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Theology, Rabbinic

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-J050-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 15, 2024, from

Article Summary

The Talmud, a shelf of folio volumes built up out of the expansive reflections of generations of scholar/thinkers whose discourse formed a commentary or complement (Gemara) to the ancient legal code of the Mishnah, encapsulates rabbinic sayings and discussions dating from before the first century to around 600. The monotheistic idea of God affords a key perspective on the Talmud’s variegated themes: God’s uniqueness and ultimacy preclude any easy direct commerce between the human and the divine. Literal contact may be endlessly deferred; yet God remains ever present and ever active in human life. Rabbinic thought, textually represented in the Talmud and in the institutions it fosters, seeks to mediate God’s ‘absent presence’ to a community of believers in a way that renders manifest the penetration of divine concern into every cranny of human consciousness without compromising God’s transcendence or explanatory uniqueness.

Citing this article:
Botwinick, Aryeh. Theology, Rabbinic, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-J050-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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