The University and the Talmud

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The Talmud has only entered the sphere of the university in recent decades. While the struggle over biblical interpretation shaped Christian-Jewish relations for two millennia, Christian culture was hostile to the Talmud from its «discovery» in the High Middle Ages, and antisemites made the Talmudjude a major emblem. Modern liberal Jews, bent on emancipation, likewise sought to define the Jews as the biblical people. In recent decades, however, academic scholarship has reexplored the Talmud as a source of critical rationalism, modern legal concepts, and recognition of religious hybridity, making the Talmud a fountainhead of postmodern culture. The essay will place this surprising turn within the long-term history of the university and of Christian-Jewish relations. It will suggest that this historical anomaly represents an opportunity to use the Talmud to renovate liberal education, besieged by corporate technocratic culture.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hacohen, MH

Published Date

  • June 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 49 - 61

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1127-8250

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.17396/97218

Citation Source

  • Scopus