The Stabilization of Rabbinic Culture, 100 C.E. -350 C.E.
Marc Hirshman traces and outlines the ideals and practices of rabbinic learning as presented in the relatively few late antique sources that discuss the processes and ideals of learning. Though oral learning was common in many ancient cultures, the Jewish approach has a different theoretical basis and different aims. Hirshman explores the evolution and institutionalization of Jewish culture in both Babylonian and Palestinian sources. At its core, he argues, the Jewish cultural thrust in the first centuries of the common era was a sustained effort to preserve the language of its culture in its most pristine form. This was done by the rabbis in a very conscious cultural conflict with their surrounding cultures.
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