Diversity and Rabbinization: Jewish Texts and Societies between 400 and 1000 CE - cover image

Book Series


Gavin McDowell; Ron Naiweld; Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra

Published On





  • English

Print Length

502 pages (xxiv+478)


Paperback156 x 26 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.01" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 38 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.5" x 9.21")


Paperback1544g (54.46oz)
Hardback2488g (87.76oz)



OCLC Number



  • JF
  • JFSR1
  • CFF
  • CFP


  • REL006020
  • LAN009010


  • cultural diversity
  • religious diversity
  • Jewish communities
  • Late Antiquity
  • Early Middle Age
  • rabbis
Thoth logoPowered by Thoth.

Diversity and Rabbinization

Jewish Texts and Societies between 400 and 1000 CE

  • Gavin McDowell (editor)
  • Ron Naiweld (editor)
  • Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra (editor)
This volume is dedicated to the cultural and religious diversity in Jewish communities from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Age and the growing influence of the rabbis within these communities during the same period. Drawing on available textual and material evidence, the fourteen essays presented here, written by leading experts in their fields, span a significant chronological and geographical range and cover material that has not yet received sufficient attention in scholarship.

The volume is divided into four parts. The first focuses on the vantage point of the synagogue; the second and third on non-rabbinic Judaism in, respectively, the Near East and Europe; the final part turns from diversity within Judaism to the process of "rabbinization" as represented in some unusual rabbinic texts.

Diversity and Rabbinization is a welcome contribution to the historical study of Judaism in all its complexity. It presents fresh perspectives on critical questions and allows us to rethink the tension between multiplicity and unity in Judaism during the first millennium CE.

Table of Contents


Gavin McDowell, Ron Naiweld and Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra

Part 1. The Synagogue
1. Diversity in the Ancient Synagogue of Roman-Byzantine Palestine: Historical Implications

Lee I. Levine

2. Society and the Self in Early Piyyut

Michael D. Swartz

3. Some Remarks about Non-Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbinization, and Synagogal Judaism

José Costa

Part 2. Evidence for Non-Rabbinic Judaism: The Near East
4. In Search of Non-Rabbinic Judaism in Sasanian Babylonia

Geoffrey Herman

5. Varieties of Non-Rabbinic Judaism in Geonic and Contemporaneous Sources

Robert Brody

6. Karaites and Sadducees Download

Yoram Erder

7. The Judaism of the Ancient Kingdom of Ḥimyar in Arabia: A Discreet Conversion

Christian Julien Robin

Part 3. Evidence for Non-Rabbinic Judaism: Europe
8. The Didascalus Annas: A Jewish Political and Intellectual Figure from the West

Capucine Nemo-Pekelman

9. Rabbis in Southern Italian Jewish Inscriptions from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages

Giancarlo Lacerenza

10. Jewish Demographics and Economics at the Onset of the European Middle Ages

Michael Toch

Part 4. Rabbinization
11. The Rabbinization Tractates and the Propagation of Rabbinic Ideology in the Late Talmudic Period

Ron Naiweld

12. Who is the Target of Toledot Yeshu?

Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra

13. Rabbinization of Non-Rabbinic Material in Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer

Gavin McDowell

14. Seder Eliyahu Rabbah: Rabbinic Tradition for a Non-Rabbinic Society

Günter Stemberger

Afterword: Rabbinization and the Persistence of Diversity in Jewish Culture in Late Antiquity

Ra‘anan Boustan

List of Illustrations



Gavin McDowell

Institut d’études anciennes et médiévales at Université Laval

Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra