Religious Studies

Michal Bar-Asher Siegal

The Collection of Traditions in Monastic and Rabbinic Anthologies as a Reflection of Lived Religion

Volume 2 () / Issue 1, pp. 72-90 (19)

In this paper I lay the following: I accept and build on the findings of 'lived religion' researchers concerning the polysemous and multi-vocal nature of modern-day religions. Following their conclusion, I assume a similar nature of ancient religions, and offer a possible viewpoint on the cultural bricolage of late antique Jewish and Christian texts. While the project to salvage a thick description of 'lived religion' has some obvious and serious methodological difficulties, a consideration of the genre of literature examined might have ramifications on the question at hand. I suggest that when a religious tradition is transmitted in anthologies, as opposed to edited (or) single writer texts, it might better represent its multi-vocality. The use of anthologies, redacted over time, can offer better glimpses into the multi-vocality of late antique religious societies, if not in practice, but rather in views and beliefs.

Michal Bar-Asher Siegal Born 1979; was an elected member of the Israel Young Academy of Sciences, Harry Starr Fellow at Harvard University, and visiting professor at Yale University; currently scholar of rabbinic Judaism and associate professor at the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.