The book contains a collection of 15 articles on Jewish literature and cultural history of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages which are mainly focused on different aspects of Jewish hermeneutics. Without doubt, the "art of interpretation" is the most characteristic feature of Jewish intellectual activity from Antiquity to the Haskalah period, when the Torah was gradually losing its central position and hermeneutics therefore its attraction. Not only the old translations of the Bible, but also the Jewish approach to philosophy or magic reveal the endeavour to conciliate the requirements of the present with the tradition and to give a new meaning to the revered texts and concepts of the past.
The book is concerned with questions inherent in the formation of the canon and the evaluation of Bible translations (the conception of a holy language, the question of the evaluation of the Septuagint and Aquila in the Middle Ages) and with studies in Jewish Literature, magic and cultural history (Platonic myths and rabbinic exegetical developments; concepts of felicity in Jewish-Hellenistic and rabbinic Judaism); the conjuration of the womb; the rite of Sota in the Middle Ages; Jewish and Christian attitudes towards the Haggadah; Azaria de' Rossis critique of Philo of Alexandria).
Giuseppe Veltri is Professor for Jewish Studies at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) and director of the Leopold Zunz Centre of European-Jewish Studies. His publications include
Eine Tora für den König Talmai (Mohr, 1994); Magie und Halakha (Mohr, 1997; Friedrich August Wolf (Steiner, 1999). Veltri is Chief-editor of the “Studies in European Judaism” (Brill), Co-editor of the “EAJS-Newsletter” and of Jüdische Gelehrtenbiographie (Wallstein).
All those interested in Jewish studies, theology and philosophy, history of exegesis and history of religions; classical philology, students of Jewish studies, theologians.