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Midrash as Literature: The Primacy of Documentary Discourse

Midrash as Literature: The Primacy of Documentary Discourse

Jacob Neusner

| Wipf & Stock | 2003

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In this book, Jacob Neusner conducts a debate with James Kugel about the definition and character of midrash, a particular literary genre within Judaism. The issues of the debate transcend the narrow framework of Judaic religious writing, for at the heart of matters is a much-vexed question. It is whether, and to what extent, one should read and interpret a work of literature initially within a particular social and historical context.

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.).