Jewish Studies

Placing Ancient Texts

The Ritual and Rhetorical Use of Space
Ed. by Mika Ahuvia and Alexander Kocar

[Antike Texte einordnen. Die rituelle und rhetorische Funktion von Raum.]

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Published in English.
What difference does space make for how modern scholars interpret ancient texts? The contributions in this volume examine how ancient religious texts physically oriented individuals to the cosmos, within a divinely created landscape, or within their communities in churches, synagogues, and their homes.
In this volume, scholars of Judaism, Christianity, and late antique religion demonstrate how special attention to the ritual and rhetorical functions of space can improve modern interpretations of ancient literary, liturgical, and ritual texts. Each chapter is concerned with reconstructing the dynamic interaction between space and text. Demonstrating the pliability of the idea of space, the contributions in this volume span from Second Temple debates over Eden to Byzantine Christian hymnography. In so doing, they offer a number of answers to the seemingly simple question: What difference does space make for how modern scholars interpret ancient texts? The nine contributions in this volume are divided into the three interrelated topics of the rhetorical construction of places both earthly and cosmic, the positioning of people in religious space, and the performance of ritual texts in place.
Survey of contents
Mika Ahuvia/Alexander Kocar: Introduction
Part I: Constructing Spaces and Places
Eshbal Ratzon: Placing Eden in Second Temple Judaism – Gil P. Klein: Sabbath as City: Rabbinic Urbanism and Imperial Territoriality in Roman Palestine – Ophir Münz-Manor: IN SITU: Liturgical Poetry and Sacred Space in Late Antiquity

Part II: Placing People
Alexander Kocar: A Hierarchy of Salvation in the Book of Revelation: Different Peoples, Dwellings, and Tasks in the End Times – Rachel Neis: Directing the Heart: Corporeal Language and the Anatomy of Ritual Space – Derek Krueger: Beyond Eden: Placing Adam, Eve, and Humanity in Byzantine Hymns
Part III: Re-Placing Ritual Texts
David Frankfurter: 'It is Esrmpe who appeals': Place, Object, and Performance in a Quest for Pregnancy in Roman Egypt – AnneMarie Luijendijk: 'If you order that I wash my feet, then bring me this ticket': Encountering Saint Colluthus at Antinoë – Mika Ahuvia: The Spatial and Social Dynamics of Jewish Babylonian Incantation Bowls

Mika Ahuvia Born 1983; BA from Rollins College; MA from the University of Michigan; PhD from Princeton University; the Marsha and Jay Glazer Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Assistant Professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Alexander Kocar Born 1984; BA from the University of Minnesota; MA from the University of Washington; PhD from Princeton University; Lecturer in the department of Religion at Princeton University.


The following reviews are known:

In: New Testament Abstracts — 63 (2019), S. 375