Contextualizing Popular Jewish Religious Didactic Manuals from the 10th to 12th centuries: Their Structure, Function and Audience - 10.1628/jsq-2020-0022 - Mohr Siebeck
Judaistik

Anna Busa

Contextualizing Popular Jewish Religious Didactic Manuals from the 10th to 12th centuries: Their Structure, Function and Audience

Jahrgang 27 () / Heft 4, S. 348-361 (14)
Publiziert 23.11.2020

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Pirqa de-Rabbenu ha-Qadosh (PRQ), a Jewish popular anthology from the Cairo Geniza, and Christian didactic manuals from medieval Britain share numerous similarities. This is evident in their physical features, their textual structure, their content and ultimately their practical function. While Christian didactic manuals have been well investigated, the manuscript corpus of PRQ from the 10th to 12th centuries is yet unscrutinized. This article aims at highlighting the yet unrecognized structural affinities of such popular vade-mecum didactic handbooks and hypothesizes that the common features may be attributed to the purpose of such a genre: the practical transmission of basic concepts of faith, general knowledge and proper religious conduct. The overall popularity of such didactic manuals leads further to the assumption that this genre, in all its aspects, not only reflected and satisfied the needs of the time, but seems to have been a cross-culturally common phenomenon of the period.
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