Forms of Rabbinic Literature and Thought: An Introduction

Hardcover | May 12, 2007

byAlexander Samely

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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, anddescribed 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 discoursestrategies 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 ofrabbinic thought, and why they pose specific problems to modern, Western-educated readers.

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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, anddescribed according to their literary structures an...

Alexander Samely is Professor of Jewish Thought, Manchester University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.83 inPublished:May 12, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199296731

ISBN - 13:9780199296736

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The works of rabbinic literature2. Parts and wholes in rabbinic literature3. How statements are linked to each other4. The quotable Bible5. Appropriating Scripture6. The literary device of quoting rabbis7. Oral and written texts8. Putting the world into rabbinic words9. The Talmud as conversation and repository10. Hermeneutic models of story and historyConclusionSample texts