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Judaism as Philosophy: The Method and Message of the Mishnah

Judaism as Philosophy: The Method and Message of the Mishnah

Jacob Neusner

| Wipf & Stock | 2004

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The Mishnah is the first canonical writing of Judaism after the Hebrew Scriptures of ancient Israel—and the foundation of the two Talmuds and of all Judaism thereafter. According to Jacob Neusner, the key to understanding the Mishnah is to read it as philosophy, in accord with the generally accepted understanding of philosophy in its time and place. In Judaism as Philosophy, Neusner studies a large sample of evidence, meticulously translated and carefully explained, and identifies the philosophical side of the Mishnah’s system, method, and message alike.

Author Bio

Jacob Neusner (1932–2016) was a preeminent scholar of ancient Judaism and one of the most published authors ever, with more than 900 original volumes to his name. He was educated at Harvard University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the University of Oxford, and Yale University. He was research professor of theology and senior fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College. Neusner’s work has been highly influential, if sometimes controversial. He pioneered applying “form criticism” to Rabbinic texts, and aimed at a humanistic and academic reading of ancient Jewish literature.

Nesuner’s works include the Jacob Neusner Jewish Studies Bundle (99 vols.).