Sexuality in the Babylonian Talmud: Christian and Sasanian Contexts in Late Antiquity

Sexuality in the Babylonian Talmud: Christian and Sasanian Contexts in Late Antiquity

by Yishai Kiel

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Overview

Sexuality in the Babylonian Talmud: Christian and Sasanian Contexts in Late Antiquity by Yishai Kiel

Within this close textual analysis of the Babylonian Talmud, Yishai Kiel explores rabbinic discussions of sex in light of cultural assumptions and dispositions that pervaded the cultures of late antiquity and particularly the Iranian world. By negotiating the Iranian context of the rabbinic discussion alongside the Christian backdrop, this groundbreaking volume presents a balanced and nuanced portrayal of the rabbinic discourse on sexuality and situates rabbinic discussions of sex more broadly at the crossroads of late antique cultures. The study is divided into two thematic sections: the first centers on the broader aspects of rabbinic discourse on sexuality while the second hones in on rabbinic discussions of sexual prohibitions and the classification of permissible and prohibited partnerships, with particular attention to rabbinic discussions of incest. Essential reading for scholars and graduate students of Judaic studies, early Christianity, and Iranian studies, as well as those interested in religious studies and comparative religion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107155510
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/13/2016
Pages: 310
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

Yishai Kiel is a lecturer in the Religious Studies Department and Directed Studies Program at Yale University, Connecticut. Kiel has published in numerous peer-reviewed platforms, including The Journal of Religion, Harvard Theological Review, Vetus Testamentum, the Journal of the American Oriental Society, the Journal of Jewish Studies, the Journal of Biblical Literature, Bulletin of the Asia Institute, AJS Review, Jewish Studies Quarterly, the Journal for the Study of Judaism, and The Jewish Law Annual.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Part I: Introduction; 1. Talmudic, Christian and Zoroastrian notions of sexual desire; 2. Sex and the sages; 3. Sexual etiquette and identity demarcation; 4. The mythologization of sexuality; Part II: Introduction; 5. The Pahlavi doctrine of Xwēdōdah; 6. Noahide law and the inclusiveness of sexual ethics; 7. Incestuous riddles; 8. Incest between law. Narrative and myth; 9. Confessing incest to a Rabbi; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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