Item description for The Idea of History in Rabbinic Judaism (Brill Reference Library of Judaism) by Jacob Neusner...
History provides one way of marking time. But there are others, and the Judaism of the dual Torah, set forth in the Rabbinic literature from the Mishnah through the Talmud of Babylonia, ca. 200-600 C.E., defines one such alternative. This book tells the story of how a historical way of thinking about past, present, and future, time and eternity, the here and now in relationship to the ages, that is, Scriptures way of thinking gave way to another mode of thought altogether. This other model Neusner calls a paradigm, because a pattern imposed meaning and order on things that happened. Paradigmatic modes of thought took the place of historical ones. Thinking through paradigms, with a conception of time that elides past and present and removes all barriers between them, in fact governs the reception of Scripture in Judaism until nearly our own time. Neusner here explains through the single case of Rabbinic Judaism, precisely how that other way of reading Scripture did its work, and why, for so many centuries, that reading of the heritage of ancient Israel governed. At stake are  a conception of time different from the historical one and  premises on how to take the measure of time that form a legitimate alternative to those that define the foundations of the historical way of measuring time. Fully exposed, those alternative premises may prove as logical and compelling as the historical ones. The approach follows the documentary history of ideas, and individual chapters describe the treatment of historical topics in the Mishnah, the Talmud of the Land of Israel (a.k.a., the Yerushalmi), Genesis Rabbah, that is, ca. 200, 400, and 450 CE, and Pesiqta deRab Kahana, ca. 500 CE.
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Jacob Neusner is Distinguished Research Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida and Professor of Religion at Bard College. He has seven honorary degrees, fourteen academic medals and has published more than 800 books.
Alan J. Avery-Peck is Kraft-Hiatt Professor in Judaic Studies at The College of the Holy Cross. His has published widely and is editor of the journal The Annual of Rabbinic Judaism: Ancient, Medieval and Modern.
Jacob Neusner currently resides in Annandale-On-Hudson. Jacob Neusner was born in 1932 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Bard College Bard College, New York, USA Bard College, New York, USA B.
Jacob Neusner has published or released items in the following series...
Christianity and Judaism, the Formative Categories