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Judaism in Context

Judaism in Context provides a platform for scholarly research focusing on the relations between Jews, Judaism, and Jewish culture and other peoples, religions, and cultures among whom Jews have lived and flourished, from ancient times through the 21st century. The series includes monographs as well as edited collections.

Series Editorial Board:

Rivka Ulmer, Bucknell University  (Chair)

Phillip Lieberman, Vanderbilt University

Elisheva Carlebach, Columbia University

Jonathan Jacobs, Bar Ilan University

Naomi Koltun-Fromm, Haverford University

W. David Nelson, Groton School

Lieve Teugels, Protestant Theological University of Amsterdam

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The Juridical Communities of Apulia

Municipal Belonging and Communal Identity in Southern Italy (1442-1541)
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4389-0

Maimonides. A Radical Religious Philosopher

A Radical Religious Philosopher
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4391-3
Shalom Sadik interrogates the nature of Maimonides’ religious philosophy through examination of secrets in the philosopher’s Guide for the Perplexed, the role of dialectic in his philosophy, the relationship between natural law and God’s commandments, and the question of free will.

Emerging Horizons. 21st Century Approaches to the Study of Midrash

Proceedings of the Midrash Section, Society of Biblical Literature, volume 9
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4365-4
The chapters in Emerging Horizons: 21st Century Approaches to the Study of Midrash pertain to an intriguing midrash that appears in a Masoretic context, the Qur’anic narrative of the red cow, midrashic narratives that rabbinize enemies of Israel, the death of Moses, emotions in rabbinic literature, and yelammedenu units in midrashic works.

Perils of Wisdom

The Scriptural Solomon in Jewish Tradition
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4378-4
Perils of Wisdom engages the biblical Solomon narrative that appears in the Book of Kings and its reception by Jewish texts from scriptural sources through the traditional commentaries of the Middle Ages. By systematically following the thread of exegesis through biblical, rabbinic, targumic, and medieval Jewish texts, and by examining their interplay with other ancient, Christian, and Islamic treatments of Solomon, Keiter traces the emergence and ascendance of an apologetic image of Solomon that has colored Jewish perceptions of the biblical king ever since.

In and Around Maimonides

Original Essays
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4330-2
In and Around Maimonides presents eight highly focused studies on Moses Maimonides and those around him.

Through the Prism of Wisdom

Elijah the Prophet as a Bearer of Wisdom in Rabbinic Literature
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0742-7
This monograph explores the nature of the Elijah traditions in rabbinic literature and their connection to the wisdom tradition. By examining the diverse Elijah traditions in connection to the wisdom and apocalyptic traditions, Alouf-Aboody sheds new light on the manner in which Elijah’s role developed in rabbinic literature.

Second Slayings

The Binding of Isaac and the Formation of Jewish Memory
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4026-4
In Second Slayings: The Binding of Isaac and the Formation of Jewish Memory, David N. Gottlieb explores the decisive - and, until now, under-appreciated - influence exerted on Jewish memory by the Akedah, the Binding of Isaac narrative in the Book of Genesis. Through the lenses of hermeneutics, literary and social theory, and history, Gottlieb reveals the ways in the Akedah narrative models the act of interpretation as a means of recovery from and commemoration of crisis - a strategy that has penetrated every aspect and era of Jewish life.

Torah is a Hidden Treasure

Proceedings of the Midrash Section, Society of Biblical Literature
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4078-3
The chapters in Torah is a Hidden Treasure pertain to authorship in Seder Eliyahu Rabba and Pirqe deRabi Eliezer, natural law and Israel’s statutes, Masorah and midrash, as well as a definition of midrash. The Hebrew Bible and midrash is researched in the interpretation of Israelite tribes, the Ten Commandments and the Covenant Code, and in Rashbam’s Bible commentary and its exegetical devices.

Jewish and Roman Law (volume 2)

A Comparative Study
By Boaz Cohen; Introduction by Natalie B. Dohrmann
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0758-8
This work is volume 2 of Boaz Cohen’s collected articles, with a new introduction by rabbinics scholar Natalie B. Dohrmann.

Jewish and Roman Law (volume 1)

A Comparative Study
By Boaz Cohen; Introduction by Natalie B. Dohrmann
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0660-4
This work is volume 1 of Boaz Cohen’s collected articles, with a new introduction by rabbinics scholar Natalie B. Dohrmann.

Progressive Approaches to Midrash

Proceedings of the Midrash Section, Society of Biblical Literature, Volume 7
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0736-6
This volume contains selected proceedings of the Midrash Section sessions convened during the 2015-2016 meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. It is comprised of contributions by both leading and emerging scholars of Midrash whose research shares a common focus on early and medieval rabbinic biblical interpretation. Additionally, the research on Midrash in this volume intersects with a range of related biblical texts, religious themes, and foundational and forward-thinking methodologies and interdisciplinary academic fields of study, including: Gender Studies; Classics; Jewish Studies; Religious Studies; Literary Studies; the Aqedah/Binding of Isaac; biblical parables; and, medieval rabbinic biblical commentary.

Reshaping Identities in Late Antique Syria-Mesopotamia

Christian and Jewish Hermeneutics and Narrative Strategies
By Aryeh Kofsky & Serge Ruzer; In Collaboration With Reuven Kiperwasser
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0590-4
This volume presents case studies of the phenomena that contributed to group identity in late antique Syria-Mesopotamia, in particular traditions reflecting interactions between Judaism and Christianity, among various Christian groups, and among other religious traditions of late antiquity (such as Zoroastrianism or 'paganism'). By studying Christian, Jewish and other sources that deal with the establishment, modification and deletion of boundaries, the authors seek to create a frame of reference that will in turn explain and contextualise the existing evidence concerning communication and interaction between highly diverse groups in Late Antiquity.

Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians

Religious Dynamics in a Sasanian Context
Edited by Geoffrey Herman
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0250-7
The Sasanian Empire was home to many religious communities. It was also a place of meeting and transformation. The studies in this volume encompass a diverse array of topics concerning these religious communities inhabiting the Sasanian Empire. Some include the Roman East in their deliberations. Most, however, deal with the interaction of one or other religious community based in the Sasanian Empire with the dominant religion of the empire, Zoroastrianism.

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Proceedings of the Midrash Section, Society of Biblical Literature, Volume 6
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0560-7
This volume contains selected proceedings of the Midrash Section sessions convened during the 2012-2014 meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. It is comprised of contributions by leading and emerging scholars that share a common focus on Rabbinic biblical interpretation as it intersects with a range of biblical texts and associated fields of study, including: Jewish legal literature; Hellenistic Judaism; post-biblical interpretation; biblical commentary; liturgical studies; and, cultural studies.

From Anglo-First-Wave towards American Second-Wave Jewish Feminism

Negotiating with Jewish Feminist Theology and its Communities in the Writing of Amy Levy
ISBN: 978-1-61719-915-8
This book completely redefines our understanding of fin de siècle Anglo-Jewish author Amy Levy and her writing. Demonstrating that Levy’s writing is less anti-Judaic and more profoundly influenced by the religious concerns of classical German Reformism, Luke Devine's innovative approach reveals that Levy's writing constitutes a genre whose female subjectivity evinces a concern for justice and authority that prefigures numerous aspects of Second-Wave Jewish feminist theory and its spiritual and theological underpinnings.

Re-Presenting Texts

Jewish and Black Biblical Interpretation
ISBN: 978-1-61143-924-3
This is the fifth issue of Proceedings of the Midrash Section at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature published in this series, and contains six papers on Jewish and Black biblical hermeneutics with regard to Rabbinic Midrash.

Pragmatic Studies in Judaism

Edited by Andrew Schumann
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0222-4
This book is the first attempt to apply formal pragmatics to Judaic studies as a discipline under the auspices of cultural studies, reconstructing the pragmatic approach in Judaism and defining some of the pragmatic limits assumed in the Torah. It is a continuation of previous work considering Judaic reasoning from the standpoint of analytic philosophy and logic. The present volume aims to explicate the Judaic pragmatic point of view with an emphasis on logic, political studies, ethics, and speech act theory.

The Women of Israel by Grace Aguilar

Two Volumes in One with a New Introduction and Commentary
ISBN: 978-1-61719-626-3
For almost a century after it was first published in 1845 Grace Aguilar's Women of Israel was presented as a high school graduation gift and even as a Christmas present to employees. More than 150 years before the current proliferation of books on women in biblical narrative and biblical law, Aguilar offered brilliant and innovative interpretations of abiding value. She took for granted that her readers could read Hebrew and that they, like herself, knew the King James Bible from memory. The extensive introduction and notes will make this new edition once again accessible to laypersons, students, and scholars.

First Came Marriage

The Rabbinic Appropriation of Early Jewish Wedding Ritual
ISBN: 978-1-59333-585-4
Ritual and historical perspectives each provide only a partial view of early Jewish weddings. Combining these approaches allows for a new look at practices rejected or highlighted by early rabbis and their successors, and First Came Marriage: The Rabbinic Appropriation of Early Jewish Wedding Ritual investigates the process by which early Jews married and the various moves they used to minimize, elaborate or codify these practices.

Jewish-Christian Conversation in Fourth-Century Persian Mesopotamia

A Reconstructed Conversation
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0156-2
Was there an active Jewish-Christian polemic in fourth-century Persia? Aphrahat’s Demonstrations, a fourth-century adversus Judaeos text, clearly indicates that fourth-century Persian Christians were interested in the debate. Is there evidence of this polemic in the rabbinic literature? Despite the lack of a comparable Jewish or rabbinic adversus Christianos literature, there is evidence, both from Aphrahat and the Rabbis that this polemic was not one sided.

Lily Montagu’s Shekhinah

ISBN: 978-1-61143-684-6
Lily Montagu’s Shekhinah outlines Lily Montagu’s theological writing, particularly her appropriation of the feminine aspect of the divine presence, Shekhinah, and provides a much needed corrective to the androcentric Anglo-Jewish historiography that has ignored, marginalized, and completely erased the founder of the Liberal Jewish movement in England. Luke Devine’s book is vital reading for students of Anglo-Jewry, First-Wave feminism, Jewish feminism, Liberal Judaism, and Jewish mysticism.

Midrash and the Exegetical Mind

Proceedings of the 2008 and 2009 SBL Midrash Sessions
ISBN: 978-1-61143-683-9
Contained in this volume are the Proceedings of the Midrash session of the SBL's annual conferences in 2008 and 2009. This volume contains eight essays dealing with various aspects of rabbinic interpretation.

The Rabbis’ King-Parables

Midrash From the Third-Century Roman Empire
ISBN: 978-1-61719-159-6
The Rabbis’ King-Parables: Midrash From the Third-Century Roman Empire examines the ancient Rabbis at work using parables about kings; parables that reflect the Rabbis' ideas about the role of the ruler in society, and the relationship of humanity to God. It considers the parables as resistance literature in light of the work of theorists of dominated groups. It is the first systematic attempt to read the parables as sources for Roman history in over 100 years.

Judaic Logic

Edited by Andrew Schumann
ISBN: 978-1-61719-194-7
Judaic reasoning is discussed from the standpoint of modern logic. Andrew Schumann defines Judaic logic, traces Aristotelian influence on developing Jewish studies in Judaic reasoning, and shows the non-Aristotelian core of fundamentals of Judaic logic. Further, Schumann proposes some modern approaches to understanding and formalizing Judaic reasoning, including Judaic semantics and (non-Aristotelian) syllogistics.

Interpretation, Religion and Culture in Midrash and Beyond

Proceedings of the 2006 and 2007 SBL Midrash Sessions
ISBN: 978-1-59333-619-6
The third issue of Proceedings of the Midrash session at the SBL Annual meeting published in this series. This volume contains papers on religion in midrash (2006) and modes of biblical interpretation in rabbinic, Syriac and Islamic traditions (2007).