"Purity from the Bible to the Mishna" papers posted on the web
As many readers of H-Judaic may know, I organized and chaired a session at the Association for Jewish Studies Annual Meeting held in Boston, December 2003, on the subject of "Purity from the Bible to the Mishna." The session included five presentations reviewing the recent work of four scholars on purity in ancient Judaism. The four scholars and their works are:
Jacob Milgrom - not his recent work per se, but his life work in general, culminating in his massive multivolume Leviticus commentary (1991-2001)
Hyam Maccoby, Ritual and Morality: The Ritual Purity System and Its Place in Judaism (1999)
Jonathan Klawans, Impurity and Sin in Ancient Judaism (2000)
Christine Hayes, Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud (2002)
Two of the scholars whose works were discussed, namely, Klawans and Hayes, were also among the presenters at the session.
The individual presentations at the AJS conference were as follows:
David Wright, "Jacob Milgrom on Purity"
Christine Hayes, "Hyam Maccoby on Purity"
Martha Himmelfarb, "Jonathan Klawans on Purity"
Robert Goldenberg, "Christine Hayes on Purity"
Jonathan Klawans as Respondent
As a service to the field, the presenters agreed to make their papers available to a wider public. The papers are now ready and are posted on the Internet at my website. You may access them at the following address: http://www.arts.cornell.edu/nes/grendsburg.html, then scroll down to the last link on the page. Or you may go directly to the papers via the address below.
I would like to thank our five participants, each of whom eagerly and enthusiastically agreed to speak at the session and each of whom prepared his or her remarks for the website with dispatch.
I trust that the general scholarly audience will find these articles as engaging and enlightening as I have, and that the essays will serve as the basis for an on-going discussion on a crucial component of life in ancient Israel.
Gary A. Rendsburg
Paul and Berthe Hendrix Memorial
Professor of Jewish Studies
Department of Near Eastern Studies
421 White Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853-7901
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