Thursday, April 07, 2016

Review of Neis, The Sense of Sight in Rabbinic Culture

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Neis, The Sense of Sight in Rabbinic Culture (Daniel Picus).
The Sense of Sight in Rabbinic Culture: Jewish Ways of Seeing in Late Antiquity by Rachel Neis, Cambridge University Press: New York, 2013.

It seems fitting that a book about the sense of sight should be remarkably clear-eyed. So, too, is it fitting that its gaze should sweep the length and breadth of the ancient Mediterranean, the Middle East, and even land on the Indian subcontinent, and that its analysis be measured, thoughtful, and lucid. Perhaps even more impressively, its author, Rachel Neis, an associate professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, has managed to write a book about sight that relies not at all on gimmicky metaphors of seeing and vision (something that this author, however, seems to have failed at completely).
Well, yes. But he does better in the rest of the review.

An earlier review of this book was noted here.