The Open Canon: On the Meaning of Halakhic Discourse

The Open Canon: On the Meaning of Halakhic Discourse

by Avi Sagi


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In this groundbreaking study Avi Sagi outlines a broad spectrum of answers to important questions presented in Jewish literature, covering theological issues bearing on the meaning of the Torah and of revelation, as well as hermeneutical questions regarding understanding of the halakhic text.
This is the first volume to attempt to provide a comprehensive map of the available views and theories concerning the theological, hermeneutical, and ontological meaning of dispute as a constitutive element of Halakhah. It offers an attentive reading of the texts and strives to present, clearly and exhaustively, the conscious account of Jewish tradition in general and of halakhic tradition in particular concerning the meaning of halakhic discourse.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826496706
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 02/20/2008
Series: The Robert and Arlene Kogod Library of Judaic Studies
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.51(d)

About the Author

Avi Sagi is Professor of Philosophy, and Founder and Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies, at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Israel. He has written and edited numerous books and articles in Jewish and general philosophy, among them Religion and Morality (with Daniel Statman, New York: 1995) and the recently released Judaism: Between Religion and Morality (Tel Aviv: 1998) and Albert Camus and the Philosophy of the Absurd (New York: 2002).

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Monistic Outlook

1. Halakhah Follows Beth Hillel: The Rejected Option in Monism2. Monism: The ‘Valid Decision' Concept3. Monism: Dispute and The Concept Of Revelation

Part 2: The Pluralistic Outlook

4. Revelation and Halakhic Pluralism5. The Limits of Halakhic Pluralism and the Nature of Halakhic Inference6. Halakhah Follows Beth Hillel: The Pluralistic Version

Part 3: The Harmonic Outlook

7. The Union of Opposites8. ‘Reality Knows No Opposites'

Part 4: These And These Are the Words of the Living God - Halakhic Values

9. The Religious Value of the Quest for Truth10. ‘Torah Shall Go Forth Today...that Had Not Gone Forth Yesterday': The Value of Innovation

Part 5: On Dispute And Authority

11. Dispute in Halakhic Culture: Historical Phenomenon or Constitutive Element 12. On Authority and the Duty of Obedience


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