Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review of Reif and Egger-Wenzel (eds.), Ancient Jewish Prayers and Emotions

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Entreaty and Emotion, Theory and Texts: Studies in Second Temple Jewish Prayers (Andrew Krause).
Stefan C. Reif and Renate Egger-Wenzel (eds.), Ancient Jewish Prayers and Emotions: The Emotions Associated with Jewish Prayer in and around the Second Temple Period. Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Series 26. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2015.

The study of emotions in literature has seen an understandable boon in recent years. Embodiment in texts stands as an important corrective to the positivistic tendency of exegetes and some historians to assume tacitly that meaning is entirely propositional, whereas the phenomenological study of emotions allows us to delve the depths of the cognitive processes behind the text in new and penetrating ways. Ancient Jewish Prayers and Emotions is the conference proceedings from the meeting of the International Society for the Study of Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature at the University of Haifa 2–5 February, 2014. As with most collections in this series, the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha hold pride of place, but the Qumran Scrolls receive a considerable amount of consideration. This state of affairs can be instructive, as it places the Scrolls in conversation with other texts in some temporal and cultural proximity, even if the exact relations remain unclear.

I noted the book recently here. Earlier essays in AJR's current series on the Dead Sea Scrolls (in honor of the 70th anniversary of their discovery) are noted here and links.