Steve Weitzman reflects on the connection between the scholarly and the personal in his The Origin of the Jews
Weitzman: “I have written works that seem to be about antiquity but are really about how we relate to antiquity from a vantage point in the present. I write as someone genuinely curious about what we can learn from ancient texts by reading them in relation to their history, and for much of my scholarly career, my goal has been to avoid casting the past as a projection of the present. In these works, however, I have tried a different approach, allowing myself into the story in the hope that doing so can lead to a deeper understanding of how we relate to antiquity.”
Book Note: Judith Newman, Before the Bible: The Liturgical Body and the Formation of Scriptures in Early Judaism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018)
Skelton: “For Newman a text is not simply available for liturgy only after it becomes scripture. Rather, liturgy influences the textual composition process, stimulates textual growth, and creates textual authority before the process of canonization begins. Newman challenges us to imagine this liturgical-textual interplay as a product of biological, ritualized, and communal bodies that experience and utilize texts in a process much more dynamic and multifunctional than scriptoria and scribalism.”
Articles and News
Sharp piece at the Journal of the History of Ideas Blog on how history of religion shaped ideas of historical change.
Follow along with the archaeological updates at the AIA Pompeii Interactive dig.
Peace treatises and the theorization of kingship in ancient Egypt.
On the connection (or not) between the deaths of Peter and Paul and the Great Fire of Rome.
Fascinating article on the century-long scattering of 194 ancient reliefs discovered at Tell Halaf, Lebanon.
Candida Moss scrutinizes pandemic and its role in the decline of the Roman Empire.
Why did the rabbis think even the righteous people in Sodom were not-very-righteous? B/c in the whole Sodom narrative every occurrence of the word 'righteous people' (צדיקים) is spelled in a shorter than usual way: צדיקם. i.e. even their righteousness was lacking. See GenRab 49:9 pic.twitter.com/YQi5BA4B2P— Kim Phillips (@K_L_Phillips) 20 June 2019
This Pentateuch from 15th century Portugal is written in a beautiful semi-cursive north African script, influenced by Arabic maghribi script. It's quite different to the usual square calligraphy style #HebrewProject Add MS 15283, f.114v. Digitised here: https://t.co/SusMb6wT9d pic.twitter.com/ocsTYIC9yo— BL Hebrew Project (@BL_HebrewMSS) 20 June 2019