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Aramaic Incantation Bowls in Museum Collections

Volume One: The Frau Professor Hilprecht Collection of Babylonian Antiquities, Jena

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James Nathan Ford and Matthew Morgenstern

The Frau Professor Hilprecht Collection of Babylonian Antiquities at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena houses one of the major European collections of incantation bowls. Forty bowls bear texts written in the Jewish, Manichaean Syriac or Mandaic scripts, and most of the rest (some twenty-five objects) in the Pahlavi script or in various pseudoscripts. The present volume comprises new editions of the Aramaic (and Hebrew) bowl texts based on high-resolution photographs taken by the authors, together with brief descriptions and photographs of the remaining material. New readings are often supported with close-up photographs. The volume is intended to serve as a basis for further study of magic in late Antiquity and of the Late Eastern Aramaic dialects in which the texts were composed.

Judaism and Islam One God One Music

The History of Jewish Paraliturgical Song in the Context of Arabo-Islamic Culture as Revealed in Its Jewish Babylonian Sources

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Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad

In Judaism and Islam One God One Music, Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad offers the first substantial study of the history and nature of the Jewish Paraliturgical Song, which developed in the Arabo-Islamic civilization between the tenth and the twentieth centuries.
Commonly portrayed as clashing cultures, Judaism and Islam appear here as complementary and enriching religio-cultural sources for the Paraliturgical Song’s texts and music, poets and musicians, as well as the worshippers.
Relying chiefly on the Babylonian-Jewish written sources of the genre, Rosenfeld-Hadad gives a fascinating historical account of one thousand years of the rich and vibrant cultural and religious life of Middle Eastern Judaism that endured in Arabo-Islamic settings. She convincingly proves that the Jewish Paraliturgical Song, like its people, reflects a harmonious hybridization of Jewish and Arabo-Islamic aesthetics and ideas.

Living under the Evil Pope

The Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV by Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan from Civitanova Marche (16th cent.)

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Martina Mampieri

In Living under the Evil Pope, Martina Mampieri presents the Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV, written in the second half of the sixteenth century by the Italian Jewish moneylender Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan (alias Guglielmo di Diodato) from Civitanova Marche. The text remained in manuscript for about four centuries until the Galician scholar Isaiah Sonne (1887-1960) published a Hebrew annotated edition of the chronicle in the 1930s. This remarkable source offers an account of the events of the Papal States during Paul IV’s pontificate (1555-59). Making use of broad archival materials, Martina Mampieri reflects on the nature of this work, its historical background, and contents, providing a revised edition of the Hebrew text as well as the first unabridged English translation and commentary.

Fragile Images

Jews and Art in Yugoslavia, 1918-1945

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Mirjam Rajner

In Fragile Images: Jews and Art in Yugoslavia, 1918-1945, Mirjam Rajner traces the lives and creativity of seven artists of Jewish origin. The artists - Moša Pijade, Daniel Kabiljo, Adolf Weiller, Bora Baruh, Daniel Ozmo, Ivan Rein and Johanna Lutzer - were characterized by multiple and changeable identities: nationalist and universalist, Zionist and Sephardic, communist and cosmopolitan.

These fluctuating identities found expression in their art, as did their wartime fate as refugees, camp inmates, partisans and survivors. A wealth of newly-discovered images, diaries and letters highlight this little-known aspect of Jewish life and art in Yugoslavia, illuminating a turbulent era that included integration into a newly-founded country, the catastrophe of the Holocaust, and renewal in its aftermath.

Maimonides, Commentary on Hippocrates’ Aphorisms Volume 1

A New Parallel Arabic-English Edition and Translation, with Critical Editions of the Medieval Hebrew Translations

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Edited by Gerrit Bos

Hippocrates’ Aphorisms enjoyed great popularity in the ancient and medieval world and, according to Maimonides, it was Hippocrates’ most useful work as it contained aphorisms, which every physician should know by heart. They were translated into Hebrew several times, but it was Maimonides’ Commentary on Hippocrates’ Aphorisms that made the work influential in Jewish circles. For the composition of his commentary, Maimonides consulted the Aphorisms through the commentary by Galen, translated by Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq. This edition of Maimonides’ Arabic commentary and its Hebrew translations, the first with an English translation based on the Arabic text, is part of a project undertaken by Gerrit Bos to critically edit Maimonides’ medical works.

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Sonja Noll

In The Semantics of Silence in Biblical Hebrew, Sonja Noll explores the many words in biblical Hebrew that refer to being silent, investigating how they are used in biblical texts, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Ben Sira. She also examines the tradition of interpretation for these words in the early versions (Septuagint, Vulgate, Targum, Peshitta), modern translations, and standard dictionaries, revealing that meanings are not always straightforward and that additional work is needed in biblical semantics and lexicography. The traditional approach to comparative Semitics, with its over-simplistic assumption of semantic equivalence in cognates, is also challenged. The surprising conclusion of the work is that there is no single concept of silence in the biblical world; rather, it spans multiple semantic fields.

Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism

Ontology, Epistemology, Politics

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Cat Moir

In Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, Cat Moir offers a new interpretation of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch. The reception of Bloch’s work has seen him variously painted as a naïve realist, a romantic nature philosopher, a totalitarian thinker, and an irrationalist whose obscure literary style stands in for a lack of systematic rigour. Moir challenges these conceptions of Bloch by reconstructing the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of his speculative materialism. Through a close, historically contextualised reading of Bloch’s major work of ontology, Das Materialismusproblem, seine Geschichte und Substanz (The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance), Moir presents Bloch as one of the twentieth century’s most significant critical thinkers.

Pillars of Salt

Israelis in Berlin and Toronto

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Lianne Merkur

In Pillars of Salt, Lianne Merkur offers an account of early 21st century immigration as experienced by Israelis in Berlin and Toronto. Commonly portrayed as contrary to the territorial emphasis of national integrity, these individuals and communities appear to explore a sense of belonging that evaluates and incorporates both foreign and familiar elements. Social media allows for an alternative space to balance between new home and homeland, studied here as developing simultaneously in multiple sites. The author makes use of innovative methodologies to document the participants’ own perspectives expressed online, at events or on paper. She thereby challenges established norms of interpretation to prove that personal decisions, primarily regarding preferred language or simply self-identification, are the cornerstones of collective character.

Vision, Narrative, and Wisdom in the Aramaic Texts from Qumran

Essays from the Copenhagen Symposium, 14-15 August, 2017

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Edited by Mette Bundvad and Kasper Siegismund

The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran have attracted increasing interest in recent years. These texts predate the “sectarian” Dead Sea scrolls, and they are contemporary with the youngest parts of the Hebrew Bible. They offer a unique glimpse into the situation before the biblical canons were closed. Their highly creative Jewish authors reshaped and rewrote biblical traditions to cope with the concerns of their own time. The essays in this volume examine this fascinating ancient literature from a variety of different perspectives. The book grew out of an international symposium held at the University of Copenhagen in August 2017.

Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa

A Contextual Analysis of the Pre-baptismal Sermons attributed to Quodvultdeus of Carthage

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David Vopřada

In Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa, David Vopřada presents the pre-baptismal catecheses of the fifth-century bishop of Carthage, delivered to the new believers in extremely difficult period of barbaric incursions. Quodvultdeus is generally not appraised as an original philosopher or theologian as his master Augustine was, in this book his qualities of a bishop who was entrusted with the care of his flock come forward. Making interdisciplinary use of the ancient and ecclesiastical history, philosophy, theology, archaeology, exegesis, liturgy science, homiletics, and rhetorics, the book offers a new and most innovative contribution to the life, work, and theology of Quodvultdeus.