Forms of Rabbinic Literature and Thought
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 288
Width: 14.4 cm
Height: 22.2 cm
Alexander Samely surveys the corpus of rabbinic literature, which was written in Hebrew and Aramaic about 1500 years ago and which contains the foundations of Judaism, in particular the Talmud. The rabbinic works are introduced in groups, illustrated by shorter and longer passages, and described according to their literary structures and genres. Tables and summaries provide short information on key topics: the individual works and their nature, the recurrent literary forms which are used widely in different works, techniques of rabbinic Bible interpretation, and discourse strategies of the Talmud. Key topics of current research into the texts are addressed: their relationship to each other, their unity, their ambiguous and 'unsystematic' character, and their roots in oral tradition. Samely explains why the character of the texts is crucial to an understanding of rabbinic thought, and why they pose specific problems to modern, Western-educated readers.
This is a stellar contribution to the form and the literary criticism of rabbinic literature, and it should be required reading for anyone working in Early Judaism, Early Christianity, the OT and NT, and any related field. * T.M. Law, Society for Old Testament Study Booklist * The book is highly innovative in its description of how rabbinic texts function as texts and constitute meaningful wholes... will be of a great help for beginners in rabbinic studies. But it is even more recommended to everybody who already has experience with rabbinic texts or who has studied them for a long time. * Gunter Stemberger, Journal of Semitic Studies * Samely provides a complex and detailed account of thr nature and essence of rabbinic textuality...should be of interest to anyone studying rabbinic literature, acient Judaism and Christianity, ancient history and philosophy. * Catherine Hezser Journal of Jewish Studies *