Individual Submission Summary

Direct link:

Approaching the Bavli's Structure

Mon, December 15, 1:15 to 2:45pm, Hilton Baltimore, Holiday 1


This pair of talks will take as its starting points Sergey Dolgopolski’s THE OPEN PAST and Moulie Vidas’s TRADITION AND THE FORMATION OF THE TALMUD. These books draw on different methods, concepts and readings of selected Talmudic passages to challenge some well-established approaches to the Talmud’s literary character. What are the advantages, and problems, involved in employing disciplinary discourses relatively new to the study of the Talmud’s formation, such as literary theory and philosophy? Do the new models these works propose come to completely replace those with which we have been working so far? How much, and in what ways, should we rely on close readings of relatively small number of passages – in other words, how should we use examples in the study of a vast text? And how does the celebration in these and other recent works of the “late” layer of the Bavli and its “pastiche” map onto contemporary trends in scholarship and the arts?