Exegetical Imagination / Edition 823

Exegetical Imagination / Edition 823

by Michael Fishbane
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674274628

ISBN-13: 9780674274624

Pub. Date: 10/30/1998

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Exegesis--interpretation and explanation of sacred texts--is the quintessence of rabbinic thought. Through such means and methods, the written words of Hebrew Scripture have been extended since antiquity, and given new voices for new times. In this lucid and often poetic book, Michael Fishbane delineates the connections between biblical interpretation and Jewish

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Overview

Exegesis--interpretation and explanation of sacred texts--is the quintessence of rabbinic thought. Through such means and methods, the written words of Hebrew Scripture have been extended since antiquity, and given new voices for new times. In this lucid and often poetic book, Michael Fishbane delineates the connections between biblical interpretation and Jewish religious thought.

How can a canon be open to new meanings, given that it is believed to be immutable? Fishbane discusses the nature and rationale of this interpretative process in a series of studies on ancient Jewish speculative theology. Focusing on questions often pondered in Midrash, he shows how religious ideas are generated or justified by exegesis. He also explores the role exegesis plays in liturgy and ritual. A striking example is the transfer of speculative interpretations into meditation in prayer. Cultivation of the ability to perceive many implicit meanings in a text or religious practice can become a way of living--as Fishbane shows in explaining how such notions as joy or spiritual meditations on death can be idealized and the ideal transmitted through theological interpretation. The Exegetical Imagination is a collection of interrelated essays that together offer new and profound understanding of scriptural interpretation and its central role in Judaism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674274624
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
10/30/1998
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.53(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction1
1Midrash and the Nature of Scripture9
2"The Holy One Sits and Roars": Mythopoesis and Midrashic Imagination22
3The Great Dragon Battle and Talmudic Redaction41
4The Measure and Glory of God in Ancient Midrash56
5Midrashic Theologies of Messianic Suffering73
6Five Stages of Jewish Myth and Mythmaking86
7The Book of Zohar and Exegetical Spirituality105
8Substitutes for Sacrifice in Judaism123
9Contemplation of Death in Jewish Piety136
10Joy and Jewish Spirituality151
11The Mystery of Dance According to Rabbi Nahman of Bratzlav173
Notes187
Credits232
Index233

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