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There We Sat Down: Talmudic Judaism in the Making

There We Sat Down: Talmudic Judaism in the Making

Jacob Neusner

| Wipf & Stock | 2005

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Orthodox Judaism developed in the period from approximately 100 B.C.E to 640 C.E. It was during this time that the Babylonian Talmud came to prominence through the efforts of the Babylonian rabbinic schools. The Talmud continues to govern the life of traditional Jewry—orthodox and conservative—and provides important guidance for reform Jews as well. Because of the Talmud’s continuing influence, an understanding of this period is crucial to any understanding of present-day Judaism.

Jacob Neusner centers his study on three key words applied to rabbinic Judaism: power—the way in which one man caused another to do his will; myth—the stories people told and the beliefs they held to account for and justify the power-relationships they experienced; and function—how things worked.

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.).