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INTRODUCTION TO RABBINIC LITERATURE: MISHNAH, TALMUD AND MIDRASH
Mishnah, Talmud and Midrash are the classical sources of Rabbinic Judaism, the religious movement named after the ”rabbis” who are the scholars and sages whose teachings appear in these texts. Rabbinic Judaism emerged in Late Antiquity, after the Biblical and Second Temple periods but before the rise of Islam. This form of Judaism eventually became the foundation for all later forms of Judaism.
BIBLIOGRAPHY WILL INCLUDE:
Mishnah Tractate Berakhot(Hebrew & English)
James Kugel, “The emergence of biblical interpretation in antiquity”
James Kugel, The Bible As It Was
Hayim Lapin, “The Rabbinic Movement”
Moshe Simon-Shoshan, Stories of the Law: Narrative Discourse and the Construction of Authority in the Mishnah
The course will be taught in English. This course is based on lectures (Vorlesungen), and therefore attendance and note-taking is crucial. The course is based on the reading of primary and secondary texts. Active participation in class discussions based on preparation of reading assignments. Brief writing exercises and presentations. Five page final essay.
The course will introduce the student to the literary-critical, historical and history-of-religions (Religionsgeschichte) approaches to these texts. The larger picture that emerges will contribute to our understanding of the rise and formation of Rabbinic Judaism.
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