CJS Study Day 2014


Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Judaism

12 December 2014


Members of staff, visiting fellows, post-doctoral and doctoral researchers of the Ancient, Medieval and early modern Judaism cluster of the Centre for Jewish Studies met for an informal study day on 12 December 2014. Participants had the chance to report on their current projects and receive valuable feedback from their colleagues.

Visiting fellow Professor Natalie Polzer presented a working paper on the archaeological and textual evidence of ritual washing practices of the Jewish community in Talmudic Babylonia, and suggested that the prohibition of mikveh constructions by the Persian authorities can be explained by the sacred status of water in Zoroastrian religion.

Another paper was presented by post-doctoral research fellow Dr Ben Williams on the controversial character of the camel in Midrash Bereshit Rabbah and its early modern commentaries.

Other participants reported briefly on their current projects: Professor Philip Alexander on the typology of polemic literary genres; Dr Maria Ciota on Gaster's scholarly profile and especially his folklorist activity; Dr Katharina Keim on her Rylands Library project on Moshe Gaster's correspondence with Samaritan communities; Mr Marton Ribary on his doctoral project about analytic thinking in Rabbainic and Roman law; and Dr Renate Smithuis on her project of the mystical aspects of Medieval Jewish liturgical texts.

Members of the succesful study agreed to hold similar informal study days once every semester in the future.

Marton Ribary, 15 Jan 2015