2015 PhD Dissertations on Talmudic Topics [Talmud Tuesday]
As reported recently by The Talmud Blog, there has been nearly a dozen completed doctoral dissertations on the Talmud and rabbinic literature last year. These doctoral dissertations have been completed mostly in the United States of America and Israel in English and Hebrew. Some of them have been uploaded online and are publically available in pdf format (those that are available online are hyperlinked below), while most of them remain not uploaded for public perusal.
The only one of these dissertations not composed in either English or Hebrew is Ilaria Briata’s “Dereḵ Ereṣ Rabbah e Dereḵ Ereṣ Zuṭa: Due trattati deuterotalmudici su come si sta al mondo” completed at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, composed in Italian. There were two other dissertations that were completed outside of either Israel or the United States, with one having been completed in England by Katharina Esther Keim at The University of Manchester on “Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer: Structure, Coherence, Intertextuality, and Historical Context” and one completed in Canada by Andrea Lobel at Concordia University on “Under a Censored Sky: Astronomy and Rabbinic Authority in the Talmud Bavli and Related Literature”.
There have been a few completed in Israel this past year:
- Eliashiv Fraenkel, “Meetings and Conversations of Sages in Stories Regarding Halakhic Background in the Babylonian Talmud,” Bar-Ilan University (Hebrew)
- Yoel Kretzmer-Raziel, “הקטגוריה ‘מוקצה’ והתגבשותה בספרות האמוראית” (“The Category Muqse and its Development in Amoraic Literature”), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Hebrew)
- Daniel Reifman, “The Role of Rationales in Halakhic Adjudication: A Semiotic Approach,” Bar-Ilan University
In the United States of America, there were several dissertations completed:
- Noah Bickart, “Tistayem: An Investigation into the Scholastic Culture of the Bavli,” The Jewish Theological Seminary of America
- Sara Ronis, “‘Do Not Go Out Alone at Night’: Law and Demonic Discourse in the Babylonian Talmud,” Yale University
- Avram Shannon, “Other Peoples’ Rituals: Tannaitic Portrayals of Graeco-Roman Ritual,” The Ohio State University
- Agnes Veto, “Rabbinic Conceptualization of the Male Body as Reflected in the Halakhic System of Male Genital Emissions,” New York University
- Rebecca Wollenberg, “The People of the Book Without the Book: Jewish Ambivalence Towards Biblical Text After the Rise of Christianity,” The University of Chicago
These dissertations certainly seem like some interesting reading! For abstracts of these dissertations, one can visit the Talmud Blog to get a better sense of their topics.