Time in the Babylonian Talmud: Natural and Imaged Times in Jewish Law and Narrative

Cambridge University Press  2018


In this book, Lynn Kaye examines how rabbis of late antiquity thought about time through their legal reasoning and storytelling, and what these insights mean for thinking about time today. Providing close readings of legal and narrative texts in the Babylonian Talmud, she compares temporal ideas with related concepts in ancient and modern philosophical texts and in religious traditions from late antique Mesopotamia. Kaye demonstrates that temporal flexibility in the Babylonian Talmud is a means of exploring and resolving legal uncertainties, as well as a tool to tell stories that convey ideas effectively and dramatically. Her book, the first on time in the Talmud, makes accessible complex legal texts and philosophical ideas. It also connects the literature of late antique Judaism with broader theological and philosophical debates about time.

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