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Midrash UnboundTransformations and Innovations$
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Michael A. Fishbane and Joanna Weinberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113713

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113713.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
(p.iii) Midrash Unbound

Michael Fishbane

Joanna Weinberg

Liverpool University Press

This chapter summarizes the four fundamental historical periods of development. The first period roughly covers the first to fifth centuries where certain foundational elements of literary genre, translation, displacement, and diffusion are considered. The next period takes up the fifth to eleventh centuries and focuses on the deepening and thickening of the midrashic enterprise as it expands into liturgy, theological polemics, narrative elaborations, and cultural performance. The third period includes the development of intense lexical annotation of midrashic texts and traditions, their acute scholastic examination, assorted uses of midrashic teachings for cultural pedagogy, and creative uses of Midrash to deepen the sense of history and time. The last period considers some of the early modern and modern traditions of Midrash and its transformations.

Keywords:   midrashic enterprise, midrashic texts, midrashic traditions, midrashic teachings, Midrash

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