"In modern scholarship Epiphanius has thus been routinely maligned as hell-bent on sniffing out heresy wherever it could be found, fanatical, narrow-minded, intransigent, aggressive, theologically inept, and even given to buffoonery. But is there more to this figure than these caricatures suggest?"
"These violent images of the punishment and execution of dehumanized and embodied cognitive errors are the signs of a religious movement marked by dissent and disorder. Epiphanius, therefore, gives us a shameless and corporeal fantasy of exactly what is not happening in 370s after Julian and under the policies of Valens: the defeat and mastery of all error, whether idolatry or heresy. The contemporary proliferation of spiritual violence called forth the shameless exorcist, who fused disputation with death. "
Dr. Menahem Kister on the phases and faces of Qumran sectarian writings.
"In effect, then, both biographies unsettle the very presumption that underpins the genre—that is, confidence in the possibility of recovering enough of the life and experiences of a person to recount as a narrative in writing. The inner life and experiences of Epiphanius here remain bracketed. What is written, instead, is the story of his performed and constructed persona, in the case of Kim, and his iconicity and celebrity, in the case of Jacobs."
Dr. Sarit Kattan Gribetz shares her strategies for teaching the Mishnah to students with no exposure to rabbinic texts.
Dr. Sarah Rollens turned a final paper assignment into a rhetorical exercise in canon formation.
AJR's Week in Review features Plutonium, murex shells, John Wick 2, and the modern contexts through which to view ancient identity formation
"How does an orientation towards “a people’s history,” following Howard Zinn, help scholars ask new questions about the context and content of Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, a brief but important text in the Pauline corpus?"
"Much as we write about the Talmud itself, we pay far less attention to the significance and contribution of writing about our teaching. With our book, Learning to Read Talmud, we aim to expand the research agendas of Talmudists to include scholarship on the teaching of rabbinic literature."
"What these essays offer instead are provocative and stimulating inroads into the task of recognizing just how different the late ancient world may have actually been."