The Mishnah: Religious Perspectives

The Mishnah: Religious Perspectives

The Mishnah: Religious Perspectives

The Mishnah: Religious Perspectives

Synopsis

Condensing research concerning questions of religion which encompass the social history of ideas and the religious uses of language, this book deals with three questions: the relationship of the Mishnah to Scripture, the relationship of the religious ideas people hold to the world in which they live, and the religious meaning of the formalization of language that characterizes the Mishnah in particular. In discussing how the Mishnah relates to Scripture - in the (later) mythic language of Rabbinic Judaism: the oral Torah" to "the written Torah" - a complete analysis is presented, based on a systematic application of a single taxonomic program. Then an examination is made of how the stages in the unfolding of the Halakhah of the Mishnah relate to the principal events of the times, which delineate those stages. Here focus is given to those pre-70 C. E. components of the Halakhah that later come to the surface in the Mishnah, but discussion extends to the periods from the destruction of the Temple in 70 C. E. to the Bar Kokhba War, concluded in ca. 135 C. E., then from the reconstruction, 135 C. E., to the closure of the Mishnah, 200 C. E. Finally attention is given to methods of interpreting the rhetorical forms of the Mishnah in the context of the social culture laid bare by the socio-linguistics of the documents concerned. This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details."

Excerpt

With its twin, The Mishnah: Social Perspectives. Philosophy, Economics, Politics, this book completes the condensation and recapitulation of largescale research of mine. I now turn to research precipitated by questions of religion, encompassing the social history of ideas and the religious uses of language. the first question of religion concerns the relationship of the Mishnah to Scripture. the second takes up the relationship of the religious ideas people hold to the world in which they live. the third addresses the religious meaning of the formalization of language that characterizes the Mishnah in particular.

The religious perspectives on the Mishnah direct our attention to three questions. First, how does the Mishnah relate to Scripture, or, in the (later) mythic language of Rabbinic Judaism, [the oral Torah] to [the written Torah]? That question until now has elicited generalizations and episodic cases; here I provide a complete analysis, based on a systematic application of a single taxonomic program. Second, are we able to relate the stages in the unfolding of the Halakhah of the Mishnah to the principal events of the times, which delineate those stages? the question focuses on the pre-70 components of the Halakhah that later comes to the surface in the Mishnah, but extends to the periods from the destruction of the Temple in 70 to the Bar Kokliba War, concluded in ca. 135, then from the reconstruction, 135, to the closure of the Mishnah, 200 C.E. Third, how are we able to interpret the rhetorical forms of the Mishnah in the context of the social culture adumbrated by the documents sociolinguistics?

In these pages I provide a precis of parts of a number of completed pieces of research. the monographs summarized in the first chapter are these:

Scripture and the Generative Pemises of the Halakhah. a Systematic Inquiiy. I.. Halakhah Based Principally on Scripture and Halakhic Categories Autonomous of Scripture. Atlanta, 1999: Scholars Press for South Florida Studies in the History of Judaism.

Scripture and the Generative Premises of the Halakhah. a Systematic Inquiry. ii. Scripture's Topics Derivatively Amplified in the Halakhah. Adanta, 1999: Scholars Press for South Florida Studies in the History of Judaism.

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