Early Judaism and Rabbinics 


 The title and program of this unit are purposefully generic and refer to a timeframe during which Jewish society and thought developed and changed fundamentally: the second through the sixth century CE. The Hebrew Bible continued to be central to the Jews in this period, through its study and application, and a classical rabbinic literature was created in this period, including new genres, around the interpretation of the Bible and in response to it. The unit aims to provide a venue for cutting edge scholarship undertaken in the history of early Judaism in Europe and beyond. Currently, there is no such venue within the EABS. Our goal is to organize at least two sessions each year, one with an open call, and one that follows a specific theme. These calls will respond to the scholarly topics that we perceive or wish to stimulate, but they could also serve the discussion of critical recent publications.



Early Judaism, Rabbinic Literature, Entangled History, Biblical Reception, Material Culture, History of Ideas


Monika Amsler

University of Bern

Geoffrey Herman
École Pratique des Hautes Études, PSL

Syracuse 2023 Call for Papers

New Directions in the Study of Rabbinic Texts 

Recent years have witnessed significant advances in the research of Rabbinic literature. From the preparation of new critical scientific editions and commentaries of the texts; to the incorporation of methodology from the realm of literary analysis, a greater degree of sophistication is evident in the interpretation of these texts. Significant developments include a closer commitment to exploring the contexts of the rabbinic sources, both within the rabbinic corpus and beyond, the hermeneutic structures of the various compositions; and to probing the interconnectedness between halakhic and aggadic elements in rabbinic sources. Of particular note is the close study of literary phenomena, narratology, topoi, and diverse rhetorical features. This session invites papers that offer innovative readings of rabbinic sources.