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Time in the Babylonian Talmud
Natural and Imagined Times in Jewish Law and Narrative

$99.99 (C)

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  • Date Published: February 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108423236

$ 99.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In this book, Lynn Kaye examines how rabbis of late antiquity thought about time through their legal reasoning and storytelling, and what these insights mean for thinking about time today. Providing close readings of legal and narrative texts in the Babylonian Talmud, she compares temporal ideas with related concepts in ancient and modern philosophical texts and in religious traditions from late antique Mesopotamia. Kaye demonstrates that temporal flexibility in the Babylonian Talmud is a means of exploring and resolving legal uncertainties, as well as a tool to tell stories that convey ideas effectively and dramatically. Her book, the first on time in the Talmud, makes accessible complex legal texts and philosophical ideas. It also connects the literature of late antique Judaism with broader theological and philosophical debates about time.

    • Introduces a new method for studying concepts in Talmudic texts, helping others conduct conceptual research in rabbinic and other late antique legal literatures
    • Connects literature of late antique Judaism with broader theoretical, theological and philosophical debates about time, appealing to readers who are interested in time but are not rabbinic literature specialists
    • Clarifies complex Hebrew and Aramaic source material, making texts that are understood by relatively few experts more accessible
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    • Finalist, 2018 Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award for Scholarship, National Jewish Book Award, Jewish Book Council

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Kaye’s reconnection of time with place can take us closer to how not only the Rabbis or Augustine, but also modern scholars, could have conceived challenges in articulating the sense of time.' Sergey Dolgopolski, Reading Religion

    'In this fascinating monograph, Kaye shows how many of the Bavli texts can contribute to contemporary theoretical examinations of time, and suggests future directions of research, particularly the application of similar methods of analysis to case law and narrative texts in the Mishna … This is a captivating book on a number of topics that are essential to the crux of Jewish life and philosophy. At 160 pages, it is a good launching point, and Kaye provides plenty of references for additional reading.' Ben Rothke, The Times of Israel

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108423236
    • length: 202 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Spatial, temporal and kinesthetic concepts of simultaneity
    2. Divine temporal precision and human inaccuracy
    3. Being fixed in time
    4. Retroactivity reimagined
    5. Matzah and madeleines.

  • Author

    Lynn Kaye, Ohio State University
    Lynn Kaye is Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at The Ohio State University. Her research in rabbinic literature combines historical and textual analysis with literary theory, poetics, phenomenology and legal theory. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge. She has held fellowships at the law schools of Yeshiva University and New York University.


    • Finalist, 2018 Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award for Scholarship, National Jewish Book Award, Jewish Book Council

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