Rashi, Biblical Interpretation, and Latin Learning in Medieval Europe
A New Perspective on an Exegetical Revolution
AUTHOR: Mordechai Z. Cohen, Yeshiva University, New York
DATE PUBLISHED: April 2021
AVAILABILITY: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
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In this volume, Mordechai Z. Cohen explores the interpretive methods of Rashi of Troyes (1040–1105), the most influential Jewish Bible commentator of all time. By elucidating the 'plain sense' (peshat) of Scripture, together with critically selected midrashic interpretations, Rashi created an approach that was revolutionary in the talmudically-oriented Ashkenazic milieu. Cohen contextualizes Rashi's commentaries by examining influences from other centers of Jewish learning in Muslim Spain and Byzantine lands. He also opens new scholarly paths by comparing Rashi's methods with trends in Latin learning reflected in the Psalms commentary of his older contemporary, Saint Bruno the Carthusian (1030–1101). Drawing upon the Latin tradition of enarratio poetarum ('interpreting the poets'), Bruno applied a grammatical interpretive method and incorporated patristic commentary selectively, a parallel that Cohen uses to illuminate Rashi's exegetical values. Cohen thereby brings to light the novel literary conceptions manifested by Rashi and his key students, Josef Qara and Rashbam.
- Showcases a unique discovery about Rashi, the greatest Jewish Bible interpreter of all time
- Offers a new perspective on the northern French 'school of Peshat' that was carried on by Rashi's students, Josef Qara and Rashbam
- Compares Jewish and Christian Bible exegesis for a new inter-religious understanding of the Bible
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