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Scepticism has been the driving force in the development of Greco-Roman culture in the past, and the impetus for far-reaching scientific achievements and philosophical investigation. Early Jewish culture, in contrast, avoided creating consistent representations of its philosophical doctrines. Sceptical notions can nevertheless be found in some early Jewish literature such as the Book of Ecclesiastes. One encounters there expressions of doubt with respect to Divine justice or even Divine involvement in earthly affairs. During the first centuries of the common era, however, Jewish thought, as reflected in rabbinic works, was engaged in persistent intellectual activity devoted to the laws, norms, regulations, exegesis and other traditional areas of Jewish religious knowledge. An effort to detect sceptical ideas in ancient Judaism, therefore, requires a closer analysis of this literary heritage and its cultural context.This volume of collected essays seeks to tackle the question of scepticism in an Early Jewish context, including Ecclesiastes and other Jewish Second Temple works, rabbinic midrashic and talmudic literature, and reflections of Jewish thought in early Christian and patristic writings. Contributors are: Tali Artman, Geoffrey Herman, Reuven Kiperwasser, Serge Ruzer, Cana Werman, and Carsten Wilke.
Reuven Kiperwasser, Ariel University, Israel.
Geoffrey Herman, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, France.
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