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Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud
     

Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud

by Moulie Vidas
 

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Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud offers a new perspective on perhaps the most important religious text of the Jewish tradition. It is widely recognized that the creators of the Talmud innovatively interpreted and changed the older traditions on which they drew. Nevertheless, it has been assumed that the ancient rabbis were committed to maintaining

Overview


Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud offers a new perspective on perhaps the most important religious text of the Jewish tradition. It is widely recognized that the creators of the Talmud innovatively interpreted and changed the older traditions on which they drew. Nevertheless, it has been assumed that the ancient rabbis were committed to maintaining continuity with the past. Moulie Vidas argues on the contrary that structural features of the Talmud were designed to produce a discontinuity with tradition, and that this discontinuity was part and parcel of the rabbis' self-conception. Both this self-conception and these structural features were part of a debate within and beyond the Jewish community about the transmission of tradition.Focusing on the Babylonian Talmud, produced in the rabbinic academies of late ancient Mesopotamia, Vidas analyzes key passages to show how the Talmud's creators contrasted their own voice with that of their predecessors. He also examines Zoroastrian, Christian, and mystical Jewish sources to reconstruct the debates and wide-ranging conversations that shaped the Talmud's literary and intellectual character.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Honorable Mention for the 2016 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in Biblical Studies, Rabbinics, and Jewish History & Culture in Antiquity, Association for Jewish Studies

"Vidas's book exemplifies the best possibilities of contemporary Talmud scholarship—a foretaste, in just those moments when it upsets received wisdom about the Talmud, of the next step in the ancient dance of new and old."—Raphael Magarik, MAKE Literary Productions

"Vidas's book is eloquent testimony to the high level of conceptual sophistication that has been achieved in the academic field of Talmud study in recent years. It bodes well for the future of the field in American academia."—Pinchas Roth, AJL Newsletter

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691170862
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
05/31/2016
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
922,454
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Moulie Vidas is an assistant professor in the Department of Religion and the Program in Judaic Studies at Princeton University.

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