Rabbinic Law in its Roman and Near Eastern Context 978-3-16-148071-3 - Mohr Siebeck
Jewish Studies

Rabbinic Law in its Roman and Near Eastern Context

Ed. by Catherine Hezser

[Das Rabbinische Recht in seinem römischen und nahöstlichen Kontext.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-148071-3
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Published in English.
The articles collected here offer a new interdisciplinary approach to ancient Jewish and non-Jewish legal traditions. Based on a combination of literary and documentary evidence, they investigate the multicultural context in which ancient legal traditions and corpora developed and help to understand legal development on the background of the social, economic, and political situation in Roman Palestine and Babylonia.
Ancient Palestinian and Babylonian rabbinic literature developed in a context of constant exposure to and challenge by the dominant Graeco-Roman and Babylonian cultures. Rabbinic legal thinking is unlikely to have constituted an exception in this regard. Yet the positivistic search for influences is increasingly seen as inappropriate in recent scholarship. What is much more important is to investigate the ways in which rabbinic legal thinking participated in ancient Graeco-Roman and Near Eastern legal thinking, to determine which legal topics and forms were shared, where similar conclusions were reached, and where differences can be discerned. In this way the boundaries between ancient Jewish and non-Jewish legal traditions become increasingly blurred.
The contributions to this volume, which is the outcome of an interdisciplinary conference held at Trinity College Dublin in March 2002, address a variety of issues. Both internal and external aspects of legal texts are investigated, documentary texts are discussed alongside literary texts, and the Graeco-Roman context of Palestinian legal traditions is supplemented by the Sasanian context of Babylonian halakhah. In addition, the general legal situation in the Roman Empire at large and Roman Palestine in particular is elucidated.
Survey of contents
Catherine Hezser: Introduction – Anne Fitzpatrick-McKinley: Ezra, Nehemiah, and Some Early Greek Lawgivers – Hannah Cotton: 'Diplomatics' or External Aspects of the Legal Documents from the Judean Desert: Prolegomena – Jill Harries: Creating Legal Space: Settling Disputes in the Roman Empire – Natalie B. Dohrman: The Boundaries of the Law and the Problem of Jurisdiction in an Early Palestinian Midrash – Leib Moscovitz: Legal Fictions in Rabbinic Law and Roman Law: Some Comparative Observations – Catherine Hezser: Slaves and Slavery in Rabbinic and Roman Law – Hayim Lapin: Maintenance of Wives and Children in Early Rabbinic and Documentary Texts from Roman Palestine – Bernard S. Jackson: Problems in the Development of the Ketubah Payment: The Shimon ben Shetach Tradition – Yaakov Elman: Marriage and Marital Property in Rabbinic and Sasanian Law – Ranon Katzoff: Children of Intermarriage: Roman and Jewish Conceptions

Catherine Hezser 1986 Promotion in Ev. Theologie in Heidelberg mit Schwerpunkt Neues Testament; 1992 Promotion in Jewish Studies am Jewish Theological Seminary in New York; 1997 Habilitation an der FU Berlin; seit 2005 Professorin für Jewish Studies an der School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) der University of London.


The following reviews are known:

In: Zion — Vol.70 (2004/2005), H.2, S.284
In: Revue des Etudes Juives — Jg.163 (2004), H.3–4, S.559f (Simon C. Mimouni)
In: Zeitschr.f.Altorient.u.bibl.RechtsG (ZAR) — Jg.10 (2004), S.374ff (Eckart Otto)
In: New Testament Abstracts — Vol.48 (2004), H.2, S.455
In: Salesianum — Jg.66 (2004), H.4, S.763f (Rafael Vicent)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — Jg.130 (2005), H.6, S.624 (Andreas Lehnardt)