Early Christian Monastic Literature and the Babylonian Talmud

Early Christian Monastic Literature and the Babylonian Talmud

By: Dr Michal Bar-Asher Siegal (author)Hardback

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This book examines literary analogies in Christian and Jewish sources, culminating in an in-depth analysis of striking parallels and connections between Christian monastic texts (the Apophthegmata Patrum or 'The Sayings of the Desert Fathers') and Babylonian Talmudic traditions. The importance of the monastic movement in the Persian Empire, during the time of the composition and redaction of the Babylonian Talmud, fostered a literary connection between the two religious populations. The shared literary elements in the literatures of these two elite religious communities sheds new light on the surprisingly inclusive nature of the Talmudic corpora and on the non-polemical nature of elite Jewish-Christian literary relations in late antique Persia.

About Author

Michal Bar-Asher Siegal is the Rosen Family Chair in Judaic Studies in the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She is a graduate of the Talmud department at Hebrew University in Jerusalem (BA, MA) and the department of Religious Studies at Yale University, Connecticut (PhD). She was a Harry Starr Fellow in Judaica at Harvard University, Massachusetts and held a joint Postdoctoral Fellowship in Jewish Culture in the Ancient World at Haifa, Bar Ilan, and Tel Aviv Universities. Her articles have appeared in journals such as the Journal of Jewish Studies, Aramaic Studies, Harvard Theological Review, Zion, and Shenaton leHeqer haMikra. She has taught at Smith College, Massachusetts, Yale Divinity School, Haifa University, Bar Ilan University, Israel, and Tel Aviv University.


1. Christianity in the Babylonian Talmud: an introductory discussion; 2. Monasticism in the Persian Empire; 3. Common themes in the Apophthegmata Patrum and rabbinic literature: form, style, and themes; 4. Common themes in the Apophthegmata Patrum and rabbinic literature: narrative; 5. The making of a monk-rabbi: the stories of R. Shimon bar Yohai in the cave; 6. Repentant whore, repentant rabbi: the story of Elazar B. Dordya; Conclusions.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781107023017
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 242
  • ID: 9781107023017
  • weight: 460
  • ISBN10: 1107023017

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