The Mind of the Talmud: An Intellectual History of the Bavli

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byDavid Kraemer

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This critical study traces the development of the literary forms and conventions of the Babylonian Talmud, or Bavli, analyzing those forms as expressions of emergent rabbinic ideology. The Bavli, which evolved between the third and sixth centuries in Sasanian Iran (Babylonia), is the mostcomprehensive of all documents produced by rabbinic Jews in late antiquity. It became the authoritative legal source for medieval Judaism, and for some its opinions remain definitive today. Kraemer here examines the characteristic preference for argumentation and process over settled conclusionsof the Bavli. By tracing the evolution of the argumentational style, he describes the distinct eras in the development of rabbinic Judaism in Babylonia. He then analyzes the meaning of the disputational form and concludes that the talmudic form implies the inaccessibility of perfect truth and thaton account of this opinion, the pursuit of truth, in the characteristic talmudic concern for rabbinic process, becomes the ultimate act of rabbinic piety.

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This critical study traces the development of the literary forms and conventions of the Babylonian Talmud, or Bavli, analyzing those forms as expressions of emergent rabbinic ideology. The Bavli, which evolved between the third and sixth centuries in Sasanian Iran (Babylonia), is the mostcomprehensive of all documents produced by rabbi...

David Kraemer is at Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.62 × 5.75 × 0.83 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195062906

ISBN - 13:9780195062908

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"Ambitious in its scope, goals, and methods....Kraemer has provided a stimulating basis for further work....No future work in these problems can ignore this study."--The Jewish Quarterly Review