Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in by Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov

By Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov

Until very lately, the belief of old Jewish sciences may were thought of unacceptable. because the 1990’s, Early smooth and Medieval technological know-how in Jewish resources has been actively studied, however the consensus was once that no genuine medical issues may be present in previous Judaism. This paintings issues them out intimately, and posits a brand new box of analysis: the clinical job glaring within the lifeless Sea Scrolls and Early Jewish Pseudepigrapha. The ebook of latest texts and new analyses of older ones finds the most important components which are most sensible illuminated through the heritage of technological know-how, and will have attention-grabbing results for it. The individuals review those texts relating to astronomy, astrology and physiognomy, marking the 1st entire try to account for clinical topics in moment Temple Judaism. They examine the which means and goal of medical explorations in an apocalyptic atmosphere. An appreciation of those issues paves find out how to a renewed knowing of the clinical fragments scattered all through rabbinic literature.
The e-book first areas the Jewish fabric within the historical context of the close to jap and Hellenistic worlds. whereas the Jewish texts weren't at the leading edge of clinical discovery, they discover a significant position within the heritage of technological know-how, among Babylonia and Egypt, within the period of time among Hipparchus and Ptolemy. The ebook makes use of contemporary advances in way to research the contacts and networks of Jewish students of their historic surroundings. moment, the essays the following take on the challenging thought of a countrywide medical culture. even supposing technological know-how is these days usually conceived as common, the historiography of historic Jewish sciences demonstrates the significance of seeing the improvement of technology in an area context. The booklet explores the strain among the hegemony of significant medical traditions and native clinical organizations, displaying the relevance of historical information to modern postcolonial historiography of technological know-how. eventually, philosophical questions of the demarcation of technology are addressed in a fashion which may improve the dialogue of comparable old materials.
Online version available as a part of the NYU Library's old international electronic Library and in partnership with the Institute for the learn of the traditional global (ISAW).


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Enoch received this wisdom by divine revelation: it was disclosed to him by angels or in visions. There are parallels in Egyptian, Babylonian end other early scientific traditions for presenting science in the form of revelation from the gods, and it is tempting, at first sight, to suppose that in the Books of Enoch this is no more then a literary convention. But there may be more to it than meets the eye. At some point in the evolution of the Enochic literature an author or redactor must have known that the knowledge which he was presenting was not disclosed by angels but had come from contemporary, non-Jewish sources.

The Jerusalem Temple in the Second Temple period was probably a locus not just of ritual, but of a vigorous intellectual life, and may have housed a school or schools. This should, in principle, cause no surprise: great temples had from hoary antiquity been centres of learning in the Near East. Qumran was founded by renegade Jerusalem priests. The founders of Qumran were associated with the school, or the circle, in the Jerusalem Temple which had preserved and studied the Enochic literature, and they brought copies of the texts with them from there to Qumran.

In the Middle Ages and early modern times, as Ruderman has shown, it gathered pace. In the nineteenth century, as a result of political emancipation, many Jews again rediscovered the natural world. The result, in the twentieth century has been some of the greatest achievements of scientific thought. From Enoch to Einstein is a long and tortuous road. At times the traces are scuffed and the track almost disappears. 39 Whether or not it is meaningful to talk about Jewish science cannot be discussed here.

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