LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Institute for the Humanities, Osterman Common Room, Thayer Building (Concord, NH, USA)
ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Frankel Center for Judaic Studies ; the Department of Near Eastern Studies ; the LSA Dean’s Office ; UMOR Small Grants to Support Major Conferences ; the Rackham Dean’s Strategic Initiative Fund ; the American Academy of Jewish Research ; the American Academy of Religion
The Argumentative Nature of Ancient Authors and Their Biblical Works:
The Law Codes
Simeon Chavel, University of Chicago
The presentation will propose that ancient authors and the works that have since become biblical cannot be taken to reflect the general view in their contemporary society or even the shared view of complete institutions. Rather some, at least, ought to be taken as the views of individuals interacting within their cultures, advancing unique, even idiosyncratic arguments about the past, the present and the future, and whose works and views may have perplexed and even put off their audience. The presentation will focus on the biblical legal material to illustrate what recommends this approach.
On the Afterlife of Atra˙asīs and Man’s prima materia in Genesis 1-11
Abraham Winitzer, University of Notre Dame
The Primeval History in Genesis 1-11 has long been recognized as drawing inspiration from beyond Israel in the formation of this foundational portion of the Bible. This paper considers a case study in this regard, concerning the interface of pre-Biblical traditions and their reflections in the Biblical text. Specifically, this involves thinking about the primary elements comprising primeval man in terms of origins and adaptations. Along with the mystical divine spirit (rûah≥), the nexus of earth (ºada¢mâ) in the formation of man (ºa¢da¢m) with that of blood (da¢m) will be considered, as a case of a Biblical formulation of materials originally beyond the Book. In so doing I will seek to demonstrate how this portion of the textualization process – from the beyond to the Book – took shape.
Respondent: Piotr Michalowski, George G. Cameron Professor Emeritus of Ancient Near Eastern Language and Civilizations, University of Michigan