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The Sense of Sight in Rabbinic Culture. Jewish Ways of Seeing in Late Antiquity.
Cambridge u. a.: Cambridge University Press 2013. XII, 319 S. = Greek Culture in the Roman World. Geb. £ 65,00. ISBN 978-1-10703251-4.
Ancient Jewish religion and culture has traditionally been seen as auditory and textual, with a focus on listening to the word of God (e. g., the prayer Shema Yisrael) and reading and interpreting the text of the Torah (the »book religion« model). Biblical and rabbinic Judaism is commonly considered to be aniconic, opposed to images that might represent the divinity and suspicious of vision in general. Rachel Neis succeeds in correcting this impression by demonstrating the significance of visuality in Palestinian and Babylonian rabbinic Judaism after the destruction of the Temple. She argues that Judaism took a »visual turn« in late antiquity (3 rd to 7th c. C. E.) which was crucial to rabbinic piety: »Vision was harnessed in order to shape rabbinic ...
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