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A Philosopher of Scripture

The Exegesis and Thought of Tanḥum ha-Yerushalmi

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Raphael Dascalu

Tanḥum b. Joseph ha-Yerushalmi (d. 1291, Fusṭāṭ, Egypt) was a rigorous linguist and philologist, philosopher and mystic, and a biblical exegete of singular breadth. As well as providing us with an insight into the inner world of a profound and original thinker, his oeuvre sheds light on a Jewish historical and cultural milieu that remains relatively poorly understood: the Islamic East in the post-Maimonidean period.

In A Philosopher of Scripture: The Exegesis and Thought of Tanḥum ha-Yerushalmi, Raphael Dascalu presents the first detailed intellectual portrait of Tanḥum ha-Yerushalmi. Tanḥum emerges as a polymath with a clear intellectual program, an eclectic thinker who brought multiple traditions together in his search for the philosophical meaning of Scripture.

Secularizing the Sacred

Aspects of Israeli Visual Culture

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Alec Mishory

As historical analyses of Diaspora Jewish visual culture blossom in quantity and sophistication, this book analyzes 19th-20th-century developments in Jewish Palestine and later the State of Israel. In the course of these approximately one hundred years, Zionist Israelis developed a visual corpus and artistic lexicon of Jewish-Israeli icons as an anchor for the emerging “civil religion.” Bridging internal tensions and even paradoxes, artists dynamically adopted, responded to, and adapted significant Diaspora influences for Jewish-Israeli purposes, as well as Jewish religious themes for secular goals, all in the name of creating a new state with its own paradoxes, simultaneously styled on the Enlightenment nation-state and Jewish peoplehood.

The Regimen sanitatis of “Avenzoar”

Stages in the Production of a Medieval Translation

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Michael R. McVaugh, Gerrit Bos and Joseph Shatzmiller

The authors publish a previously unedited Regimen of Health attributed to Avenzoar (Ibn Zuhr), translated at Montpellier in 1299 in a collaboration between a Jewish philosopher and a Christian surgeon, the former translating the original Arabic into their shared Occitan vernacular, the latter translating that into Latin. They use manuscript evidence to argue that the text was produced in two stages, first a quite literal version, then a revision improved in style and in language adapted to contemporary European medicine. Such collaborative translations are well known, but the revelation of the inner workings of the translation process in this case is exceptional. A separate Hebrew translation by the philosopher (also edited here) gives independent evidence of the lost Arabic original.

Gerrit Bos

The terminology in medieval Hebrew medical literature (original works and translations) has been sorely neglected by modern research. Medical terminology is virtually missing from the standard dictionaries of the Hebrew language, including Ha-Millon he-ḥadash, composed by Abraham Even-Shoshan. Ben-Yehuda’s dictionary is the only one that contains a significant number of medical terms. Unfortunately, Ben-Yehuda’s use of the medieval medical texts listed in the dictionary’s introduction is inconsistent at best. The only dictionary exclusively devoted to medical terms, both medieval and modern, is that by A.M. Masie, entitled Dictionary of Medicine and Allied Sciences. However, like the dictionary by Ben-Yehuda, it only makes occasional use of the sources registered in the introduction and only rarely differentiates between the various medieval translators. Further, since Masie’s work is alphabetized according to the Latin or English term, it cannot be consulted for Hebrew terms. The Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language, which is currently being created by the Academy of the Hebrew Language, has not been taken into account consistently as it is not a dictionary in the proper sense of the word. Moreover, consultation of this resource suggests that it is generally deficient in medieval medical terminology. The Bar Ilan Responsa Project has also been excluded as a source, despite the fact that it contains a larger number of medieval medical terms than the Historical Dictionary. The present dictionary has two major objectives: 1) to map the medical terminology featured in medieval Hebrew medical works, in order to facilitate study of medical terms, especially those terms that do not appear in the existing dictionaries, and terms that are inadequately represented. 2) to identify the medical terminology used by specific authors and translators, to enable the identification of anonymous medical material.

Themistius’ Paraphrase of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 12

A Critical Hebrew-Arabic Edition of the Surviving Textual Evidence, with an Introduction, Preliminary Studies, and a Commentary

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Yoav Meyrav

Themistius’ (4th century CE) paraphrase of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 12 is the earliest surviving complete account of this seminal work. Despite leaving no identifiable mark in Late Antiquity, Themistius’ paraphrase played a dramatic role in shaping the metaphysical landscape of Medieval Arabic and Hebrew philosophy and theology. Lost in Greek, and only partially surviving in Arabic, its earliest full version is in the form of a 13th century Hebrew translation. In this volume, Yoav Meyrav offers a new critical edition of the Hebrew translation and the Arabic fragments of Themistius’ paraphrase, accompanied by detailed philological and philosophical analyses. In doing so, he provides a solid foundation for the study of one of the most important texts in the history of Aristotelian metaphysics.

Liberalism, Constitutional Nationalism, and Minorities

The Making of Romanian Citizenship, c. 1750–1918

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Constantin Iordachi

This book documents the making of Romanian citizenship from 1750 to 1918 as a series of acts of national self-determination by the Romanians, as well as the emancipation of subordinated gender, social, and ethno-religious groups. It focuses on the progression of a sum of transnational “questions” that were at the heart of North-Atlantic, European, and local politics during the long nineteenth century, concerning the status of peasants, women, Greeks, Jews, Roma, Armenians, Muslims, and Dobrudjans. The analysis emphasizes the fusion between nationalism and liberalism, and the emancipatory impact national-liberalism had on the transition from the Old Regime to the modern order of the nation-state. While emphasizing liberalism's many achievements, the study critically scrutinizes the liberal doctrine of legal-political “capacity” and the dark side of nationalism, marked by tendencies toward exclusion. It highlights the challenges nascent liberal democracies face in the process of consolidation and the enduring appeal of illiberalism in periods of upheaval, represented mainly by nativism. The book's innovative interdisciplinary approach to citizenship in the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Balkans and the richness of the sources employed, appeal to a diverse readership.

Constantin Iordachi teaches at the Central European University, Budapest. He has published widely on citizenship, nationalism and fascism. His most recent project is Martyrdom to Purification: The Fascist Faith of the Legion `Archangel Michael' in Romania, 1927-1941 (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2019).

Edited by Christiaan Engberts and Herman J. Paul

This volume examines how the history of the humanities might be written through the prism of scholarly personae, understood as time- and place-specific models of being a scholar. Focusing on the field of study known as Orientalism in the decades around 1900, this volume examines how Semitists, Sinologists, and Japanologists, among others, conceived of their scholarly tasks, what sort of demands these job descriptions made on the scholar in terms of habits, virtues, and skills, and how models of being an orientalist changed over time under influence of new research methods, cross-cultural encounters, and political transformations.

Contributors are: Tim Barrett, Christiaan Engberts, Holger Gzella, Hans Martin Krämer, Arie L. Molendijk, Herman Paul, Pascale Rabault-Feuerhahn and Henning Trüper.

Ancient Manuscripts in Digital Culture

Visualisation, Data Mining, Communication

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Edited by David Hamidović, Claire Clivaz and Sarah Bowen Savant

Ancient Manuscripts in Digital Culture presents an overview of the digital turn in Ancient Jewish and Christian manuscripts visualisation, data mining and communication. Edited by David Hamidović, Claire Clivaz and Sarah Bowen Savant, it gathers together the contributions of seventeen scholars involved in Biblical, Early Jewish and Christian studies. The volume attests to the spreading of digital humanities in these fields and presents fundamental analysis of the rise of visual culture as well as specific test-cases concerning ancient manuscripts. Sophisticated visualisation tools, stylometric analysis, teaching and visual data, epigraphy and visualisation belong notably to the varied overview presented in the volume.

Maimonides, On the Elucidation of Some Symptoms and the Response to Them (Formerly Known as On the Causes of Symptoms)

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

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Gerrit Bos

The present consilium, commonly known as De causis accidentium, after the Latin translation by John de Capua, was, like the earlier consilium On the Regimen of Health, composed by Maimonides at the request of al-Malik al-Afḍal Nūr al-Dīn Alī, Saladin’s eldest son. As a result of not adopting the lifestyle and dietary recommendations in On the Regimen of Health, al-Afḍal may have continued to suffer from a number of afflictions, amongst them hemorrhoids, depression, constipation, and, possibly, a heart condition. The consilium was written after 1200, the year in which al-Afḍal was deposed and banished from Egypt permanently, but probably not long before 1204, the year in which Maimonides died.

Maimonides, On the Regimen of Health

A New Parallel Arabic-English Translation

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Gerrit Bos

Maimonides’ On the Regimen of Health was composed at an unknown date at the request of al-Malik al-Afḍal Nūr al-Dīn Alī, Saladin’s eldest son who complained of constipation, indigestion, and depression. The treatise must have enjoyed great popularity in Jewish circles, as it was translated three times into Hebrew as far as we know; by Moses ben Samuel ibn Tibbon in the year 1244, by an anonymous translator, and by Zeraḥyah ben Isaac ben She’altiel Ḥen who was active as a translator in Rome between 1277 and 1291. The present edition by Gerrit Bos contains the original Arabic text, the medieval Hebrew translations and the Latin translations, the latter edited by Michael McVaugh.