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Approaching the Bavli's Contexts

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


This pair of talks will take as its starting points Shai Secunda's THE IRANIAN TALMUD and Michal Bar-Asher Siegal's EARLY MONASTIC LITERATURE AND THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD; our guiding question will be – how does the new contextualization of the Bavli offered by these works differ from previous contextualizations of the Bavli and other rabbinic texts? We will explore this question from several aspects: the methodological tools employed, and implied, in these works; the context and motives of their historicist moves; the concrete details of the connections they posit; the relation between these works and new works on the Bavli's intellectual and literary character; and the contribution of these works to ongoing questions of cultural history and critical hermeneutics.