Reading the Rabbis

Reading the Rabbis : The Talmud as Literature

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Description

Traditionally, the Talmud was read as law, that is, as the authoritative source for Jewish practice and obligations. To this end, it was studied at the level of its most minute details, with readers often ignoring the composite whole and attending only to final decisions. Methods of reading have shifted as more readers and students have turned to the Talmud for evidence of rabbinic history, religion, rhetoric, or anthropology; still, few have employed a genuinely literary approach. In Reading the Rabbis, Kraemer attempts to fill this gap. He uses the tools developed in the study of other literatures, particularly rhetorical and reader-response criticisms, to unearth previously unnoticed levels of meaning. His book offers a new understanding of the complexity of Rabbinic Judaism, and a new model of rabbinic piety.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 178 pages
  • 147.3 x 218.9 x 21.3mm | 467.79g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195096231
  • 9780195096231
  • 2,021,358

Review quote

"A strong scholarly contribution to the field of Rabbinics in particular, and to Jewish studies and Theology in general....Reading the Rabbis, combined with Kraemer's earlier Mind of the Talmud, changes the field of Talmudic studies. Given that the field has been vigorously pursued for fifteen centuries, this is a remarkable achievement."-Burton L. Visotzky, Jewish Theological Seminaryshow more

Back cover copy

Traditionally, the Talmud was read as law, that is, as the authoritative source for Jewish practice and obligations. To this end, it was studied at the level of its most minute details, with readers often ignoring the composite whole. Methods of reading have shifted as more readers have turned to the Talmud for evidence of rabbinic history, religion, rhetoric, or anthropology; still, few have employed a genuinely literary approach. In Reading the Rabbis, Kraemer attempts to fill this gap by developing a method for reading the Talmud as literature. He draws on the tools developed in the study of other literatures, particularly rhetorical and reader-response criticisms, to unearth previously unnoticed levels of meaning. The result is that readers will gain a new understanding of the complexity of Rabbinic Judaism, and a new model of rabbinic piety.show more

Rating details

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