Sparks of the Logos
There are two major themes running through the essays reprinted in this book: the first is the typological relation of rabbinic Judaism to Christianity, while the second is the re-animation, by going back to the roots, of a rabbinic Judaism that would not manifest some of the deleterious social ideologies and practices that modern orthodox Judaism generally does, a project that was thought of as “radical orthodoxy,” long before that term achieved its current—and almost diametrically opposing—sense among Christian theologians.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part consists of several essays on midrash, exploring various aspects of rabbinic culture and their relation to hermeneutic practices. These papers are essentially more detailed studies of particular issues that were raised in two of Boyarin’s books, Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash and Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture (California, 1993). The second part of the book consists of reprints of four essays published in the journal Diacritics during that same decade. The material treated in the book should be of interest to historians of Judaism and Christianity, Talmudists, and scholars and readers interested in the cultural study of religion.