Jewish Marriage in Antiquity

ISBN-10: 069100255X
ISBN-13: 9780691002552
Edition: 2001
List price: $125.00 Buy it from $112.41
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Description: Marriage today might be a highly contested topic, but certainly no more than it was in antiquity. Ancient Jews, like their non-Jewish neighbors, grappled with what have become perennial issues of marriage, from its idealistic definitions to its many  More...

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Book details

List price: $125.00
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 4/15/2001
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 434
Size: 6.57" wide x 9.53" long x 1.19" tall
Weight: 1.738

Marriage today might be a highly contested topic, but certainly no more than it was in antiquity. Ancient Jews, like their non-Jewish neighbors, grappled with what have become perennial issues of marriage, from its idealistic definitions to its many practical forms to questions of who should or should not wed. In this book, Michael Satlow offers the first in-depth synthetic study of Jewish marriage in antiquity, from ca. 500 B.C.E. to 614 C.E. Placing Jewish marriage in its cultural milieu, Satlow investigates whether there was anything essentially "Jewish" about the institution as it was discussed and practiced. Moreover, he considers the social and economic aspects of marriage as both a personal relationship and a religious bond, and explores how the Jews of antiquity negotiated the gap between marital realities and their ideals. Focusing on the various experiences of Jews throughout the Mediterranean basin and in Babylonia, Satlow argues that different communities, even rabbinic ones, constructed their own "Jewish" marriage: they read their received traditions and rituals through the lens of a basic understanding of marriage that they shared with their non-Jewish neighbors. He also maintains that Jews idealized marriage in a way that responded to the ideals of their respective societies, mediating between such values as honor and the far messier realities of marital life. Employing Jewish and non-Jewish literary texts, papyri, inscriptions, and material artifacts, Satlow paints a vibrant portrait of ancient Judaism while sharpening and clarifying present discussions on modern marriage for Jews and non-Jews alike.

David Brakke is Professor of Religious Studies and Adjunct Professor of History at Indiana University.Michael L. Satlow is Associate Professor in the Program in Judaic Studies and the Department of Religious Studies at Brown University.Steven Weitzman is the Irving M. Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies and Director of the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University.

Abbreviations and Conventions
Preface
Introduction
Thinking about Marriage
Why Marry?
Metaphor and Myth
Marriage and Law
Marrying
Shreds of Real Marriage
Making Match
Endogamy and Exogamy
Customs and Rituals of Marriage
Irregular Unions
Staying Married
The Economics of Marriage
The Ideal marriage
Conclusions
Notes to the Chapters
Bibliography
Subject Index
Index of Premodern Sources
Index of Modern Authors

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