Babylonian Medicine

Freie Universität Berlin

EATING EMPIRES – narrative discourses on body, fasting, diet and regimen in Late Antique Judaism

This panel is part of the AJS 47th Annual Conference (Association for Jewish Studies), December 13-15, 2015, Boston, USA. It examines different but interrelated aspects of discourses on bodies, health and disability in Jewish Late Antiquity against the backdrop of their cultural embeddedness in different context (i.e. Greco-Roman West and Iranian-Mesopotamian East).

Julia Watts Belser (Georgetown/Washington) combines ideas about rabbinic counter-narratives against Roman imperial rule with theories about body discourses, medicine and disability. She focuses on R. Tsadok’s fasting after the Temple’s destruction that turns his body into a site of contestation or protest. The parallel reading of Palestinian and Babylonian accounts of the story facilitates comparison between different emphasis (i.e. medical vs. political) and cultural preferences in both traditions.

Lennart Lehmhaus (SFB 980 “Episteme in Motion”, Berlin) discusses rabbinic appropriations of as well as their halakhic and religious reluctance towards Greco-Roman ideas about diet and regimen. This presentation examines Talmudic narratives in order to show how discussions on medical issues or concepts of health and body intersect with cultural negotiations and discourses of identity formation among the rabbis.

Tanja Hidde (BabMed – Babylonian Medicine, Berlin) focuses on distinct cultural penchants and social realities in the Greco-Roman and Babylonian rabbinic centers that shaped their approaches to concepts of healthy living. Her study of possible ancient Mesopotamian backgrounds will enrich the discussion and provides ground for comparison.

Monika Amsler (University of Zurich) discusses medical treatments in the Bavli. While it is important to look for parallels of these traditions within the surrounding cultures and ways of transmission, the literary shaping of the medical texts is too often neglected. But the co-text(s) of this material has probably been at least as important in their shaping and coming into being as the cultural environment. Is it possible that Talmudic medicine is “just” literary science? And can theories about the fantastic and the estrangement in modern science fiction literature help to determine its purpose?

Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert’s expertise (Stanford University) will stimulate discussions among the contributors and facilitate conversation with scholars working on Jewish medicine, Talmudic culture, literary studies and cultural history.

Date: 13 December 2015, 11:45 am to 1:15 pm
Venue:  Sheraton Boston, Commonwealth

For the complete program of the conference please click here.

Der Beitrag wurde am Friday, den 16. October 2015 um 09:42 Uhr von Tanja Hidde veröffentlicht und wurde unter Allgemein abgelegt. Sie können die Kommentare zu diesem Eintrag durch den RSS 2.0 Feed verfolgen. Kommentare und Pings sind derzeit nicht erlaubt.

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