Download Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in by Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov PDF

By Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov

Until very lately, the assumption of old Jewish sciences could were thought of unacceptable. because the 1990’s, Early glossy and Medieval technology in Jewish assets has been actively studied, however the consensus was once that no actual medical topics might be present in past Judaism. This paintings issues them out intimately, and posits a brand new box of analysis: the clinical task glaring within the useless Sea Scrolls and Early Jewish Pseudepigrapha. The e-book of recent texts and new analyses of older ones unearths an important parts which are most sensible illuminated by way of the heritage of technology, and should have attention-grabbing results for it. The members overview those texts in terms of astronomy, astrology and physiognomy, marking the 1st entire try and account for clinical issues in moment Temple Judaism. They examine the which means and goal of clinical explorations in an apocalyptic environment. An appreciation of those subject matters paves find out how to a renewed realizing of the medical fragments scattered all through rabbinic literature.
The ebook first areas the Jewish fabric within the historical context of the close to japanese and Hellenistic worlds. whereas the Jewish texts weren't at the innovative of clinical discovery, they discover a significant position within the background of technological know-how, among Babylonia and Egypt, within the period of time among Hipparchus and Ptolemy. The booklet makes use of fresh advances in technique to learn the contacts and networks of Jewish students of their old surroundings. moment, the essays right here take on the troublesome notion of a countrywide clinical culture. even if technological know-how is these days frequently conceived as common, the historiography of old Jewish sciences demonstrates the significance of seeing the improvement of technology in an area context. The ebook explores the strain among the hegemony of critical clinical traditions and native clinical organisations, displaying the relevance of historic facts to modern postcolonial historiography of technological know-how. eventually, philosophical questions of the demarcation of technology are addressed in a fashion which could increase the dialogue of comparable historical materials.
Online variation available as a part of the NYU Library's historic global electronic Library and in partnership with the Institute for the research of the traditional international (ISAW).


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However, this view is not without problems. It is likely that the Enochic 364-day solar calendar did, originally, represent an attempt to reform the Jewish calendar, in accordance with the best 2. The Jews and Natural Science 45 science of the day. It is possible that the new calendar was presented as a way of living more in accord with the laws of nature and of God. But, of course, the calendar does not work, and it would not have taken long for people using it to notice that it does not work: without correction it should have been obvious within thirty years that it was badly out of synch with nature.

But the knowledge they brought, like the knowledge of Prometheus, was knowledge which Heaven did not want to be disclosed to humankind. This is intriguing. How can we separate between these two types of knowledge? This brings us to another central theme of the Enochic literature—divine judgement. Side by side with the modernist science of the Enochic literature is a powerful strand of moralizing, conservative ethics. The scientific vision of the cosmos is constantly exploited to ram home the message of divine punishment for sin, and sin is defined not primarily in terms of breaches of the Sinai-covenant (as we would expect in a Moses-orientated worldview), but in terms of life-style, such as the use of cosmetics and jewellery.

Qumran was founded by renegade Jerusalem priests. The founders of Qumran were associated with the school, or the circle, in the Jerusalem Temple which had preserved and studied the Enochic literature, and they brought copies of the texts with them from there to Qumran. Be this as it may, if my analysis is even half correct, then it points to a rather interesting conclusion. Sometime in the late Persian period, say around 450-400 BCE, under the influence of Persian and, ultimately, of Babylonian ideas, Jews for the first time became interested in producing scientific models of the workings of the natural world.

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