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What is the place of Philology and Source Criticism in Talmudic Studies?: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Mon, December 17, 8:30 to 10:00am, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, Federal 1 Complex

Session Submission Type: Panel Session


This panel takes the 50th anniversary of the AJS as an opportunity to reflect on one of the central methodological aspects of our field: the application of talmudic philology and source criticism. Three scholars explore the uses (and abuses) of philology and source criticism in the field over the last fifty years and the implications for future scholarship. Each panelist will address one of three scholarly ‘eras’ broadly labeled, “Yesterday,” “Today,” and “Tomorrow.” In his paper, Jonathan Milgram summarizes and critiques the uses of philology and source criticism by (a) scholars of the previous generation, trained primarily in yeshivot and European universities and (b) their students, trained primarily in The United States and Israel. Michal Bar Asher Siegal’s paper addresses the next generation of scholars, among them the students of those previously mentioned, and the implications of their use (or not) of philology and source criticism for the current state of the field. In the final paper, Moulie Vidas examines the implications of the past and current application of philology and source criticism for the future of the field of talmudic literature. In the final paper, the respondent addresses the presentations given my Milgram, Bar Asher Siegal, and Vidas, highlighting each scholar’s contribution to the study of methodologies for the field.

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