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Gorgias Judaic Studies Collection (12 vols.)
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Gathering Interest

Overview

Engage with the ancient and modern heritage of Judaism with cutting-edge studies from Gorgias Press. Explore the theologies of suffering and God’s existence that emerged after the holocaust with Daniel Garner’s Antitheodicy, Atheodicy and Jewish Mysticism in Holocaust Theology. See how the Jewish marriage tradition developed over the centuries with Susan Marks’ First Came Marriage. And examine Judaism’s uniquely high regard for women in a freshly annotated edition of Grace Aguilar’s The Women of Israel.

This collection includes volumes from the Gorgias Studies in Judaism series that delve into Jewish literature, history, theology, mysticism, and philosophy—covering Late Antiquity to the modern period. Other works come from the Judaism in Context series focus on relations between Jewish religion and culture and other peoples, religions, and cultures among whom Jews have lived and flourished. Gorgias emphasizes contributions from younger scholars, bringing the latest ideas and technology to bear on key subjects in Judaic studies.

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Explore the sacred texts of Judaism with Perspectives on Hebrew Scriptures and Its Contexts.

Key Features

  • Studies the ancient and modern heritage of Judaism
  • Emphasizes contributions from younger scholars
  • Investigates the relationship between Jewish religion and culture and other societies

Product Details

  • Title: Gorgias Judaic Studies Collection
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Volumes: 12
  • Pages: 3,665
  • Topic: Judaica

Individual Titles

Antitheodicy, Atheodicy and Jewish Mysticism in Holocaust Theology: Atheodic Theologies after Auschwitz

  • Author: Daniel Garner
  • Series: Gorgias Studies in Judaism
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 263

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The Holocaust has provoked a variety of theological responses from the Jewish community. Explore the range of responses with Daniel Garner’s close inspection of the commonalities of different Jewish theologians. One common trend within Holocaust theology is the rejection and replacement of traditional explanations of suffering, with responses centered on ideas of recovery, consolation, and divine mystery. Another widespread, though largely unrecognized, trend is use of Jewish mystical themes by Holocaust theologians. This study shows how the presence of Jewish mysticism can be explained, at least in part, by this post-Holocaust collapse of traditional theodicy.

Daniel Garner argues that “antitheodicy” needs to be more tightly defined to avoid being too broad for use. Garner then introduces the concept of “atheodicy” as a complement to antitheodicy, which grants a deeper understanding of Holocaust theology. He defines atheodicy as a response to suffering which focuses on divine mystery, divine co-suffering, and recovery. He then identifies these modes in the responses of writers Kalonymous Shapira, Emil Fackenheim, Arthur Cohen, and Melissa Raphael—demonstrating the importance of atheodicy across the spectrum of Jewish Holocaust theology. Garner identifies Jewish mysticism as an important resource for these theologians, and he shows the two trends to be related by virtue of certain cabalistic concepts, lending themselves symbolically to the atheodic dimensions of these theologies.

Daniel Garner is a lecturer in Jewish studies at the University of Manchester, where he earned his PhD in religions and theology in 2010.

First Came Marriage: The Rabbinic Appropriation of Early Jewish Wedding Ritual

  • Author: Susan Marks
  • Series: Judaism in Context
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 272

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Explore Judaism’s rich tradition of marriage with Susan Marks’ scholarly study of Jewish wedding origins.

Competing ritual and historical perspectives each provide only a partial view of early Jewish weddings. Marks combines these approaches and takes a new look at practices rejected or highlighted by early rabbis. First Came Marriage investigates how early Jews married, and how rabbis minimized, elaborated, and codified these practices. By focusing on ritual, She reconsiders the limitations placed on slaves and mamzerim marrying, laying the groundwork for comprehending how rabbis constructed citizenship.

Marks also studies other sources alluding to wedding processions and feasts, providing an important counterpoint to mishnaic and talmudic texts that explore wedding customs and reveal the limits of a rabbinic stake in these practices. These explorations point to the need for new ways of understanding the relationship of rabbis to the larger community, recognizing that other events in neighboring communities might help explain why weddings gradually become meaningful in later rabbinic circles.

Susan Marks is associate professor and Klingenstein Chair of Judaic Studies at the New College of Florida. She received her PhD in religious studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research concerns the importance and challenge of examining ritual within history, specifically within the history of Early Judaism. She has been an active member of the Meals in the Greco Roman World Seminar and Group of the Society of Biblical Literature. She has also been ordained as a rabbi by the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion.

Interpretation, Religion and Culture in Midrash and Beyond: Proceedings of the 2006 and 2007 SBL Midrash Sessions

  • Editors: Lieve Teugels and Rivka Ulmer
  • Series: Judaism in Context
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 157

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Gain perspectives on several issues in the Midrash with this volume of work from the SBL Midrash Sessions of 2006 and 2007. This volume contains papers on religion in midrash (2006) and modes of biblical interpretation in rabbinic, Syriac and Islamic traditions (2007), as well as some papers in rabbinic culture as derived from the study of rabbinic texts.

Robert Phenix’s study draws on the biblical Joseph story as presented in Syriac stories and their connections with Jewish midrashim and Islamic literature. Steven Sacks discusses texts about the “foundation stone” in rabbinic literature in view of the widespread myth about the cosmic “navel” of the world. Eszter Füzessy studies the literary form of “Dialogues Between Sages And Outsiders” and its polemical use to defend rabbinic ideas. Isaac Gottlieb studies the ways the rabbis dealt with contradictory and ideologically difficult passages in the Book of Esther. John Townsend treats the historical question as to why the School of Shammai was superseded by the School of Hillel after the Fall of Jerusalem. Rivka Ulmer discusses the occurrence of Egyptian (Coptic) words and images and their iconic value in rabbinic texts. According to Willem Smelik, analysis of the early rabbinic reflections on the holy tongue demonstrate that this concept was primarily connected with a limited set of priestly rituals, but the attempts to justify the Hebrew language requirement point to an emerging ideology of the Hebrew language.

Lieve Teugels is adjunct editor at Gorgias Press and editor for the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization. She was formerly professor for Jewish studies at Utrecht University (Netherlands).

Rivka Ulmer holds the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair in Judaic Studies at Bucknell University. Ulmer has published widely in the field of Jewish studies.

Jewish-Christian Conversation in Fourth-Century Persian Mesopotamia: A Reconstructed Conversation

  • Author: Naomi Koltun-Fromm
  • Series: Judaism in Context
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 198

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Was there an active Jewish-Christian polemic in fourth-century Persia? And if so, what issues were debated? Aphrahat’s Demonstrations, a fourth-century adversus Judaeos text, clearly indicates that fourth-century Persian Christians were interested in the debate. Naomi Koltun-Fromm investigates the question of whether there is evidence of this polemic in the rabbinic literature. She argues that despite the lack of a comparable Jewish or rabbinic adversus Christianos literature, there is reason to believe that this polemic was not one sides—her book attempts to fill in both sides of the debate. Koltun-Fromm examines Aphrahat’s discussion of and the rabbis’ “response” to topics such as the observance of Passover, the Sabbath, dietary laws and circumcision, as well as the future redemption, the ingathering, the election of Israel, the Messiah, and virginity are among the topics.

Establishing the existence of fourth-century Jewish-Christian polemical conversations not only illuminates the areas of conflict between Jews and Christians in Persian Mesopotamia, but it also determines how the external political situation influenced these confrontations. In addition, it allows one to reflect on the nature of rabbinic reactions to Christianity, as well as the literary, linguistic, and textual resources that the rabbis and the leaders of the Syriac Christian communities had in common.

Naomi Koltun-Fromm earned her PhD in history and Jewish studies from Stanford in 1993. She was director of Jewish studies at Tulane University before becoming associate professor of religion at Haverford College.

Judaic Logic

  • Editor: Andrew Schumann
  • Series: Judaism in Context
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 268

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Judaism differs considerably from other theistic religions. One of its chief distinctions is that Jewish religious laws are not dogmatic, but based on specific legal reasoning. This reasoning was developed by the first Judaic commentators of the Bible for inferring Judaic laws from the Pentateuch. The book is about Judaic reasoning from the standpoint of modern logic.

The first goal of this text is to define Judaic logic that was intended to be a methodology for deducing religious laws. Contributors discuss the different forms of influence of the Aristotelian logic on developing the Talmudic methodology. They aim to sketch semantics for the Judaic reasoning, explicating Talmudic case study and rabbinic situation analysis to develop general approaches to formalizing Judaic logic. This consideration of Judaic logic has relevance for modern logic and analytic philosophy and may be compared with the contribution made by the formalization of Ancient Greek logical systems to twentieth-century logic and language philosophy.

Andrew Schumann is the managing editor of Studia Humana, a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that publishes studies in philosophy, economics, political science, and sociology.

Lily Montagu’s Shekhinah

  • Author: Luke Devine
  • Series: Judaism in Context
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 200

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Lily Montagu’s Shekhinah emphasizes Lily Montagu’s role as the founder of liberal Judaism in England. Luke Devine’s innovative re-reading of her often ignored novel, Naomi’s Exodus, along with the introduction of little-known archival material, generates a more accurate picture of Montagu, her biography, her activism, and most importantly—her theological discourse. Devine’s account reveals a Lily Montagu that may be unfamiliar to students and scholars alike: a Lily Montagu that is not a disciple of Claude Montefiore, but, rather, a woman with latent fiery temperament, deeply held spiritual convictions, and the intellectual prowess to develop and articulate these theological reflections. Lily Montagu’s Shekhinah maps the history of liberal Judaism at the fin-de-siècle and the development of Montagu’s proto-feminist aspirations, culminating in her theological discourse of “gender completion,” and elaboration on the feminine aspect of the divine presence, known to Jewish feminists as the Shekhinah.

Luke Devine earned his PhD in Jewish feminist theology from the University of Gloucestershire.

Man and the Theogony in the Lurianic Cabala

  • Author: Daphne Freedman
  • Series: Gorgias Studies in Judaism
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 228

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

 

Explore the theology of the sixteenth-century rabbi, Isaac Luria in this volume from Daphne Freedman. Lurianic mythology represents an intensely personal view, in which earlier cabalistic symbolism is used to express new and original ideas. The lurianic system as a whole can be seen as a single metaphor for a new relation between man and the deity which is not yet fully realized.

Freedman’s study provides a conceptually vital summary of the sexual reconciliation of opposites in Lurianic kabbala as also restoring or reconciling the gulf between the human and the divine, and the nature of evil in this world. Freedman manages a graceful account of this important innovation in kabbala theory.

—Wordtrade.com

Daphne Freedman studied cabala at Jerusalem University and philosophy at Kings College London; she received her PhD at University College London, where she is currently a research fellow.

Midrash and the Exegetical Mind: Proceedings of the 2008 and 2009 SBL Midrash Sessions

  • Editors: Lieve Teugels and Rivka Ulmer
  • Series: Judaism in Context
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 217

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Gain perspectives on several issues on the midrash with this volume of work from the SBL Midrash Sessions of 2008 and 2009. This volume contains eight essays by leading scholars in rabbinics, dealing with various aspects of rabbinic interpretational activity.

Rachel Adelman investigates the origin of God’s footstool in rabbinic sources, based on the verse describing the theophany at the ratification of the Sinai covenant (Exodus 24:10). Isaac Kalimi investigates how the rabbis tried to reconcile the intermarriages mentioned in genealogical lists in Chronicles with the opposition against intermarriage stated in Ezra-Nehemiah. Simon Lasair studies two passages from “Song Rabbah” using a methodology based on an intersection of literary and political theory. Erica L. Martin focuses upon the rabbinic exegesis of the elliptical episode of Noah’s drunkenness in Gen. 9:20–25. David Nelson asserts that the text of the Mek. RaShBY is best understood as a written embodiment of the diverse pedagogical and transmissional culture within which it functioned. Jesse Rainbow states that in its emphasis on the motif of Ishmael as hunter, Genesis Rabbah 53:11 is informed by a larger typology of the rejected first-born son in Genesis. Ishay Rosen-Zvi claims that Babylonian rabbinic sources not only show a more positive attitude toward sexuality than Palestinian sources, but multiply and increase sexuality itself. Nehemia Polen investigates the practice of derashah in the tannaitic period which was a mode of communication with God rather than the application of hermeneutic rules.

Lieve Teugels is adjuct editor at Gorgias Press and editor for the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization. She was formerly professor for Jewish studies at Utrecht University (Netherlands).

Rivka Ulmer holds the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair in Judaic Studies at Bucknell University. Ulmer has published widely in the field of Jewish studies.

Pragmatic Studies in Judaism

  • Editor: Andrew Schumann
  • Series: Judaism in Context
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 286

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This book is the first attempt to apply formal pragmatics to Judaic studies, both as a discipline and within the broader discipline of cultural studies. It reconstructs the pragmatic approach in Judaism and defines some of the pragmatic limits assumed in the Torah. The text is a continuation of previous work considering Judaic reasoning from the standpoint of analytic philosophy and logic. Contributors aim to explicate the Judaic pragmatic point of view with an emphasis on logic, political studies, ethics, and speech act theory.

Andrew Schumann is the managing editor of Studia Humana, a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that publishes studies in philosophy, economics, political science, and sociology.

Re-Presenting Texts: Jewish and Black Biblical Interpretation

  • Editors: W. David Nelson and Rivka Ulmer
  • Series: Judaism in Context
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 148

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Gain perspectives on several issues on the Midrash with this volume of work from the SBL Midrash Sessions of 2010 and 2011. This volume contains six papers on Jewish and black biblical hermeneutics with regard to rabbinic midrash (2011) and on “underrepresented” rabbinic texts that were the focus of the 2010 sessions.

Wil Gafney explores the issue of how Jewish and black biblical hermeneutics inform issues of white and black identity. W. David Nelson addresses the occurrence and dynamics of racial thought in rabbinic literature and the treatment of the issue in scholarship on rabbinic midrash. Rebecca Alpert analyzes and responds to the critical remarks by Charles Copher about midrashic traditions on the “Curse of Ham” in his seminal publication, “The Black Presence in the Old Testament.” Dominique-Jamal Hopkins utilizes racialized hermeneutics to examine critically the ethnocentric exegesis of rabbinic literature pertaining to the Noahic curse. Since these issues are both critical and challenging, there is a response by Stacy Davis and a rejoinder by Rivka Ulmer. Rachel Adelman engages with the topic of the bones of the Ephraimites and the Messiah in Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer, reviving Joseph Heinemann’s arguments regarding a parallel between the early exodus of the Ephraimites and the Messiah. Laura Lieber addresses the prayer referred to as the “Groom’s Yotzer” in light of creation and its rabbinic, literary imagery.

W. David Nelson is a member of the religion and ethics department at the Groton School. He was formerly the Rosenthal Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and director of the program in Jewish studies at Texas Christian University and Brite Divinity School.

Rivka Ulmer holds the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair in Judaic Studies at Bucknell University. Ulmer has published widely in the field of Jewish studies.

The Rabbis’ King-Parables: Midrash from the Third-Century Roman Empire

  • Author: Alan Appelbaum
  • Series: Judaism in Context
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 352

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The Rabbis’ King-Parables: Midrash from the Third-Century Roman Empire shows the ancient rabbis at work in different ways and with different purposes, but always with the same tools: parables of kings. As it attends in detail to the king-parables’ form, structure, functions, settings, and characters, Alan Appelbaum’s work emphasizes the rabbis’ distinctive ideas about the relationship of humanity to God, and engages with studies by scholars such as David Stern, Daniel Boyarin, Martin Goodman, and Clemens Thoma. Appelbaum also discusses the method of dating rabbinic material advocated by Jacob Neusner and considers the parables as resistance literature in light of the work of theorists of dominated groups. Appelbaum’s text is the first systematic attempt to read the parables as sources for Roman history in over 100 years.

An essential resource for scholars and students with an interest in rabbinic parables at any level, including the most advanced, and one that emphasizes and illuminates the ancient rabbis’ own reasons for composing them.

—Steven D. Fraade, professor of religious studies, Yale University

The Rabbis’ King-Parables takes scholarship on the rabbinic parable to a new stage through careful, comprehensive and highly readable analysis of the genre and powerful interpretation of individual examples.

—Beth A. Berkowitz, Ingeborg Rennert Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Columbia University

In a study that deftly employs rabbinic and Greek and Latin sources, Appelbaum reveals and corrects misconceptions about the ancient Rabbis’ parables that rabbinics scholars have been passing along among themselves for decades.

—Seth Schwartz, Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Classical Jewish Civilization, Columbia University

In this methodologically rigorous examination of third-century CE rabbinic king-parables, Appelbaum takes the ongoing debate over the historical usefulness of rabbinic sources one step further, arguing that these sources can be profitably utilized not only by students of rabbinic Judaism but also by Roman historians.

—Christine E. Hayes, Robert F. and Patricia Ross Weis Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University

Appelbaum’s study is reflective of a methodological watershed in the study of rabbinic narratives. . . This approach should be extended to synoptic parables. . . and second-century rabbis. Thus, [his] well-written book shows promising ways for studying the mesmerizing literature called parables.

—Eric Ottenheijm, assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies, Universiteit Utrecht

Appelbaum’s analysis adds a detailed historical dimension to the study of parables that is invaluable to any scholar of midrash. For the historian of Roman imperial history, this work provides key access to “documents” that would otherwise remain obscure, sealed in the Hebrew/Aramaic works of rabbinic texts.

—Rachel Adelman, assistant professor of Hebrew Bible, Hebrew College

Alan Appelbaum is a research affiliate in the Yale department of religious studies and program in Judaic studies. He earned his PhD from Yale. He is senior counsel to the international law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. His published work includes articles on Roman imperial history, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, and the applicability of contemporary theory to rabbinic literature.

The Women of Israel by Grace Aguilar: Two Volumes in One with a New Introduction and Commentary

  • Author: Grace Aguilar
  • Editor: Mayer Gruber
  • Series: Judaism in Context
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 1076

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume features Mayer Gruber’s annotated edition of nineteenth-century writer Grace Aguilar’s Women of Israel. Aguilar’s work assumed the divine origin of Hebrew Scriptures and sought to defend Hebrew Scripture and the Jews from the charge of treating women as inferior beings. Aguilar sought to show that Scripture supported treating women and men as equals. She summarizes the history of women in Hebrew Scripture and Second Temple Judaism and exhorts women, particularly Jewish women, to believe in God, to believe in the immortality of the human soul, and to engage in prayer. She argues against both non-Jews who disparage Judaism and Jewish men who fail to appreciate Judaism’s high regard for women and who discourage women’s participation in Jewish religious life.

Reading this heavy tome was a fascinating experience in many ways, including the encounter between its two creators: the author, Grace Aguilar, an English Jewish poet and writer of the first half of the nineteenth century. . . and the editor, Mayer Gruber, a twenty-first century scholar of the Bible and Ancient Near East.

—Yael Shemesh,

Explore the early Christian church’s theology of men and women with Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full views of John Chrysostom.

Grace Aguilar (1816–1847) was an English novelist and student of Jewish history and religion.

Mayer Gruber is professor of Bible and ancient Near East at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beercheva, Israel.