Profiling Jewish Literature in Antiquity: An Inventory, from Second Temple Texts to the Talmuds

Hardcover | December 7, 2013

byAlexander Samely

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This book introduces a new system for describing non-biblical ancient Jewish literature. It arises from a fresh empirical investigation into the literary structures of many anonymous and pseudepigraphic sources, including Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha of the Old Testament, the larger Dead SeaScrolls, Midrash, and the Talmuds. A comprehensive framework of several hundred literary features, based on modern literary studies and text linguistics, allows describing the variety of important text types which characterize ancient Judaism without recourse to vague and superficial genre terms.The features proposed cover all aspects of the ancient Jewish texts, including the self-presentation, perspective, and knowledge horizon assumed by the text; any poetic constitution, narration, thematic discourse, or commentary format; common small forms and small-scale relationships governingneighbouring parts; compilations; dominant subject matter; and similarities to the canonical books of the Hebrew Bible. By treating works of diverse genres and periods by the same conceptual grid, the new framework breaks down artificial barriers to interdisciplinary research and prepares the ground for new large-scale comparative studies. The book introduces and presents the new framework, explains and illustratesevery descriptive category with reference to specific ancient Jewish texts, and provides sample profiles of Jubilees, the Temple Scroll, Mishnah, and Genesis Rabbah. The books publication is accompanied by a public online Database of hundreds of further Profiles(literarydatabase.humanities.manchester.ac.uk). This project was made possible through the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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This book introduces a new system for describing non-biblical ancient Jewish literature. It arises from a fresh empirical investigation into the literary structures of many anonymous and pseudepigraphic sources, including Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha of the Old Testament, the larger Dead SeaScrolls, Midrash, and the Talmuds. A comprehe...

Alexander Samely is Professor of Jewish Thought at the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester. Written in collaboration with Philip Alexander (Professor Emeritus of Post-Biblical Jewish Literature, Manchester University), Rocco Bernasconi (Lecturer of Jewish Literature, Facolta di Teologia di Lugano), a...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:December 7, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199684324

ISBN - 13:9780199684328

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Table of Contents

I: IntroductionII: Text of the InventoryIII: Commentary on the Inventory1. The Self-Presentation of the Text as a Verbal Entity2. The Perspective and Knowledge Horizon of the Governing Voice3. The Poetic and Rhetorical-Communicative Constitution of Texts4. Narrative Coherence and Narrative Aggregation5. Thematic Coherence and Thematic Aggregation6. Meta-Textual Structuring of Texts7. Correspondences and Verbal Overlap with Other Texts8. Small Forms in the Governing Voice9. Small-Scale Coherence Relationships10. The Juxtaposition of Part-Texts in a Compound11. Dominant Subject Matter and Scholarly Genre LabelsConcluding RemarksIV: Sample Profiles1. Jubilees2. Temple Scroll3. Mishnah4. Genesis Rabbah