Transmitting Jewish Traditions: Orality, Textuality, and Cultural Diffusionby Yaakov Elman
Pub. Date: 08/28/2000
Publisher: Yale University Press
This book examines the impact of changing modes of cultural transmission on Jewish and Western cultures over the past two thousand years. The contributors to the volume survey some of the waysconscious and subconsciousin which cultural elements are selected, shaped, and transmitted, and some of the ways they in turn shape the future of their cultures. Focusing on a range of Jewish cultures from late antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the modern period, the authors consider both the transformation of traditions in their travels from one contemporaneous cultural context to another and their transformation within a single culture over time.
Some of the studies in the book deal with the transition from mixed oral-written cultures to ones in which written-print is nearly exclusive. Other chapters deal with the processes of transmission such as anthologizing, translating, teaching, and sermonizing. By contextualizing Jewish culture within Western culture and including a comparative perspective, the book makes an important contribution to Judaic studies as well as to other areas of the humanities concerned with questions of textuality and culture.
About the Author: Yaakov Elman is associate professor of Judaic studies at Yeshiva University and co-director of the Friedberg Genizah Project. Israel Gershoni is professor of Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University.
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