From Creation to Sinai: Genesis and Exodus in Antiquity: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Traditions in Interaction



The Book of Genesis and the beginning of the Book of Exodus are of utmost importance for many fundamental issues in the study of Judaism, Christianity, and nascent Islam. Comparative studies transcending the boundaries between the corpora of varying religious traditions are often mutually illuminating. The earliest material related to Genesis and Exodus is embedded in the literature of the Second Temple period. Many traditions and ideas that emerged at that time continued to exist in rabbinic Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Christian interpretations, traditions and themes are often adaptations of Jewish traditions; on the other hand, rabbinic literature includes many traditions that in fact respond to Christianity. The Qur'an reflects, or reacts to, earlier traditions, both Jewish and Christian. Few scholars integrate the data of more than one religion, but no single scholar can be at home in all the rich corpora and religious worlds of ancient Judaism, the Church Fathers, Gnosticism and the Qur'an. The endeavor must be twofold: on the one hand, to interpret the various texts (Jewish, Christian, Gnostic, Islamic) in their own context, including their textual transmission, cultural framework and nuances; on the other hand, to observe the contours and dynamics of the tradition as it is transformed throughout periods and cultures. A balanced view can be achieved only by the collaboration and synergy that we are trying to create in this group. The workshop focused on some of the aspects that is at the center of our joint group studies and workshops during the IIAS group meetings. It included the following sessions: General introductory lectures, as well as sessions dealing with various aspects of the above mentioned traditions of exegesis: A. Second Temple Jewish Traditions (including the Dead Sea Scrolls). B. Jewish-Hellenistic Traditions; B. Church Fathers and Christian Traditions (as preserved in Greek and Syriac sources); C.. Rabbinic Traditions; D. Traditions preserved in the nascent Islam.
Degree of recognitionInternational
Granting OrganizationsBar-Ilan University, Israel