Saturday, June 13, 2015

Review of Bar-Asher Siegal, Early Christian Monastic Literature and the Babylonian Talmud

MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: The Talmud and the Desert Fathers – By Daniel Boyarin. Daniel Boyarin on Michal Bar-Asher Siegal’s Early Christian Monastic Literature and the Babylonian Talmud. The review concludes:
What is clear and further clarified from Bar-Asher Siegal’s groundbreaking work is that the Talmud is no longer a hermit, cut off from family ties with other so-called non-rabbinic Jews, nor Zoroastrians, nor Greek philosophy, nor Syriac monastic literature as shown so compellingly by Bar-Asher Siegal. It is not that this context rather than that context is more illuminating; rabbinic Mesopotamia was a meeting point of empires, languages, and cultures, a crossing-point between East and West, and the Talmud was part and parcel of that complex cultural world. Bar-Asher Siegal’s book opens another door into that world and the ways and means that its presence there sheds light on the Babylonian Talmud.
I noted the book upon its publication in 2013.