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Building Blocks of Rabbinic Tradition : The Documentary Approach to the Study of Formative Judaism - Jacob Neusner

Building Blocks of Rabbinic Tradition

The Documentary Approach to the Study of Formative Judaism

Paperback Published: 1st October 2007
ISBN: 9780761838685
Number Of Pages: 284

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This book responds to a question that came to the author from Professor Maren Niehoff of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: 'Have you written a simple introduction to your documentary theory and method, which can serve as a starting point for my students?' In this book are gathered eight of the more fundamental items of documentary theory and practice_three in theory, five in practice_for Professor Neihoff's students and anyone else who takes an interest in the formative history of Judaism. The documentary thesis of Rabbinic literature holds that the document_the Mishnah, Sifra, Lamentations, Rabbah, the Bavli, for example_forms the basic building block of the Rabbinic tradition. Excluded by that definition are sayings attributed to, and stories told about, named sages. These cannot serve in the reconstruction of the Rabbinic tradition, its literature, history, religion, and theology.

Industry Reviews

This book clearly sets out in user-friendly fashion the principles underlying the vast research programme which has occupied Neusner for so many years. Students will certainly welcome, and benefit from, this compliation, which presents the reader with a carefully judged combination of theoretical discussion and worked examples of texts. Spring 2009

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 3
Defining Rabbinic Literaturep. 3
Attributions of Sayings to Sages and their Place in Rabbinic Literaturep. 9
The Relationships among the Documents of Rabbinic Literaturep. 12
Intertextuality or Intratextuality: Rabbinic Literature as a Community of Textsp. 14
Compositions and Composites: The Prehistory of Rabbinic Documentsp. 16
The Documentary Foundation of Rabbinic Culturep. 25
How do we Recognize a Document When We See One?p. 25
Autonomy = text, connection = context, continuity = matrixp. 28
Describing the Literature - Analyzing the History of the Religionp. 30
Gaining Perspective: Comparing the Literatures of Judaism and Christianityp. 31
How Has the Documentary Method Changed Learning?p. 35
How Documents Relate and Why it Mattersp. 39
How Documents Relatep. 39
What Is at Stakep. 42
Documents and Their Traits. Form Analysis and the Documentary History of Ideasp. 47
The Question that I askp. 47
The Answer that I Set Forthp. 51
Why It Mattersp. 76
Extra- and Non-Documentary Writing in the Rabbinic Canon of Late Antiquityp. 83
Defining Termsp. 83
What Is at Stake?p. 84
Where Do We Stand?p. 86
Distinguishing Documentary from Extra- and Non-Documentary Writing: The Starting Pointp. 87
Other Approaches to the Same Problemp. 90
The Documentary Context: Autonomy, Connection, Continuityp. 95
Imagining the Rabbinic Canon: Toward a General Theoryp. 97
The Mishnah's Extra-Documentary Forms and its Unpatterned Discoursesp. 105
Do We Identify in the Mishnah Extra-Documentary Forms or Idiosyncratic Prose?p. 105
The Mishnah's Miscellaneous Compositions: A Complete Repertoirep. 106
When Sages Wrote for the Mishnah, They Wrote with the Mishnah's Plan in Mindp. 155
The Documentary Dimensions of Talmudic Phenomenologyp. 159
What Do We Mean by a Document? The Problem of Contextualizing the Free-Standing Saying or Compositionp. 159
Redaction and Writing. The Extreme Case of the Mishnahp. 164
When the Document Does Not Define the Literary Protocol: Stories Told But Not Compiledp. 165
Pericopes Framed for the purposes of the Particular Document in which They Occurp. 167
Pericopes Framed for the purposes of a Particular Document But Not of a Type we Now Possessp. 170
Pericopes Framed for the purposes Not Particular to a Type of Document Now in Our Handsp. 172
The Three Stages of Literary Formationp. 178
The Parable (Mashal) a Documentary Approachp. 181
The Documentary Analysis of Parablesp. 181
The Priority of the documentary task: The Nimshal over the Mashalp. 183
The Mashal in the Mishnahp. 184
The Mashal From the Mishnah to the Toseftap. 186
The Mashal in the Toseftap. 187
The Mashal in tractate Abotp. 190
The Mashal in Sifra: The Halakhic Parable and the Exegetical Parablep. 191
The Halakhic parablep. 192
The Exegetical Parablep. 192
The Mashal in Sifre to Numbersp. 194
The Mashal in Sifre to Deuteronomyp. 195
The Mashal in Song of Songs Rabbahp. 197
The Mashal in Lamentations Rabbahp. 198
A Diachronic View of the Parable: Three Propositionsp. 198
The Parable Serves the Document and Responds to its Programp. 198
The Rabbinic Parable Ordinarily, though not Always, articulates the Details of the Mashal in Response the Requirements of the Nimshalp. 199
Not "the Parable," an Autonomous Literary Genre, but Parabolic Writing, Part of, and Just Another Option in, the Composition of a Rabbinic Canonical Documentp. 200
The Precedent (Ma 'Easeh) and the Parable (Mashal) in Diachronic View and the Documentary Hypothesisp. 201
Concluding Observation on the Parable in Matthew 13p. 202
An Afterword: David Stern, Parables in Midrash. Narrative and Exegesis in Rabbinic Literature. Cambridge, 1991: Harvard University Pressp. 203
Bibliography of Jacob Neusnerp. 209
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780761838685
ISBN-10: 0761838686
Series: Studies in Judaism
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 284
Published: 1st October 2007
Publisher: University Press of America
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.73 x 15.6  x 2.36
Weight (kg): 0.77

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