptation of public space and the social processes of re­ petition and recognition, and, thus, for the practice of neighborhood. Ancient Mediterranean houses, especially those excavated in the region of the Galilee, were usually built in multi-residential blocks (or “in­ sulae”).27 Within these blocks, lines demarcating where each dwelling unit starts and stops are often difficult or even impossible to discern. This could be due, as Baker notes, to the impartial state of preservation of many sets of remains,28 but, in places where remains are quite well preserved, the sprawling and architecturally complex nature of such housing blocks could just as well be evidence of the intensely social and relational character of

Beyond church and synagogue 195 ancient dwelling units and, by implication, the dwelling practices that ac­ companied them. To describe Galilean houses, therefore, as “private spaces” obfuscates the data.29 Housing compounds could be relatively large and could include multi-residential complexes set within an even larger complex, with in­ dividual rooms and multiple courtyards communicating architecturally very closely with each other by way of, for example, shared walls or a single roof.30 As Baker argues, it is too much to assume that such compounds were inhabited by single or extended families or even solely by Jews; neither archaeological remains nor textual sources support this assumption. Some rabbinic texts, for their part, envision a social environment in which it was expected that Jews would be engaged in commercial activity with non-Jews on a daily basis (as detailed, e.g., in m. Avodah Zerah and its expansions in the Talmudic literature) and even share or co-own living spaces with nonJews in housing enclosures or courtyards.31 While movement in and out of housing complexes was not entirely un­ controlled, the multi-functional character of houses, with their utility rooms, shops, workshops, and courtyards, meant they could experience large volumes of daily foot-traffic from both residents and non-residents of the domicile. Domestic workshops, often set within shared courtyards, were the most common site of production and commerce in towns and villages like Capernaum. According to m. Baba Batra 2:3, the coming and going of people in a shared courtyard could be dense and quite noisy, even dis­ turbing the sleep of neighbors.32 Everyday activities such as food pre­ paration and doing laundry were also performed in the social space of the courtyard, using installations and manufacturing tools that were often shared among various groups. As Baker asserts, people occupying such dwellings, while in their domestic environment, were, therefore, in a fun­ damentally social and interactive environment.33 The loud and chaotic movement of bodies and the deeply relational nature of the built environ­ ment complicate the notion of identity-bound space within the domestic landscape. The “house” in Late Antique Galilee was marked by fluidity in the spatial distribution of ethnicity as well as gender; it was apparently no more strictly “Jewish” or “Byzantine Christian”34 space than it was “wo­ men’s” or “men’s” space. It takes one look at a plan of ancient Capernaum to recognize in this town the kind of relationality and fluidity among its housing units that Baker has identified as characteristic of Galilean houses generally (see Figure 9.1).35 While a main North – South street and two smaller East – West alleyways cut Capernaum into several residential blocks, these blocks do not follow an orthogonal plan.36 Like other Galilean towns its size, such as Meiron, but unlike larger cities throughout the eastern Mediterranean, such as the lower city of Sepphoris (Galilee) and Dura-Europos (Syria), Capernaum’s domestic landscape is discernibly asymmetrical in layout.37 Houses within the residential blocks are set cheek by jowl, and it is very

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difficult to discern their limits.38 Most of these complexes show remains of staircases, suggesting they had second-level living and working quarters,39 which may or may not have been inhabited and used by the same group living and working on the ground-level. Let us turn to a few examples of Capernaum’s housing complexes. The so-called Triple Courtyard House, designated House 3 and 3a (“a” refer­ ring specifically to the House’s shop) by Mattila (see Figure 9.2),40 was almost certainly shared by multiple residents.41 It had an inner surface area of 135.1 m2, approximately seven ancillary rooms in addition to its three courtyards, and an attached house-shop that was added later (3a).42 This house butted up against two other houses within the block, House 1 to the west43 and House 2 to the northeast. House 3 shared walls with both of these other houses and likely had a roof that, architecturally, communicated closely with both as well. The nature of the goods produced and/or sold in the house-shop of the Triple Courtyard House is uncertain, but House 1’s high concentration of ovens (two large ones in its south-eastern most room; see the white circular notations given in Figure 9.2), its basalt crushing mortars, and the industrial size flour mill that was found in its courtyard have led Mattila to suggest (in agreement with Stefano De Luca) that House 1 doubled as a commercial bakery.44 The group of houses consisting of those designated by Mattila as Houses 4–8 also evinces intensely social and multifunctional characteristics. Houses 6 and 8 shared an entrance, with both houses having access to one another. Similarly, Houses 4 and 5 shared an entrance, which allowed even more free-flowing, mutual access between them. Mattila identifies about nine shops or workshops in this housing block, eight of which ran along the western strip of the area made up of Houses 4–8 and were accessible from the main North – South street. A ninth shop, House 8a, was an olive-press complex attached to House 8 (the use of similar roof tiles links the two structures), which was accessible from the zig-zagging East – West street and used for the production and storage of olive oil (see Figure 9.2).45 All shops and workshops in Capernaum were attached to a domestic complex, whether or not owned and operated by the owner of the ad­ jacent house, as was evidently the case with Houses 3/3a, 4/4a, 7a, 8/8a, and 10/10a. In other words, not only were Capernaum’s housing com­ plexes intimately connected architecturally, but they were also bound together through everyday commercial activity. Indeed, unlike in some of the larger cities of the Galilee and around the Byzantine East, there is no evidence of stand-alone shops or agora- or forum-like spaces in Capernaum; commerce and production in the town are thoroughly embedded within its domestic landscape. However, as in other smaller towns and villages in the region, many of Capernaum’s house-shops are situated along its heavily trafficked public street. Such a main street lined with house-shops and workshops – called the shuk in rabbinic literature (lit. “street-market”) – created a busy

Beyond church and synagogue 197

Figure 9.2 Segmentation of Capernaum’s Byzantine houses and shops with com­ mentary by Sharon Mattila as published in “Capernaum, Village of Naḥum, from Hellenistic to Byzantine Times,” in Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods. Vol. 2: The Archaeological Record from Cities, Towns, and Villages, ed. D.A. Fiensy and J.R. Strange (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2015), 224. Reproduced here with Mattila’s kind permission. In this plan, North is at the top of the page, South at the bottom, East to the right, and West to the left.

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thoroughfare that encompassed, as Baker observes, “the chief locale for commerce in goods, services, and information of all sorts. It is…that place where all manner of people of local, distant, and foreign origin had access to one another, as well as to goods that were similarly of local, distant, and foreign origins.”46 Street-markets, such as the one in Capernaum, made social distancing an impossibility and coexistence among Others a necessity for the survival and stability of the town; you have to play nicely with Others in your neighborhood, even if only to make a living and not to make living a living hell. Street-markets, therefore, did not merely blur the boundary between domestic and public space, as it obscured the spatial limits of the neighborhood;47 they, furthermore, obscured the limits of group identity, as they created a context of social flux and fluidity open, by necessity, to exchange and interaction between people of different genders, classes, and ethno-religions. This physical and social layout is a good example of “neighborhoodbuilding” defined as the appropriation and particularization of public space, which I described above within Mayol’s and de Certeau’s social theory. The spatial semiotics of Capernaum’s houses can be understood as an encroachment on and resistance to the strategy of the town’s urban planning and monumental landscape. These houses were sites of everyday tactical actions that did not play by the same “rules of the proper” as the totalizing institutions of the church and synagogue. These dwelling complexes were predicated on processes of social fluidity and liminality, where repetitive yet unpredictable behaviors manifest as mastery of the social environment over time, for example, through buying and selling, producing and consuming, and entering and exiting spaces. In contrast to the social system of the church and synagogue, which depends on hierarchical self-segregation from the invisible objects “out there” that they attempt to control, the social system of Capernaum’s housing com­ plexes, as “neighborhood,” was built through visibility and recognition, as dwellers increasingly inscribed their place into the sociospatial system through, for example, sharing objects, sharing courtyards, sharing greet­ ings, and sharing the sights, sounds, and smells of the neighborhood with those in proximity to them, especially those within the same housing block. We can imagine that such repetitive, spontaneous behavior and visual recognition shaped the “neither intimate nor anonymous” figure of both the Jewish and Christian neighbor in Capernaum. Imagining the everyday life of Jewish – Christian relations Reading Capernaum’s neighborhood landscape as a realm of tactical action in contradistinction to its monumental landscape as a realm of strategic power can in some ways complicate and in other ways clarify our picture of Jewish–Christians relations in the town. While the church and synagogue project borders and distinction of place between Jewish and

Beyond church and synagogue 199 48

Christian identities, the town’s domestic environment projects a social situation that precludes such defined parameters. There is no evidence among Capernaum’s housing complexes of separate Jewish and Christian spaces;49 the intense sociality and architectural communication between dwellings seems to indicate precisely the opposite. The image the archaeological data impresses on us is one of densely po­ pulated housing blocks, brimming with social activity from Jewish and Christian neighbors living, working, and thus, by necessity, closely inter­ acting with each other in everyday life. While this image contributes little to our understanding of the psychology of Jewish – Christian relations – close interaction says nothing about whether neighbors actually like each other – it does encourage us to move away from imagining in Capernaum the presence of static and sturdy identities of “Jewish” versus “Christian” and, rather, toward envisioning these as dynamic, relational, and functional identities socially constructed through the mechanisms of repetition and recognition, which may have been manifested, for example, in commercial and real estate partnerships, labor and production cooperation, and everyday social ex­ changes in public areas such as the street-market. Capernaum’s domestic landscape signifies the implicit social contract that existed both among and between Jews and Christians, which made everyday life possible. This social contract, of course, did not involve parties of politically equal status; recall that Capernaum’s Jewish community, regardless of how well-resourced it might have been,50 lived under the colonial rule of a Christian empire. The “social contract” undergirding everyday life in Capernaum had little to do, therefore, with establishing political or social equality but rather with, simply, “making do.” The picture of everyday life of Jewish–Christian relations I have inferred from the town’s domestic environment suggests that it contrasted and re­ sisted the boundary projected by its church and synagogue. How, then, are we to imagine the on-the-ground everyday relationship between this pro­ jected “religious” boundary, on the one hand, and the intense social fluidity among Jews and Christians within the town’s housing complexes on the other? Was the Capernaum of Late Antiquity a tale of two towns, char­ acterized by close daily interaction between Jews and Christians in the sphere of the neighborhood but clear separation, rivalry, or even conflict in the sphere of “religion”?51 Capernaum’s archaeological record cannot, on its own, answer this question.52 As mentioned earlier, there is, indeed, plenty of evidence that, throughout the Empire, Christians seized, vandalized, and destroyed sy­ nagogues, especially by burning.53 But no such material evidence exists in Capernaum, and no source, literary or archaeological, indicates that the limestone synagogue had been adjudged to the Christian community there.54 On the other hand, I suggest that some contemporaneous and geographically proximate literary sources not only provide a window on the socio-symbolic relationship between Capernaum’s church and

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synagogue but also, and at the same time, account for the spatial semiotics of the town’s domestic landscape. Of special significance is a number of ecclesiastical legal texts of Syrian origin (a region to which Capernaum clearly had a cultural and commercial attachment55), which indicate that in the Byzantine East the boundary between church and synagogue, or “Christian space” and “Jewish space,” was, like the concept of “neighborhood” in Capernaum, neither always clear nor always policed, frequently transgressed and manipulated.56 For example, The Apostolic Canons (ca. sixth century, Syria), in all of its recensions as well as in the commentaries of later medieval jurists who interpreted it, conveys un­ feigned anxiety about the participation of Christian clerics and laypeople in synagogue life.57 Various Canons prohibit activity ranging from Christians entering a synagogue to pray with Jews, to Christians cocelebrating Sabbaths and Jewish holidays (especially Unleavened Bread)58 and providing oil to synagogues for lamp-lighting rituals.59 Canons 65, 70, and 71 are clear examples: If a cleric or a layman should enter a synagogue of the Jews or of heretics for prayer, he shall be deposed and excommunicated (Canon 65).60 If a bishop or another cleric should fast with the Jews or celebrate holidays with them or accept their festive gifts, such as unleavened bread and anything similar to this, he shall be deposed; if a layman, excommunicated (Canon 70).61 If a Christian should contribute oil to a temple of the gentiles or to synagogue, or light lamps on their holidays, he shall be excommuni­ cated (Canon 71).62 The Apostolic Canons, like earlier and ideologically similar literature from Syria (especially literature influenced by the rhetorical and homiletical tra­ dition of John Chrysostom63), shows that Christian attraction to synagogues (and to Jews and Judaism more broadly) was relatively widespread in the Byzantine East. Conversely, some rabbinic literature shows that Jewish at­ traction to churches (and to Christians and Christianity more broadly) ex­ isted as well. For example, b. Avoda Zarah 17a, which preserves a form of the famous Palestinian tradition about the arrest of R. Eliezer on charges of entertaining “heresy” (‫ )מינות‬from a disciple of “Jesus the Nazarene,” presents an interpretation of the phrase “Do not come near the entrance of her [i.e., an adulterous woman’s] house” from Prov. 5:8 as a warning not to enter the “house” of the politically empowered Christians (‫)הרשות‬, i.e., churches. In the story, the “heresy” of Christ-adherence is likened to the lure of a “prostitute” (‫)זונה‬, from whom a good rabbinic Jew must remain socially distant, four cubits (approx. two meters) to be exact. A similar interpretation of Prov. 5:8 is given in the R. Eliezer arrest tradition preserved in the sixth-century po­ lemical midrash Qohelet Rabbah 1:8.64 I have treated this text in detail elsewhere.65 But what is interesting to note here is that, almost immediately

Beyond church and synagogue 201 following the story of R. Eliezer’s arrest and his interpretation of “Do not come near the entrance of her door” (Prov. 5:8), comes a story about a rabbinic encounter with certain “heretics” (‫ )מנים‬in Capernaum (‫ )כפר נחם‬who, like R. Eliezer and his discussant Ya’akov of Kefar Sekhanya, ascribe to a Jewish identity and are attracted to Christ-adherence.66 It is quite possible, therefore, that this midrash is a reflection of a sixth-century polemic against non-rabbinic Jews who, in the eyes of the rabbis, had, quite literally, gotten too close to the doorstep of the church of their colonizers in Capernaum; they had not maintained their four cubits of social distance.67 In other words, just as The Apostolic Canons reflects the on-the-ground social reality of Christian attraction to synagogues, so the Bavli text and the midrash might reflect Jewish attraction to churches. What we can infer from this, I think, is that the boundary between identities projected by Capernaum’s church and synagogue was just as fluid, unbound, and able to be manipulated and transgressed by tactical action as the boundary between “Jewish” and “Christian” identities within the town’s neighborhood landscape. We can imagine, therefore, Jewish – Christian “neighborly” relations as having been marked by both dynamic functional engagement and religious liminality, a compul­ sion to “make do” with, while simultaneously articulating attraction to, “the Other.”

Conclusion There is no way to know with certainty the specific kinds of everyday boundary-crossing “tactics” in which Capernaum’s Jews and Christians might have been engaged, whether praying in each other’s buildings, con­ tributing oil for lamp-lighting rituals,68 or sharing festive meals.69 But when we coordinate the dynamic relationality of Capernaum’s domestic land­ scape with literary sources, we are, indeed, compelled to distinguish in the monumental landscape between the projection of strategic power and the tactics of everyday life. On the level of strategy, Capernaum’s church and synagogue reflect, as Uzi Leibner says, “a struggle of monuments,”70 a struggle between static and segregated “Jewish” and “Christian” identities built into the social environment with eight-sided shapes and white lime­ stones. On this level, their function was simultaneously to exude and oversee the cultural-political agency of the town’s colonially empowered Christians and Jewish subaltern. However, on the level of everyday life, we can imagine Capernaum’s church and synagogue as discursive spaces that mirrored the same sociality and in­ teractivity between Jews and Christians that is reflected in the domestic landscape. Just as the town’s neighborhoods were created out of the tactical fabric of social recognition, repetition, and spatial proximity, so this fabric, no matter what specific tactical actions were actually performed, provided the building blocks of resistance to strategic power by manipulating the

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very places upon which this power hinged. The octagonal church and lime­ stone synagogue were, therefore, not only symbols of identity seeking to control the movement of their subjects. They also, and at the same time, participated contiguously with Capernaum’s dwellings in the spontaneous, opportunistic, and transgressive performance of Jewish and Christian neighbors who were, in the words of de Certeau, simply “making do.”

Notes 1 For examples, see S. Fine, “Non-Jews in the Synagogues of Late-Antique Palestine: Rabbinic and Archaeological Evidence,” in Jews, Christians, and Polytheists in the Ancient Synagogue: Cultural Interaction during the GrecoRoman Period, ed. S. Fine (London: Routledge, 1999), 198–214 (207–208); M. Aviam, “Christian Galilee in the Byzantine Period,” in Galilee through the Centuries: Confluence of Cultures, ed. E. Meyers (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1999), 295–99; P. Fredriksen and O. Irshai, “Christian AntiJudaism: Polemics and Policies,” in The Cambridge History of Judaism. Vol. 4: The Late Roman–Rabbinic Period, ed. S.T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 977–1034; and J. Gager, “Who Did What to Whom? Physical Violence between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity,” in A Most Reliable Witness: Essays in Honor of Ross Shepard Kraemer, BJS 358, ed. S.A. Harvey et al. (Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 2015), 35–48. 2 For sources on Christian attraction to Jews and Judaism, see below and P. Fredriksen, “‘If It Looks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck…’: On Not Giving Up the Godfearers,” in A Most Reliable Witness, ed. S.A. Harvey et al., 25–33 (esp. p. 30 n. 17). For sources on Jewish attraction to Christ-adherence, see K.H. Zetterholm, “Alternate Visions of Judaism and Their Impact on the Formation of Rabbinic Judaism,” JJMJS 1 (2014): 127–53; and, with special reference to Talmudic literature, see P. Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007). 3 Although not used in every instance due to cumbersomeness, I use scare quotes here (and in other places) around the terms “Jewish”/“Judaism” and “Christian”/“Christianity” to acknowledge the inherent instability and fluidity of these identity-categories in antiquity as well as the lack of consensus (both then and now) as to what, in fact, constituted them. 4 That is, even in Late Antiquity, in some areas of the empire, “Judaism” and “Christianity” were not clearly separate entities. See, e.g., the essays in A. Becker and A.Y. Reed, eds., The Ways That Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007); Zetterholm, “Alternate Visions of Judaism;” E.C. Smith, Jewish Glass and Christian Stone: A Materialist Mapping of the ‘Parting of the Ways’ (London: Routledge, 2018). 5 E.g., Mark 1:21–29; 3:1–6 Luke 4:31-37; 7:1–5; John 6:59; 18:20. 6 See discussion in S. Loffreda, Recovering Capharnaum (Jerusalem: Franciscan, 1993), 27–28. 7 Epiphanius, Pan. 30.11.9–10. See also M. Chancey, The Myth of a Gentile Galilee, SNTSMS 118 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 101–105; S.L. Mattila, “Capernaum, Village of Naḥum, from Hellenistic to Byzantine Times,” in Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods. Vol. 2: The Archaeological Record from Cities, Towns, and Villages, ed. D.A. Fiensy and J.R. Strange (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2015), 217–57. 8 For discussion, see A. Runesson and W.V. Cirafesi, “Art and Architecture at Capernaum, Kefar ‘Othnay, and Dura Europos,” in The Reception of Jesus in

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the First Three Centuries. Vol. 3: From Celsus to the Catacombs: Visual, Liturgical, and Non-Christian Receptions of Jesus in the Second and Third Centuries CE, ed. Chris L. Keith (London: T&T Clark), 166–75. For documentary photographs of the site, including the church and synagogue, see S. Loffreda, Cafarnao V: Documentazione fotografica degli scavi (1968–2003) (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 2005), esp. DFs 1–34a. On the Byzantine colonization of the “Holy Land” beginning in the fourth century, see Fine, “Non-Jews,” 204; A. Jacobs, Remains of the Jews: The Holy Land and Christian Empire in Late Antiquity (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004). Here I am drawing upon Lisa Findley’s work, which demonstrates the inherent connection among architecture and the politics of cultural identity. Architecture, understood as “built space,” physically and materially locates and generates power relationships, just as much as do historical events and socio-economic dynamics, within a particular society. See L. Findley, Building Change: Architecture, Politics, and Cultural Agency (London: Routledge, 2005). I have dealt more extensively with the aspect of monumental architecture and Jewish – Christian relations in a chapter in my forthcoming book, Capernaum: A History of Jews and Christians from the Time of Jesus to the Rise of Islam, titled “Of Octagons and Limestones: The Christianization of Capernaum and the Jewish Response.” Here I do not mean to exclude the possibility that Jewish Christ-followers were also present in fifth and sixth-century Capernaum, only that they have not left a discernible trace in the town’s archaeological record. The evidence for the presence of three social groups in Capernaum during this time is as follows: (1) Byzantine Christians: (a) the octagonal church, a clear archi­ tectural expression of Byzantine religious culture (cf. also the Church of the Nativity [4th cent., Bethlehem], the Kathisma Church [5th cent., between Hebron and Jerusalem], and the Church of the Theotokos [6th cent., Mt. Gerizim]); and (b) over 100 pieces of imported Late Roman Fine Ware stamped with stylized crosses, the density of which is striking (for the specific find-spots, see S. Loffreda, Cafarnao VI: Tipologie e contesti stratigrafici della ceramica (1968–2003) [Jerusalem: Franciscan, 2008], 400). (2) Galilean Jews: (a) a mere twenty-five meters to the north of the church was built one of the largest and most ornate synagogues of Late Antique Palestine, outfitted with various Jewish symbols (e.g., menorah, portable Torah shrine); (b) two donor inscriptions on columns of the synagogue mention Jewish names, e.g., Mo[ki]mo, Yohanan, Zebida (see T. Ilan, Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity. Part II: Palestine 200–650 CE, TSAJ 148 [Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012], 107, 364; “Jose bar Zebida” is the name of a famous Palestinian Amoraic sage mentioned in the Bavli, although the name itself, as Ilan mentions was frequently used in Palmyrene contexts); and (c) a sixthcentury donor inscription on the mosaic pavement of the synagogue at Ḥammath Gader mentions a Jewish man by the name of “Yosse bar Dosti of Capernaum” (J. Naveh, On Stone and Mosaic: The Aramaic and Hebrew Inscriptions from Ancient Synagogues [Jerusalem: IES, 1978], no. 33; G. Foerster, “Dating Synagogues with a ‘Basilical’ Plan and an Apse,” in Ancient Synagogues: Historical Analysis and Archaeological Discovery, vol. 1, ed. D. Urman and P.V.M. Flesher [Leiden: Brill, 1995], 87–94 [90–91]). (3) Jewish Christ-followers: the Palestinian midrash Qohelet Rabbah 1:8 (redacted 6th–8th cent.) mentions certain minim (“heretics”) living in Capernaum, who are probably to be identified as Jewish followers of Jesus. While this text likely reflects, in part, some memory of a second-century

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19 20 21 22 23 24 25

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rabbinic encounter with Jesus-oriented Jews, it is probably also reflective of a sixth-century polemical setting between rabbinic Jews and Jewish Christ-followers. I have treated a number of the interpretive difficulties with this text elsewhere. See discussion below and W.V. Cirafesi, “Jewish Christfollowers in Capernaum before the 4th Century? Reconsidering the Texts and Archaeology,” in Negotiating Identities: Conflict, Conversion, and Consolidation in Early Judaism and Christianity (200 BCE–400 CE), ed. K.H. Zetterholm et al., JSJSup (Leiden: Brill, 2021), forthcoming. E.g., A. Runesson, “Architecture, Conflict, and Identity Formation: Jews and Christians in Capernaum from the First to the Sixth Century,” in Religion, Ethnicity, and Identity in Ancient Galilee, ed. J. Zangenberg, H.W. Attridge, and D.B. Martin, WUNT 210 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), 231–57; B.Y. Arubas and R. Talgam, “Jews, Christians, and Minim: Who Really Built and Used the Synagogue at Capernaum—A Stirring Appraisal,” in Knowledge and Wisdom: Archaeological and Historical Essays in Honour of Leah Di Segni, eds. G.C. Bottini, L.D. Chrupcala, and J. Patrich, SBFCM 54 (Milano: Edizioni Terra Santa, 2014), 237–74; and R. Hakola, “Galilean Jews and Christians in Context: Spaces Sacred and Contested in the Eastern Galilee in Late Antiquity,” in Space in Late Antiquity: Cultural, Theological, and Archaeological Perspectives, ed. J. Day et. al. (London: Routledge, 2016), 161–64 See his discussion in M. de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. S. Randall (Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 1984), 35–38. De Certeau, Everyday Life, 37. De Certeau, Everyday Life, 91–110. P. Mayol, “The Neighborhood,” in M. de Certeau, L. Giard, and P. Mayol, The Practice of Everyday Life. Vol 2: Living and Cooking, trans. T.J. Tomasik (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), 7–13. Cf. D. Martin, “Enacting Neighborhood,” Urban Geography 24.5 (2003): 361–85 (365), where she articulates: “[Neighborhoods are] a particular type of place: locations where human activity is centered upon social reproduction; or daily household activities, social interaction, and engagement with political and economic structures. Neighborhoods derive their meaning or salience from in­ dividual and group values and attachments, which develop through daily life habits and interactions. Neighborhoods, like places, are ‘where everyday life is situated.’” Mayol, “Neighborhood,” 11–12. Mayol, “Neighborhood,” 8–9. Mayol, “Neighborhood,” 12. Mayol, “Neighborhood,” 12. On neighbors as “monsters” and “angels,” see M.B. Kartzow’s essay in the current volume. Mayol, “Neighborhood,” 8. Recall that “resistance” here does not imply violence, revolt, or intentional rejection of institutional strategy, but rather the principle that everyday life frequently runs against the grain of it in the attempt of individuals and groups “to make do.” See C. Baker, Rebuilding the House of Israel: Architectures of Gender in Jewish Antiquity, Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002), 34–76. Y. Hirsch, The Palestinian Dwelling in the Roman Byzantine Period (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1995), 272; Baker, Rebuilding, 36. Baker, Rebuilding, 36.

Beyond church and synagogue 205 29 The excavators of Capernaum routinely use the language of “private” vs. “public” space to describe the town’s houses in contrast to the church and sy­ nagogue. See, e.g., Loffreda, Recovering Capharnaum, 18–26. As described below, housing complexes in Late Antique Galilee were anything but “private,” at least in the same way we tend to use that term today the Euro-American West. 30 See Baker, Rebuilding, 36, where she mentions the so-called “Triple-Courtyard House” at Capernaum (see House 3/3a in fig. 1 below). 31 Baker, Rebuilding, 37. For example, m. Eruv 6:1 begins with the scenario of a Jew who “dwells in the same courtyard with a Gentile [‫( ”]הנכרי‬trans. Neusner). Joint-ownership of dwelling complexes or parts of dwelling complexes (e.g., courtyards, rooms) is mentioned frequently by the rabbis as well (e.g., m. Eruv 6:5: “A householder who was a joint-holder [in a commercial relation] with neighbors…”), and was common in the ancient Mediterranean more broadly. See discussion of this (as it relates to Dura-Europos) in J. Baird, The Inner Lives of Ancient Houses: An Archaeology Dura-Europos (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 50–57, especially her discussion of P.Dura 19, a documentary papyrus outlining the legalities of ownership of Durene houses and parts of houses. 32 See Baker, Rebuilding, 39. 33 A good example of this fundamentally social environment is m. Eruv 6:3, where the “men of the courtyard” are owners of dwelling units that surround said courtyard and that are mutually accessible (or not, depending on one’s observance of eruv) for “bringing things in and taking things out.” In other words, the halakhic status of an individual’s house has a direct impact on other house-owners. 34 “Byzantine Christian” should probably be understood as a broader cultural identity rather than ethnic identity. Coins and imported pottery might suggest that specific ethnic expressions of Byzantine Christianity such as Syrian (parti­ cularly Antiochene), North African, and Asian were present in Capernaum. See footnote 54 below. 35 See especially the many helpful figures including plans and reconstructions of Capernaum houses given in Mattila, “Capernaum.” The figures on pp. 224 (plan of entire Franciscan site; reproduced with permission below), 233 (re­ construction of Houses 6 and 8), and 235 (reconstruction of Olive-Press Complex 8a and Houses 9 and 10) are particularly illustrative. For clarifica­ tion, I follow the same house numbering as used by Mattila. For the plans produced by excavators V. Corbo and S. Loffreda, see any of the nine volumes produced in the series of reports, Cafarnao I–IX (Jerusalem: Franciscan, 1972–2008). 36 The residential block including Houses 1, 2, and 3 (block in between the sy­ nagogue and church) is the only block delimited orthogonally, with the main N – S street running along its eastern side and the two E – W streets circum­ scribing its northern and southern ends. It is not clear whether there are any other continuous streets in the town. One street, zig-zaging through Houses 7–10, seems to end abruptly at a wall near House 11. 37 E.M. Meyers and C.L. Meyers, “Meiron in Upper Galilee,” in Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods. Vol. 2: The Archaeological Record from Cities, Towns, and Villages, ed. D.A. Fiensy and J.R. Strange (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015), 379–88; E.M. Meyers, C.L. Meyers, and B. Gordon, “Sepphoris: Residential Area of the Western Summit,” in Galilee, ed. Fiensy and Strange, 39–50 (44). 38 Mattila recognizes this difficulty in her “Capernaum,” 224. Fig. D on this page clearly differentiates between houses, shops, and workshops, but it obviously

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50

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includes a level of arbitrary division between, e.g., Houses 4 and 5 (at what the excavators label Locus 98), and Houses 6 and 8 (at what the excavators label Locus 200). Ownership of these entryways was probably not neatly divided but rather shared between the owners of the houses (which themselves may have been jointly owned). This is not to deny that the figure is certainly helpful for clarifying some units, as it uses the general principle that independent units are defined (at least at ground level) by access to a street and lack of internal access to other units (Mattila, “Capernaum,” 229). On staircases and second-levels, see Mattila, “Capernaum,” 231–34 The area is designated Loci 45, 46, 51 by the excavators Corbo and Loffreda. Noted by Baker, Rebuilding, 36. Evidence that the area encompassed by House 3a (designated Loci 52, 56 by excavators) is the remains of a house-shop are (1) its lack of ovens; (2) lack of accesses to the inner areas of the house; and (3) a direct, wide, and doublecolumned, access to the East – West street immediately to the South (Street 41). See Mattila, “Capernaum,” 235–36, where she also draws on comparison with the house-shops found in Pompeii. As Mattila, “Capernaum,” 221 (in her Fig. C) mentions (but does present in her Fig. D on p. 224), while House 1 had a large courtyard in the early Roman period, this courtyard was divided up into smaller dwellings in the Byzantine period. As can be seen on the excavators’ plan of the town, this only makes our picture of the residential block of Houses 1–3 more convoluted. Mattila, “Capernaum,” 234. For documentary photographs of these remains, see Loffreda, Cafarnao V, DFs 136, 152, 153, 162c (where the conical bottom of the industrial flour mill is seen in situ in Locus 67). See the reconstructions of Stefano De Luca, presented in Mattila, “Capernaum,” 233, 235. Baker, Rebuilding, 105. Baker, Rebuilding, 77–79. As mentioned in note 12, this point is not intended to exclude the possibility (a strong one in my opinion) that Jewish Christ-followers lived in Capernaum in this period, who themselves would have blurred this boundary by way of their social identity. The many fragments of imported Late Roman Fine Ware stamped with crosses (mentioned in note 12), which were found scattered throughout the entire town, are evidence of neither the precise dwelling location of Byzantine Christians nor the theory that only Byzantine Christians inhabited Capernaum in the 5th and 6th centuries (as argued by Zvi Uri Ma’oz, “The Synagogue at Capernaum: A Radical Solution,” in The Roman and Byzantine Near East. Vol. 2: Some Recent Archaeological Research, JRASup. 31, ed. J.H. Humphrey [Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1999], 137–48). These fragments were found in housing complexes—especially areas of production—but also in apparently random areas such as in streets and alleyways. There is no discernible pattern in their distribution. What they demonstrate, rather, is the Byzantine strategy of colonizing through culture, in this case a particularly visual-material culture. Some scholars have understood the grandeur of the limestone synagogue as evidence of a level of local wealth among Capernaum’s Jewish community (e.g., Hakola, “Galilean Jews and Christians in Context,” 161–64). The synagogue inscription from Hamat Gader mentioning the donation of a Jewish man from Capernaum (see note 12 above) might also be evidence of local wealth. Here I state my awareness of the significant problems involved in using the terms “religious” and “religion” as applied to antiquity. “Religion” is now widely agreed to be a defunct category as it pertains to the pre-modern era.

Beyond church and synagogue 207

52 53

54

55

56

57

58

On the issue, see especially B. Nongbri, Before Religion: A History of a Modern Concept (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013). I use the term above in scare quotes simply as a heuristic device, without claiming that the modern concept of “religion” existed as a real phenomenon in Late Antiquity. For such archaeological evidence from other places throughout the Mediterranean, see Smith, Jewish Glass and Christian Stone. For archaeological evidence of this, see Fine, “Non-Jews in the Synagogues,” 207–208. See also Gager, “Who Did What to Whom?.” The Theodosian Code (ca. fifth century) contains numerous laws making it illegal for Christians to burn synagogues (e.g., 16.8.21, 25, 26), suggesting that Christians throughout the empire were, indeed, engaged in such activity on a regular enough basis to spawn such legislation. The major law, often repeated in the Theodosian Code and some ecclesiastical law collections from the Byzantine period, mandating the adjudgment of a sy­ nagogue to a Christin community was the law against the building of new sy­ nagogues. For ecclesiastical law, see the primary sources conveniently collected in A. Linder, The Jews in the Legal Sources of the Early Middle Ages (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1997), nos. 15, 23, 33, 34, 44, 99, et passim (hereafter: Linder). See Loffreda, Capharnaum, 18–19, where he points to the numismatic re­ cord, imported vessels, and the town’s proximity to an imperial highway that ran directly to Damascus as evidence. We can also note the discovery of Syriac graffiti in the late-fourth–mid-fifth century remains under the octa­ gonal church as a significant religio-cultural connection as well. Mattila, “Capernaum,” 251 also lists Antioch, specifically, as one of the major eastern centers to which Capernaum villagers seemed to have had close economic ties. For sources and discussion going beyond what is presented below, see L. Levine, The Ancient Synagogue: The First Thousand Years, 2nd ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 293–97. Most of Levine’s discussion centers around John Chrysostom’s (late fourth century) vitriolic attitudes toward Jews and Judaism presented in his homilies and his treatise Adversus Ioudaeos. The Apostolic Canons is a collection of eighty-five canons forming the last part of the Apostolic Constitutions (8:47). The collection has a complex textual history, with multiple recensions and various receptions in the Christian East and West. The standard work on the history of the Canons is still F.X. Funk, Didascalia et Constitutiones apostolorum (Paderborn: Schöningh, 1905). E.g., see Linder nos. 3, 121, 124. This anxiety about the Christian cocelebration of Jewish holidays (including Sabbath) in synagogues in the sixth century goes back several centuries. Indeed, in the second and third centuries, Origen, for example, tells his Gentile Christian audience not to discuss in church questions they had heard raised in synagogue the day before, that is, on the Sabbath (Hom. Lev. 5.8; Sel. Exod. 12.46). This implies, of course, that members of his congregation were observing the seventh day by attending synagogue. In late-fourth century Antioch, John Chrysostom—whose antiJewish homilies and treatise Adversus Ioudaeos clearly influenced the devel­ opment of canon law in the Christian East (perhaps even the Apostolic Canons specifically and its interpretation in the medieval period [see, e.g., Linder no. 353, where “Johannes Golden Tongue” is mentioned explicitly by a medieval jurist in his commentary on Canon 65])—decried the fact that there were many Christians in his Antiochene congregation that “fast on the same day as the Jews, and keep the Sabbaths in the same manner” (Hom. Gal. 1:7).

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On Chrysostom’s portrait of Christian attraction to synagogues on Jewish holidays, see Levine, Ancient Synagogue, 295–96; and R.L. Wilken, John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetorical and Reality in the Late 4th Century (Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 1983), 140. See, e.g., Linder nos. 2, 4, 103, 105, 110, 116, 120, 122, 138, 177, 354, 355, 948, 950. The Greek text (from Linder no. 2) reads: Εἴ τις κληρικὸς ἢ λαϊκὸς εἰσέλθοι εἰς συναγωγὴν Ἰουδαίων ἢ αἱρετικῶν προσεύξασθαι, καθαιρείσθω καὶ ἀφοριζέσθω. Εἴ τις ἐπίσκοπος ἢ ἄλλος κληρικὸς νηστεύει μετὰ Ἰουδαίων ἢ ἑορτάζει μετ´αὐτῶν ἢ δέχεται αὐτῶν τὰ τῆς ἑορτῆς ξένια, οἷον ἄζυμα ἤ τι τοιοῦτον, καθαιρείσθω, εἰ δὲ λαϊκός, ἀφοριζέσθω. The Greek text (from Linder no. 4) reads: εἴ τις Χριστιανὸς ἔλαιον ἀπενέγκοι εἰς ἱερὸν ἐθνῶν ἢ εἰς συναγωγὴν Ἰοθδαίων, ἢ ἐν ταῖς ἑορταῖς αὐτῶν λύχνους ἅφῃ, ἀφοριζέσθω. See note 58. Mentioned in note 10 above. For a thorough study and redaction-critical comparison of the parallel tradition of R. Eliezer’s arrest found in the Tosefta, Bavli, and Qohelet Rabbah, see J. Schwartz and P.J. Tomson, “When Rabbi Eliezer Was Arrested for Heresy,” JSIJ 10 (2012): 145–81. On the sixth-century date (and other critical issues), see M. Hirshman, Midrash Kohelet Rabbah 1–6: Critical Edition based on Manuscripts and Genizah Fragments, with an Introduction, References, Variant Readings and Commentary (Jerusalem: Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, 2016), 79, 122–23, 123 n. 358 (Hebrew). In Cirafesi, “Jewish Christ-Followers in Capernaum before the 4th Century?,” forthcoming. For discussion and arguments, see Cirafesi, “Jewish Christ-Followers in Capernaum before the 4th Century?,” forthcoming. In this way, my understanding of Qoh. Rab. 1:8 and Jewish attraction to Christianity in Capernaum is close to the reconstruction of Arubas and Talgam (in their “Jews, Christians, and Minim”). However, I reject their conclusion that Imperial Christians necessarily funded the building of the town’s great limestone synagogue, for which there is not one shred of evi­ dence. Is it one thing to suggest close relations between Jews and Christians but quite another to suggest that the Empire was directly behind the syna­ gogue’s construction. There are a number of historical and chronological problems with Arubas’s and Talgam’s theory, which I have addressed else­ where. Three points are worth making here. First, the Christianizing of Palestine through architecture, from the time of Constantine (and his mother Helena) onward, prioritized the building of churches, not synagogues. When Byzantines wished to commemorate a site believed to be significant from the time of Jesus, they did not build synagogues; they built what Jordan Ryan has recently called “Life-of-Jesus” churches (see his From the Passion to the Holy Sepulcher: Memories of Jesus in Place, Pilgrimage, and Early Commemorative Churches Over the First Three Centuries, The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries 7 [London: T&T Clark, 2020], ch. 6). Second, while we can, as I have done, read against the grain of Imperial legislation (e.g., Theodosian Code) and canon law (e.g., Apostolic Canons) to ascertain what the situation between Jews and Christians might have been “on the ground,” this legal literature does project the will of the Imperial panopticon. While it protected synagogues from being destroyed and allowed for the repair of older build­ ings, the overall attitude expressed is clearly negative toward synagogues: no new buildings were permitted to be erected, and several different scenarios are established that allow for their seizure and appropriation by Christians.

Beyond church and synagogue 209 Thus, however close and “boundary-crossing” the “on the ground” relations between Jews and Christians were, the idea that the Capernaum synagogue was funded by the upper echelon of Byzantine government is unconvincing. Third, Hakola (“Galilean Jews and Christians in Context,” 160–61) is right to criticize Arubas’s and Talgam’s view for its assumption that the Jewish community in (and around) Capernaum did not have the financial resources to build such a grand synagogue on its own. Even if the building materials (esp. the limestone) came from elsewhere (e.g., Tiberias, as suggested by Runesson, “Architecture,” 252–53 and supported by the recently published Kursi Synagogue Inscription; see H. Misgav, M. Artzy, and H. Cohen, “The Synagogue Inscription from Kursi,” JJMJS 3 [2016]: 167–69), other large and ornately decorated Galilean synagogues such as at Huqoq and Hurvat Kur suggest that local Jewish communities could possess the level of wealth needed to erect these kinds of buildings. Imperial funds—and even funds from more economically powerful Jews in Tiberias—were not a requirement for the building of the Capernaum synagogue. 68 The rooms labeled simply “a” in Mattila’s plan (see fig. 1), situated just off the NE corner of the synagogue, has been identified as an oil-lamp/pottery shop (for description of this “bottega,” see V. Corbo, Cafarnao I: Gli edifici della Città [Jerusalem: Franciscan Press, 1975], 207). 69 Christian participation in Jewish healing practices might be added to this list of potential tactics. One point that Levine makes in commenting on John Chrysostom’s Adversus Ioudaeos is that Christian attraction to synagogues seems to have been, in part, due to the “powers” believed to be linked to Jewish healing procedures, procedures which themselves were closely con­ nected in the ancient world to magical practices such as incantation and amulet texts (Levine, Ancient Synagogue, 295). There are many sources now known that demonstrate that Jews in Late Antiquity were involved in this realm, and several canons of the Church indicate that Christians routinely went to the Jewish community for healing and medical attention (e.g., Canon 11 of the Council in Trullo [692 CE]: “No one of those enlisted in the sa­ cerdotal order, nor a layman, should eat the unleavened bread of the Jews, or associate with them, or call on them in sickness and receive from them medicines, nor bathe with them in baths. If anyone should attempt to do this, if a cleric, he shall be deposed; if a layman, excommunicated” [Linder no. 124]). Among the excavations in Capernaum’s Area 5, in the oil-lamp shop adjacent to the NE corner of the synagogue (L 118–119; Mattila’s “a”), a Greek magical pendent was found with the words αγιος/αγιος/αγιος/Ιαω/ υγια inscribed on the obverse and πινω/Υ/υγια inscribed on the reverse (“holy/holy/holy/Iao [i.e., YHWH]/health” and “I drink health;” for images, see S. Loffreda, Cafarnao VIII: Documentazione fotografica degli oggetti [1968–2003] [Jerusalem: Edizione Terra Santa, 2008], 120 [DF 863-31t190]; see also Mattila, “Capernaum,” 237). It is impossible to know the specific social context of its use. But it is possible—and this is my conjecture—that this amulet was produced by Capernaum Jews in the oillamp/pottery shop near the synagogue but consumed by Capernaum Christians who, like Antiochene Christians, “ran to the Jews to be healed by ‘charms, incantations and amulets’ (Jud. 8.5; 935; 8.7; 937–38)” (Wilken, John Chrysostom and the Jews, 83–88, here p. 83 and quoting John Chrysostom’s Adversus Ioudeos). 70 U. Leibner, Settlment and History in Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Galilee: An Archaeological Survey of the Eastern Galilee, TSAJ 127 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 403.

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Nongbri, B. Before Religion: A History of a Modern Concept. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013. Runesson, A. “Architecture, Conflict, and Identity Formation: Jews and Christians in Capernaum from the First to the Sixth Century.” In Religion, Ethnicity, and Identity in Ancient Galilee, edited by J. Zangenberg, H.W. Attridge, and D.B. Martin, 231–257. WUNT 210. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007. Runesson, A., and W.V. Cirafesi. “Art and Architecture at Capernaum, Kefar ‘Othnay, and Dura Europos.” In The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries. Vol. 3: From Celsus to the Catacombs: Visual, Liturgical, and NonChristian Receptions of Jesus in the Second and Third Centuries CE, edited by Chris L. Keith, 151–200. London: T&T Clark. Ryan, J. From the Passion to the Holy Sepulcher: Memories of Jesus in Place, Pilgrimage, and Early Commemorative Churches Over the First Three Centuries. The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries 7. London: T&T Clark, 2020. Schäfer, P. Jesus in the Talmud. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007. Schwartz, J., and P.J. Tomson. “When Rabbi Eliezer Was Arrested for Heresy.” JSIJ 10 (2012): 145–181. Smith, E.C. Jewish Glass and Christian Stone: A Materialist Mapping of the ‘Parting of the Ways’. London: Routledge, 2018. Wilken, R.L. John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetoric and Reality in the Late 4th Century. Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 1983. Zetterholm, K.H. “Alternate Visions of Judaism and Their Impact on the Formation of Rabbinic Judaism.” JJMJS 1 (2014): 127–153.

10 Narratives of the suburb as religious neighbourhood: How a local church and mosque in an Oslo suburb negotiate Muslim–Christian neighbourly relations Anne Hege Grung

Introduction Some years ago, in 2012 and 2013, I did fieldwork in an Oslo suburb, as a researcher in a large project named “Inclusion and Exclusion in the Suburb.” The team of researchers was interdisciplinary, including mostly researchers in social anthropology, sociology, and media studies. We studied several social institutions in a particular suburb 30 minutes with the metro east of the city centre of Oslo: The local library, the schools, and the local municipality. My part was to explore the narrative of the suburb as a religious neighbourhood, and I looked into the communities of a local mosque and a local church to find out about their formal and informal contacts. I went to prayers in the mosque and services in the church and interviewed several active men and women in the two communities. Through my fieldwork, I realised that the suburb was more religiously diverse than I anticipated. Several small Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist congregations were gathering in private homes or rented facilities. The suburb was (and still is) one of the most plural municipalities in Norway regarding the geopolitical, cultural, and religious background of its inhabitants. About one-third of the population was Christians, belonging to the Church of Norway, one-third was Muslims, belonging to various Muslim communities, and one-third was “Other”. These numbers are only estimated, as there is no public registration of the inhabitants’ religious and worldview affiliation in Norway. We only have formal overviews with registration of members in each religious or life stance community. What the public statistics tell us about this suburb at the time of the research is, however, that 49% of the population had an immigrant background, whereof 88% from Asia or Africa1. The largest group of immigrants were the Pakistani-Norwegian group. The suburb’s population was relatively young, with a median age of 49. My

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informants from the church community had Norwegian background and were mainly middle-aged men and women. From the mosque, my informants had an immigrant family background or were immigrants themselves, and they were mostly men, young and middle-aged. Some of the local politicians’ narrative was that the suburb was like a mini version of the UN, and politicians and inhabitants claimed to be proud of the good neighbourly relations existing in this diverse population. Also, many local inhabitants underlined how the suburb actively had managed to establish a new “we” in the midst of the diversity, and they were eager to confront what they found to be negative, stereotypical images of their plural neighborhood in the national media and among right-wing politicians (Rosten, 2012, 158). Knowing the above as a main narrative established within the suburb, I was surprised to find that there were few contact points between the church and the mosque community I studied. The imam and the leading parish minister both expressed respect and mutual understanding of the other in separate interviews, but they did not express any need for regular meetings, mutual visits, or other types of contact.2 I tried to find out the reasoning behind this type of neighbourly religious relation or the lack thereof. What role did religious belonging and identification have in the conceptualizing of neighbourhood in this particular suburb? The overall research question for the project I participated in was to identify and analyze conditions for cohesion and sustainability, and to identify social and cultural processes that contributed to integration. An additional question was to explore how these processes were embedded in institutions. The project also focused on how non-local forms of belonging such as transnational relations, virtual communities, and others engaged with the locality-enhancing processes. The local church and mosque clearly had transnational connections through members of their communities, but also as integrated in transnational networking as communities. Both were culturally diverse congregations, and they had relations to other churches/ mosques in the Oslo region. For the Muslims, members sometimes attended prayers and gatherings in the small mosque in the suburb, sometimes they went to the bigger mosques in the centre of Oslo. This entails that these two groups were active in establishing relationships individually, but also structurally to other institutions and groups in the region as well as transnationally. Why did they not have any active neighbourly relationship in the suburb? This essay will not give a full answer to this question, but I will discuss three observations from the fieldwork and the interviews further, which may shed some light on the matter. The first observation is that the Muslims and Christians in the congregations used their mosque and church community primarily to confirm their religious belonging, not their local belonging. The second is how the local context highlighted interaction and dialogues under various culturally defined headlines, without engaging explicitly with religion or religious affiliations, something which may have

Muslim–Christian neighbourly relations 215 inspired the church and mosque to downplay activities of explicit interreligious character. Finally, the reflections the informants had about religious affiliation and experience of neighbourhood show that within the church and mosque communities, sharing of religious affiliation was the most significant marker of community.

The local church and mosque as a place for identity refuge During my fieldwork, I got knowledge about two events where young people both in the church and the mosque congregation had an organized sleep-over in the two places of worship. In the church, the event took place the night before the first Sunday of advent, when 11-year olds in the congregation were invited to sleep in the church, and to prepare and participate in the Sunday service. This was part of a nationwide event that took place in many Norwegian churches on the same weekend. In the mosque, young men were invited to ten nights and days during Ramadan filled with prayers, community and recitation of the Koran, and to sleep between the activities. A young man I interviewed from the mosque was excited when he told me about his experience. He stated that it gave him a strong feeling of belonging to the community and to God: “You feel you get a new family” (Grung 2012, 176). The mosque’s imam was present to be with the youth and to lead the prayer. In the church, when I attended the service the first Sunday of advent, I met the kids who had spent the night in the church building. They were excited and looked engaged, and flocked together during the service. During the service, they sang for a touched congregation of mostly elderly people. The two events are examples of how the congregations find ways to establish spatial relations between the church/mosque buildings and the younger part of the congregations. Reaching out to kids and youth in this way makes them familiar with the facilities and literally opens the space for them. Staying away from home for a night may represent an adventure for kids and youth, where they leave their family for a short while and make the church/the mosque a temporary home. To sleep, brush your teeth, to eat breakfast is something you usually do at home. When you do it in the church or the mosque, you transfer homely activities, making it your home for a while together with other kids or youth with whom you share the experience. The community-building events of church and mosque sleepover represent establishing bounds not only to the local congregation but also to a wider religious community. For the church, this is a nationwide event that the 11-year-olds share with others at the same age participating in the event in their local churches. For the mosque, the imam had recently arrived in Norway and hadn't yet mastered the Norwegian language but was attending classes to improve his language skills. His verbal contributions at the mosque, however, in sermons and conversations were in English or sometimes in Urdu or Arabic.

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A salient question to ask is how these examples of bounding with a particular religious community play with conceptualizations of a neighbourhood. It strengthens the sense of community within the church and the mosque, both of which are part of the suburb’s localities, but at the same time, these events are representative of religious communities that are national (in the case of the church) and have active transnational relations (in the case of the mosque, through the imam, and in the case of the church, through engaging with specific congregations abroad via mission organizations). Both Christianity and Islam are world religions; they relate to a worldwide community and are manifested in locally organized communities. The church in the suburb also relates to a national organization, the church of Norway. The concept of community in the widest understanding in the two religions is that all Christians and all Muslims respectively belong to what we may call an “imagined community” of all Christians or all Muslims. Christians may talk about the “worldwide church” without referring to a specific Church organization or material buildings, and Muslims refer to the umma as a community of all Muslims. While all my interviewees enhanced the need for establishing good neighbourly relations with all others in the suburb, including the other religious communities, they seemed to prefer initiatives and processes of such kind to be framed outside of their religious communities, and not to engage with building relations labelled inter-religious, Muslim–Christian. In building good neighbourly relations, they did not engage with their own religious identities or communities, but with their cultural background and their experience of local belonging. The impression I got was that the church and the mosque rather became parallel places for refuge, for strengthening religiously based community belonging, establishing some kind of exclusivity and boundaries that may create a space where you do not have to negotiate your identity. In the suburb where almost half the population had an immigrant background and the municipalities continuously worked to establish an all-inclusive “we”-narrative, negotiating and building community across differences took place in kindergartens and schools, in the shared events like the food-festival, and in sports. The church and the mosque were places where you could participate in something known if you were a member of the community, without presenting yourself as different, but just be there as a fellow Christian or Muslim. Both the church and the mosque had community members with a diverse cultural and immigrant background, but the majority of the members in the mosque had a Pakistani immigrant background and in the church, the majority were Norwegians without an immigrant background. The diversity in the neighbourhood may trigger a need to establish more homogenous spaces. The above mentioned community-building efforts indirectly contribute to establish strong relations to the neighbourhood, which the religious communities are part of. But the relation aspect to neighbours when seen as religious rather than cultural others, was not

Muslim–Christian neighbourly relations 217 prioritized by the church and the mosque in the time of my fieldwork. Some of the interviewees commented on this and stated that if a conflict with religious connotations occurred, this priority might change.

Intercultural or interreligious encounters? In the suburb, there were many organized activities to enhance contact between people of different backgrounds. Some initiated by the municipality, others were arranged by local organizations. Schools, sport arrangements, food festivals and cultural events were planned as cross- and intercultural happenings. There was even arranged a joint Christmas and Eid-celebration every year, initiated by a local group of elderly men with a Pakistani-Norwegian background. The group was not active within the mosque community, but the members were part of the broader Muslim traditional environment. I will end my article by reflecting on this event, since it illustrates some dilemmas of the ambiguous neighbourhood. People from both the local church and the mosque were invited, including the ministers and the imam. The imam recited from the Koran, and then held a speech in urdu, which was translated by a helper. The translation was considerably shorter than the speech, simply stating that Eid-al-Adha was celebrated because Ibrahim passed the test from Allah when he was asked to sacrifice his son Ishmael. The minister explained why Christians celebrate Christmas, without any translation from Norwegian, stating that Christmas was celebrated because of the birth of Jesus. Even if the imam and one of the ministers contributed with short speeches and explaining the religious meanings of Christmas and Eid-al-Adha, this came across as a cultural rather than religious event by the active churchgoers who participated when I interviewed them afterwards. Young kids were dressed up as small Santas, and the main part of the evening’s program was popular music played by local artists and lots of Pakistani food. I also interviewed one of the organisers, a Pakistani-Norwegian in his sixties, who had no close ties to any of the religious communities. In the interview, he explicitly talked about the necessity to establish friendship and good neighbourly relations between local Christians and Muslims. He expressed in local media about the yearly event that the aim was to show how Christians and Muslims should resent the division on religious grounds between people in the area, and show the possibility of the encounter (Grung 2012, 166). In Norway, celebration of the Christmas “the Norwegian way” is occasionally criticised by churchgoers. The strong folk culture is celebrating not only with Santa Claus, but with the Norwegian conceptual figure of nisser, coming from Norwegian folk myths often is regarded as a secular take on the event overlooking the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the miracle of the incarnation for Christians. The participants from the church in the joint celebration of Christmas and Eid referred to above found that the organisers, all with a Muslim background, had

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highlighted the Norwegian folk culture celebration of Christmas, not so much represented the church’s more religious version. What was represented in the event was thus more cultural than religious, for them. The take on separating culture and religion when it comes to building neighbourly relations may illustrate the degree of neighbourly proximity. For many Christians and Muslims in the suburb, such as the organisers of the Christmas/Eid event, the distinction between culture and religion was not so significant. They wanted to bring Christians and Muslims together under the umbrella of good neighbourship rather than establishing an interreligious encounter (Grung 2012, 166). But for others, religious identity is more important than cultural affiliation and background and is the decisive matter for establishing strong human bonds.

Christian and Muslim belonging and neighbourly relations in the suburb Parts of my interview material shows how religious affiliation influences the conceptualization of proximity and neighbourly relations among the interviewees. One of the resource persons in the church said very clearly in an interview that he felt much closer to a newly immigrated Christian from Africa than he did to a Muslim neighbour that had lived in the same suburb as him for many years. This statement suggests that shared religious belonging was a much stronger incitement for a close relationship than a physical, actual neighbour belonging to another religion. What does this entail when we talk about neighbours, culture and religion? In the Norwegian context, as in many other contexts that have become increasingly plural throughout the last decades, mixing of cultures is not necessarily seen as identity threatening in the same way it might have been before. The notion of cultures as more dynamic than static, and the possibility to mix elements of cultures into new hybrid spaces and features is more common. The question is if the notion of culture here includes religion. From an inside perspective in several religions, including Christianity and Islam, there are many who would state that religions cannot and should not be mixed, but rather are mutually exclusive. The truth claim of a religious tradition may be expanded to the degree that other religions are seen as untrue or without value. If these inside perspectives are transposed to the people belonging to other religious traditions than your own, it would entail that these people would represent something entirely different, something untrue, something other in a negative sense, which might be seen as a religious threat. This could be a significant challenge to an idea of neighbourly relations that included diverse religious belongings or religious communities taking part as religious. In the suburb of the study, no religious tradition had what we may call a comfortable majority situation. There was a growing concern about socalled ethnic Norwegians moving out and into more homogenous areas.

Muslim–Christian neighbourly relations 219 This was seen as a threat to the narrative mentioned in the introduction about a functional new “we” established in the suburb. When the bishop of Oslo (from the Church of Norway) visited the church congregation in the suburb in 2011, he explicitly acknowledged what he approached as a difficult minority situation for the church. In a speech to the congregation, he claimed that it was “tiring” and “difficult” to be a minority that had to explain their Christian belief in the neighbourhood, and he suggested that the church should be a safe space for Christians (Grung 2012, 175). The bishop urged the congregation to work actively against the trend that ethnic Norwegians moved out of the suburb. Here, the bishop mixes not only religion and culture, talking about how the church could help taking care of “Norwegian tradition and culture.” He thus includes Norwegian-ness and Norwegian ethnicity as something the church should enhance and protect. It is important to note that the above is the perspective from the bishop at that time, not the congregation as such. The bishop added sentences about how the church should be open towards its diverse neighbourhood, and that Christians and Muslims were sharing many important values. The main emphasis, however, was a message to the congregation about protecting a Christian minority in a diverse neighbourhood. In the mosque, my interviewees also expressed concern for the local community – of Muslims. They articulated on their Facebook-page in 2011 that they aimed to be a place where local Muslims could pray and get religious education. There were (and still are) many mosques in the centre of Oslo, but in the suburbs there were few mosques at the time. This particular mosque in this suburb wanted to represent a possibility for Muslims to engage locally, in the neighbourhood where they lived. The mosque thus engages to serve and keep the local Muslims engaged locally.

Christian and Muslim narratives of neighbourhood in the suburb: Conclusive remarks In this study, there are few examples of shared narratives between Christians and Muslims in this particular suburban context. There were strong narratives of culturally diverse relations, and of a good and integrated neighbourhood. This seemed, however, to exclude inter-religious or more specifically Muslim–Christian relations. This drives us to ask questions about the role of religion and religious communities in questions of exclusion and inclusion in building neighbourly relations. The observations I shared in the introduction – Christians and Muslims using their respective religious communities for refuge rather than a platform for building (interreligious) relations, that the suburb and the municipality would engage with cultural rather than religious diversity in their approaches to build a good neighbourhood, and that shared religious affiliations was for many the most significant marker for establishing human proximity and community – all signalled that religion was either neglected

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or seemed to be engaged in drawing boundaries in the neighbourhood rather than used for inspiration for cross- or inter-religious activities. Other research has suggested that people engaged with one particular community such as a religious congregation may get motivation and inspiration to engage in other arenas (Døving, Shami and Lindholm 2010). This may entail that the two religious communities studied indirectly facilitate engagement by individuals to foster neighbourly relations in the suburb. A relational approach to neighbourhood with a religious, Christian or Muslim, motivation, however, was not convincingly present in the material. The tendency was to establish centripetal religious communities where religious practice functioned as a refuge for the believers rather than a platform to share or relate to the religious other. In the narratives about Muslims and Christians in the studied neighbourhood, there were no references to common features describing Muslim–Christian relations as a family relation (Cf. “Children of Abraham/ Ibrahim”). The family metaphor was on the other hand used about the religious communities separately in some cases (see above). This indicates that the implicit anticipated proximity between Muslims and Christians signalled in a shared family relations-type of metaphor would not be relevant to describe how these groups actually positioned themselves relationally in this suburb. Ambiguous neighbourly relations would be a more accurate description. This may come across as “bad news.” On the other hand, the concept of ambiguous neighbours seems much more inclusive than any reference to a shared “Abrahamic” family tree.

Notes 1 https://www.ssb.no/befolkning/artikler-og-publikasjoner/_attachment/182507?_ ts=146dca4def8 26 November 2020. 2 By 2020, the situation is different, with more organized contact between the two congregations.

Bibliography Døving, A., S. Shami and T. Lindholm. (2012). Religious Commitment and Social Integration: Are there Significant Links? A Pilot Study of Muslims in the Oslo Area with a Family Background from Pakistan. University of Oslo, Faculty of Law research paper no. 2012-01: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1978709# Grung, Anne Hege (2012). «Fellesskap blant kristne og muslimer på Furuset», in Alghasi, Sharam, Elisabeth Eide and Thomas Hylland Eriksen: Den globale drabantbyen. Groruddalen og det nye Norge, Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, pp. 164–180. Rosten, Monica (2012). «Om å dyrke roser fra betong: Områdeløft på Furuset-vis», in Alghasi, Sharam, Elisabeth Eide and Thomas Hylland Eriksen: Den globale drabantbyen. Groruddalen og det nye Norge, Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, pp. 145–161.

Index

‘Abduh, Muhammad 114–115 academic nomad, neighbourship memoirs of 26–28 Acolatse, Esther 173, 174 Adams R. 177 affiliation 7 African Feminist Hermeneutics 177 Ahmad an- Na‘im, Abdullahi 106 Ajibola, Bola Abdul Jabbar 127 akh (brother) 107, 108, 113, 128 al-Adab al-mufrad 140 al-Hashimi, Muhammad Ali 118 al-jar al-junub 127, 136, 137, 141, 146 al-jar dhu l-qurba 127, 135–137, 141 al-Jifri, Habib Ali 127 al-junub 136–137 al-Maswsu‘a al-fiqhiyya 131 al-Qaradawi, Yusuf 117 al-sahib bil-janb 138 ambiguous Nebenmensch, neighbours as 10–11 ambiguous neighbours 6–7; in book of Ruth 50–52; Gospel of Luke 13; in Hebrew Bible 25–39; Moab and Bethlehem as 52–53 Ambros, Arne A. 131 am ha-aretz families 63 Amin, El-Sayed M. 117 The Apostolic Canons 200, 201 Aqiva, R. 70 Aquinas, Thomas 182 Arberry, Arthur J. 142–143 Arendt, Hannah 9–10, 81 Asad, Muhammad 116, 137–138 Avodah Zerah 195 Badawi, Elsaid M. 131 Baker, Cynthia 15, 191, 194, 195, 198 Bakossi community, in Cameroon 15

Balberg, Mira 63 balcony-related neighbourship 26 Balkan Idols 167n11 Begriffsgeschichte 108 Being Muslim the Bosnian way 159 Berberkic, Amir 161 Bethlehem and Moab: as ambiguous neighbours 52–53; borderlines of 45; relationship of people between 44 Bethlehemites: meet Moabites 46–49; refuge in Moab 44; showed hesed (kindness) in Moab 46–47 Bible; see also Christianity; African cultures, influence on 174; Christian 8, 78, 95; Hebrew; see Hebrew Bible Biblical neighbour 78 bil-janb 138 Blieszner R. 177 Book of Proverbs 32 book of Ruth; see also Bible; see also Hebrew Bible; ambiguous neighbours in 50–52; Bethlehemites meet Moabites 46–49; cultural imaginations of self and others 45–46; Ezra-Nehemiah and Deut 23:4–7 45; hesed in 51 Bosnia, neighbourhood in 153–166; atheism to religious nationalism 157–159; cognitive dissonance 155, 163–166; disintegration of Bosnian society 156–157; ethnic identities 162–163; ethnic-religious homogenisation, problem of 162–163; evil and good, examples of 159–162; interethnic relations and neighbourhood, analysis of 154–155; komšija 155; land of encounters and tensions 153–154; mahala 156; manipulation of ordinary people 158;

222

Index

multi-ethnic and multicultural country 153–154; Muslim-Catholic village 159; Muslims of 154, 156, 159–162, 164; nationalist propaganda 158; open door, coffee drinking, and next-door violence 155–157; Serbian neighbour 162; sijelo (neighbour visit) 156; social cohesion and 156; socio-cultural development 156; susjed 155 Bosnian Muslims 154 Brenner, Athalya 52 Bringa, Tone 159, 160, 161 brotherhood, in Islam 121; modern usage 114–118; and neighbourly love in Hadith 112–114; Qur’an and 108–110; relation with neighbourhood in contemporary usage 117–118 Broz, Svetlana 161 Byzantine Christianity 189–190 Byzantine Christians 193–194 Calvin, John 183 Cameroon, neighbourliness within rural community in 172–185; Bakossi community 173; childless woman and neighbour 173–175; children as neighbours 178–179; cultural and religious similarities 178; good neighbours and bad neighbours 175–179; neighbourliness and reciprocity 179–181; neighbourly love, theology of 181–184; overview 172–173 Casina (play) 64 Chalmers, Matthew 83, 84, 85 childless woman and neighbour, in Cameroon 173–175; attitude, neighbour’s 180; and Good Samaritan 172–173 “children of Abraham” 6–7 Christian Bible, neighbors and neighbourliness, concept of 8, 78, 95 Christianity 60, 216; Byzantine 189–190; “love thy neighbour” 1; as neighbour 4; notions of brotherhood in 121; universalistic 61 Clines, David 30 cognitive dissonance, in Bosnia 155, 163–166 “collective paranoia” 163

A common word between us and you (ACW) 105, 106, 110, 118–119 conditional hospitality 51 cultural imaginations: of Moab in Hebrew Bible 49–50; of self and others 45–46 culture: African 174; definition of 46; Graeco-Roman intellectual 71 dakhil (stranger asking for protection) 132 Dawud, Abu 113, 115 dayf (guest) 132 Decalogue’s neighbour 12, 25 Decalogue’s social neighbour 30 de Certeau, Michel 15, 191–193, 194, 198 dehumanisation, in Bosnia 163–166 Derrida, Jacques 51 despoliation of Egypt, in Exodus 3:22 and 11:2 35–37, 39 Devil as jar, in Qur’an 142–144; motive of 146–147; Q. 4:36 142; Q. 8:48 142–143, 144; Q. 8:49 144; Q. 9:6 143; Q. 33:60 144, 146 dhimmi 132 Diaspora Jews 60 dining and celebrating neighbours 85–88 Donia, J. Robert 156 Dozo, Husein 126, 156 El Fadl, Abou 132, 145 Elieze, R. 200–201 Eriksen, Jens-Martin 158, 168n11 ’ešet hayil (a fine woman) 48 ethnic-religious homogenisation, in Bosnia 162–163 Female neighbours 79, 87–89; not blamed for reciprocity in Luke’s Gospel 92–93; mapping of 88–91; as social network 87; virgins in Matthew chapter 25:1–13 91 filiation 7 Fine, J. John 156 Fiorenza, Elizabeth Schüssler 174 fiqh 131–132 Freud, S. 164 friendly neighbours 4 Frogs (play) 64

Index 223 gender: dining and celebrating neighbours 85–88; Islam and 120–121; in Late Antique Galilee 191; and neighborship 30, 38–39 gender inequality, Shari‘a-based 121 genos 90 ger 107 Good Samaritan 13, 15, 78, 82, 86, 92, 95, 180; childless woman’s experience 172–173; Jesus’ intention in 178; in Luke 10:25-37 82, 119; neighbourliness and childlessness 181–183, 184 Gospel of John, neighbours in 93 Gospel of Luke, neighbours in 15, 91–94; 8:1–3 90, 91; 14:12-14 86, 87; 14:14-16 86; 15:6–7 87; 15:9–10 87; 15:11–32 87; ambiguous figure of neighbour 13, 78; dining and celebrating neighbours 85–88; Elisabeth’s neighbous in 93–94; Good Samaritan in 82; intersecting figure of neighbour 13 Gospels, intersectional neighbours in 78–95; female neighbours, mapping of 88–91; intersectional neighbours who hear and rejoice 91–94; Jesus tradition 82–94; John’s 93; Matthew 25:1–13 91; Nebenmensch 80, 85, 88; Nebenmenschen 87, 95; neighbour in theory and practice 79–81; parabolic neighbours 82–88; travelling neighbours 89–91 Graeco-Roman texts 64–65 Habibovic, Šaban 162 Hadets anatomi 168n11 Hadith: al-Bukhari’s version of 107, 108; brotherhood and neighbourly love in 112–114; Golden Rule in 119; in Muslim 107; neighbourly duties in 120; notion of ‘neighbourhood’ 107; in SahihMuslim 106 Hadzic, Behzad 165 Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives 6 Haleem, Abdel 137 Haleem, Muhammad Abdel 131 halif 132 Hall, Stuart 46 Haninah, R. 69 Hasan-Rokem, Galit 79

Hayden, Robert 156 Hebrew Bible: ambiguity of spatial neighbour 27, 28–30; ambiguous neighbour in 25–39; cultural imaginations of Moab in 49–50; Decalogue’s neighbour 12; despoliation of Egypt 35–37; Genesis story in 6–7; neighbour in 3, 12; neighbourship memoirs of academic nomad 26–28; rêa in 25, 26, 30–32, 38; šãkên in 25, 26, 32–35, 38; social neighbour and spatial neighbor 25–26 Hecataeus of Abdera 60 Hellenistic Egypt 60 Hellenistic Judaism 60 hen (favor) 44, 50, 51; Moabite seeking 47–48 Hengel, Martin 60–61, 71 Henig, David 156 hesed (kindness) 44, 48, 50, 51; Bethlehemites showed, in Moab 46–47 Hiyya, R. 68 Holocaust 163 homeless persons 81 Hoshayah, R. 68 hospitality 28–29; conditional vs. unconditional 51 Ibn Manzur 129 The ideal Muslimah 118, 120 identity construction: religious images and figures, role of 7; social 176 ihsan 139 ijara 132, 146 insula buildings 61 interconnectedness 46 intersectional neighbour(s) 8–9, 80; in Jesus tradition 82–94; who hear and rejoice 91–94 In the Shade of the Qur’an 115 invisible neighbours 28 Isaac, Benjamin 60, 67 Islam 4, 216; see also Qur’an; being a neighbour, definition of 110–111; brotherhood and neighbourhood in modern usage 114–118; brotherhood and neighbourly love in Hadith 112–114; brother or neighbour in, concept of 105–106, 107, 126; classical tafsir 110–112; communal restrictions 106–107; communal solidarity vs. universal obligation in

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14, 106–107; gender and 120–121; and Golden Rule 106, 114, 118, 120, 121; interreligious dialogue 118–120; jar 107; kinship in 111; “love thy neighbour” 1; semantics and conceptual history 107–108 Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 14 isnad 105 janaba 136 jar, in Qur’an 3, 14, 108, 110, 126–147; ambiguity of 128; denotations of 129; Devil as 142–144; distribution of j-wr 130–131; linguistic meaning of 137; neighbourliness and asylum 131–134; in Q. 4:36 135–138, 145–146; in Q. 8:48 128; in Q. 33:60 137; Qur’anic and extra-Qur’anic 140–142; in Qur’anic social web of beneficiaries 134–135; relation to jawr 128; semantics of 128–130 jara 129 jawr (violating justice) 107, 128, 129 Jewish-Christian neighbourhood 189–202; Certeau’s and Mayol’s social theory and 191–193; everyday cultural habits, repetition of 192–193; houses and domestic landscape, Capernaum’s 194–198; Jewish – Christian relations, everyday life of 198–201; in Late Antique Capernaum 15–16, 193–201; overview 189–191; social and interactive environment 195 Jewish–Christian relations: in Capernaum 192, 194; everyday life of 198–201 jiwar 107, 145 Judaism 83; Hellenistic 60; “love thy neighbour” 1; as neighbour 4; Pharisaic-rabbinic 60–61; rabbinic 61 junub 112 Justes, Emma 179 j-w-r, in Qur’an: distribution of 130–131; root meaning of 129 Kathir, Ibn 112 Kathy, Burrell 177 Keddie, G. Anthony 83–84, 85 Khalidi, Tarif 110–111, 137 Khan, M. Muhsin 107, 108, 114

kinship 62, 137; genealogy of 49; in Qur’an 108–110; tafsir 110–112 Kiš, Danilo 163 Kitab al-adab 113 Kitab al-salam 113 Kolstø, Pål 165 komšija (neighbour) 155 Koselleck, Reinhart 108 Last, Richard 78 Lawson, Todd 134 Lecerf, J. 129 Leibner, Uzi 201 Levinas, Emmanuel 127 Lieberman, Benjamin 155 Lisan al-‘arab 107 mahala 156 Majma‘al-bayan 111 maliki 132 ma’mana (safe space) 132 Manetho 60 Matraji, Mahmoud 107, 108 Matsuda, Mari 8, 80 Maududi, Syed Abul A‘ala 115–116 mawla 132 Mayol, Pierre 15, 191–193, 194, 198 McFarland, A. I. 183 Menahem, R. 68 The message of the Qur’an 116 Mishnah 62–63 misoxenia 60 Moab; see Bethlehem and Moab Moabites: Bethlehemites meet 46–49; as enemy of Israel in Hebrew Bible 49–50; enters Bethlehem 44; family ties to Israel 50; seeking hen (favor) and facing risk in Bethlehem 47–48; and townswomen of Bethlehem 48–49 mufassir 141 multi-ethnic neighbourhood 16 Musimbi, Kanyoro 177 Muslim–Christian neighbourly relations, in Oslo suburb 213–220; diversity in neighbourhood 216–217; intercultural or interreligious encounters 217–218; local church and mosque for identity refuge 215–217; overview 213–215; PakistaniNorwegian group 213, 217; Ramadan 215

Index 225 musta’man (protected person) 132 Nächste/neste/næste 25 nakrîa (stranger) 48 narcissism 163–166 Nasr, Seyyed Hossein 127 Nebenmensch 8, 80, 85, 88 Nebenmenschen 87, 95 neighbourhood: in Bosnia; see Bosnia, neighbourhood in; in Certeau’s and Mayol’s social theory and 191–193; religious 213–220 neighbourhood, in Islam: in Hadith 107; hanafi scholars’ definition 132; in modern usage 114–118; neighbour in modern commentaries 114–117; Qur’an and 108–110; relation with brotherhood in contemporary usage 117–118 neighbourhood ethics, Qur’anic 126–147; of jar-hood 140–141, 146; Prophetic tradition and early works on social ethics 140–141; Q. 4:36 137 neighbourliness: in Christian Bible 8, 78, 95; cultural and religious similarities 178; in Qur’an 131–134; and reciprocity 179–181; within rural community in Cameroon 172–185; see also Cameroon, neighbourliness within rural community in neighbour(s): as ambiguous Nebenmensch 10–11; belong to everyday life 2–3; Certeau’s and Mayol’s social theory 191–193; Covid-19 and 2; dining and celebrating 85–88; dynamics of 46; evaluation of 80–81; figure of 4–5, 8–11; in Hebrew Bible 3; intersectional 8–9, 80; message by Mayor of Oslo on 1–2; as monster and destabilizing other 9–10; near and far 16; new perspectives, four factors contribute to 3–5; in Palestinian rabbinic texts 13; parabolic 82–88; quarrels among 44; in Qur’an 3; role and function of 80; studying 3–5; theoretical tools to study 1; in theory and practice 79–81; travelling 89–91; versions of 44–45; in war 153–166 neighbourship 3, 11; balcony-related 26; concept in Hebrew Bible 38;

gender and 30, 38–39; long-term condition 29; memoirs of academic nomad 26–28; open-endedness of 29; perception of 27; serial 12, 29; social 12; spatial 12, 26, 28 next-door neighbours 27; proximity of 175 nisser 217 Nöldeke, Theodor 129–130 non-Muslim neighbours 115, 117–118, 121 Oberschall, Anthony 154, 155 Ozick, Cynthia 50 Painter, Joe 8, 78, 95 Palestinian Jews 67 Palestinian rabbinic texts, regulation of inter-human relationships in 60–72; Genesis Rabbah 68; Genesis Rabbah 24:7 70; Leviticus Rabbah 5:8 64–65, 68; M. Shevi’it 1:1 63; maintaining good neighbourly relationships 61–66; Mishnah 62–63, 66, 67–68; Mishnah Avot 70; Mishnah Sheqelim 1:7 66–67; Priestly Code 63; relationships amongst local townspeople 66–68; respect for other human beings 69–70; Sabbatical Year regulations 63, 67–68 parabolic neighbours 82–88 Patil, Prachi 183 Perica, Vjekoslav 162, 167n11 perioikos 92 perutah 65 Pharisaic-rabbinic Judaism 60–61 Philostratus 60 The Practice of Everyday Life 191 Qohelet Rabbah 200 quarrels, among neighbours 44 Qur’an 6, 7, 111; see also Islam; akh, notion of 108, 110; al-sahib bil-janb 138; brother in, concept of 14; distribution of j-w-r in 130–131; jãr or jãr-hood, notion of 3, 14, 108, 110, 126, 126–147; kinship, brotherhood and neighbourhood in 108–110; literary context of Q. 4:36 139–140; monotheistic framework 127; neighbourhood ethics 126–147; neighbourhood in, categories of 112; neighbour in 3, 14, 110;

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neighbourliness and asylum in 131–134; no references to sister (ukht) in 120; Q 2.177 110; Q 3.92 110; Q 4.36–43 110, 115, 116, 119, 139–140; Q 5.48 110; Q. 9:6 132–133; Q 9.23f 109; sahib as beneficiary 138–139; tawhid 140; translation of 116; umma 109–110 Qutb, Sayyid 115 Ramadan 215 rêa, in Hebrew Bible 25, 26, 30–32; Decalogue, social neighbour of 30; in Exodus 11 36; in Job 31:9 31, 32; Proverbs 3:27–29 31; social neighbour 30–31; spatial neighbour, ambiguity of 31–32; vs. šãkên 30 Reaves, Jayme 127 reciprocity: and neighbourliness 179–181 religious neighbours/neighbourhood: in Bible 8, 95; narratives of suburb 213–220 reût, in Exodus 11 36 Reynolds, Thomas 180, 181 Rida, Rashid 115 Romans 60, 66, 67 Romans Tacitus 60 Rosello, Mireille 51 Rothberg School at Hebrew University 53 The Routledge Reader in ChristianMuslim Relations 14 Rudens (play) 64 Russel, Letty 6 šã’al, Biblical Hebrew 36–27 Sabbatical Year 63, 67–68, 71 sadiq (friend) 128 sahib, as Qur’anic beneficiary 138–139 sahiba (spouse), in Qur’an 138, 139 sahih 107, 115 Sahihal-Bukhari 105, 113 SahihMuslim 105–106, 107, 113; see also Islam; al-Nawawi’s explanation to 108; alternative versions in 121; Golden Rule in 119; hadith in 106; translation of 107 Said, Edward 7 šãkên, in Hebrew Bible 25, 26, 32–35; to describe next-door neighbours 33; in Deut 1:7 32; in Exodus 12:4 34–35; in

Exodus 3 and 11 35; in Ezekiel 16:26 32, 33; feminine form of 36; in Jer 49:18 32; Jeremiah 6:21 35; in Job 31:9 32, 33; in 2 Kings 4:1–7 33–34; in Proverbs 27:10 34; in Psalm 79:4 33; as spatial neighbour 35; used at a ‘local’ level 33–35 šěkēnāh 36 Samaritans 84; hostile relationship with Jews 83; Luke’s 84; and other male neighbours 82–85 Sephardic Jews 153 shafii 132 Shah-Kazemi, Reza 127 Shari‘a 106; gender inequality 121 sharing space, neighbours 81 Sharma, Rajendra K. 62 shmittah 62–63, 68 shuk 196 Siddiqui, Abdul Hamid 105 Siddiqui, Mona 14 sijelo (neighbour visit) 156 social neighbour 25–26 Sorabji, Cornelia 156 spatial neighbour 25–26; ambiguity of 27, 28–30, 37–38; anxiety in relation to 32, 38; home-centered social interaction 28; hospitality 28–29; in Leviticus 19:11-18.26 30–31; šãkên as 35 spatial proximity 31; hospitality vs. 29; social relationships and 30; spatial neighbour and 12, 25–26 Stjernfelt, Frederik 158, 168n11 stranger next door 28–30 Sunan 115 Sunni Islam 113 Surat Yusuf 109 Susan, Vanzantem 172 susjed (neighbour) 155 syn-genos 90 Tafhim al-Qur’an 115 tafsir 121, 141; interpreations of Q 4.36 112; Majma‘al-bayan 111; Tafsir alJalalayn 112; Tafsir al-miqbas 112; Tafsir al-Tustar 112; Tanwir almiqbas 110, 111 Tafsir al-Jalalayn 112 Tafsir al-Manar 115 Tafsir al-miqbas 112 Tafsir al-Tustar 112

Index 227 Takim, Liyakat N. 134 Tanhuma, R. 68, 70 Tanwir al-miqbas 110, 111 tawhid 140 travelers, constant 81 travelling neighbours 89–91 Trible, Phyllis 6 Triple Courtyard House 196 Ubuntu 174, 184 umma 109–110, 216 unconditional hospitality 51 Vanzantem, Susan 182

wal-jari l-janbi 136 Weil, Simone 184 Williams, Rowan 119 Yee, Gale A. 46, 52 Yehoshua, R. 69 YHWH 46, 47, 48, 50, 51 Yudah, R. 68 Yusuf ‘Ali, ‘Abdullah 116 Zaman, Taher 132 Žižek, Slavoj 9, 80–81, 127, 146 Zoma, Ben 69