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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2021

Some Remarks about Non-rabbinic Judaism, Rabbinization and “Synagogal Judaism”


The present article offers a survey of historiographical debates about Judaism in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages. A « new model », resulting from over forty years of research, emphasizes both the persisting diversity of Judaism after 70 CE and the fact that it took many centuries for the rabbis to become the leading group of Jewish society. Some scholars connected to the new model consider Judaism as a whole and describe it as « irreducibly diverse » or « complex common », others focus on more specific issues (binitarianism, Judeo-Paganism, the antagonism between rabbis and priests). It is however clear that a satisfactory version of the new model has to deal with the ambiguous corpora (Targumim, piyyuṭim, Hekhalot literature) and cannot neglect two concepts, which remain to be clarified: « non-rabbinic Judaism » and « rabbinization ». In a recent article, R. Boustan claimed that the notion of rabbinization may contribute to shed light on the complex relationships between rabbinic and Hekhalot literatures. In spite of being a valuable contribution to the issue, Boustan’s article is not fully convincing and some of the points it raises (the so-called perennialist tradition, the criticism of dichotomic approaches to Judaism, the very meaning of the notion of rabbinization) deserve a thorough discussion. Finally, it will be argued that the hypothesis of “synagogal Judaism”, presented for the first time in a book by S. C. Mimouni, published in 2012, could help to a better understanding of non-rabbinic Judaism and the process of rabbinization.
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hal-03993352 , version 1 (16-02-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-03993352 , version 1


José Costa. Some Remarks about Non-rabbinic Judaism, Rabbinization and “Synagogal Judaism”. Diversité et rabbinisation : textes et sociétés dans le judaïsme entre 400 et 1000 de notre ère, G. McDowell, R. Naiweld, D. Stökl Ben Ezra, Jun 2015, Paris, France. p. 67-118. ⟨hal-03993352⟩
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