T HE J EWISH Q UA R T E R LY R EVIE W, Vol. 106, No. 2 (Spring 2016) 248–255 Irano-Talmudica and Beyond: Next Steps in the Contextualization of the Babylonian Talmud SIMCHA M. GROSS Yale University T R A DI T I ON A L S C HO L A RLY S T U DY of the Babylonian Talmud has largely ignored the work’s historical context. The underlying presump- tion of most scholarship was that the Bavli was the product of a reiﬁed rabbinic culture, with Palestinian rabbinic literature as its antecedent and geonic literature as its successor, and that the Babylonian rabbis were themselves an ideologically and culturally insular elite. In recent years, however, a school of scholarship, sometimes called ‘‘Irano-Talmudica,’’ sought to give historical context to the Bavli and its rabbis, challenging the presumed insularity of the Babylonian rabbis. This has proved to be a critical turn in the ﬁeld. This drive to contextualize the Babylonian Talmud has begun to emerge from its infancy, raising a number of new questions: What are the most apt and fruitful sources and materials? Which methodology is most promising? What is the potential payoff for scholars investigating these sources?
Jewish Quarterly Review – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Jun 22, 2016
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