Prof. Beth Berkowitz Publishes "Animals and Animality in the Babylonian Talmud"

April 6, 2018

Beth Berkowitz, Ingeborg Rennert Chair of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religion, has written a new book entitled Animals and Animality in the Babylonian Talmud. The book will be published on April 19, 2018 by Cambridge University Press.

A summary of the book is below.

Animals and Animality in the Babylonian Talmud selects key themes in animal studies - animal intelligence, morality, sexuality, suffering, danger, personhood - and explores their development in the Babylonian Talmud. Beth A. Berkowitz demonstrates that distinctive features of the Talmud - the new literary genre, the convergence of Jewish, Christian, and Zoroastrian cultures, the Talmud's remove from Temple-centered biblical Israel - led to unprecedented possibilities within Jewish culture for conceptualizing animals and animality. She explores their development in the Babylonian Talmud, showing how it is ripe for reading with a critical animal studies perspective. When we do, we find waiting for us a multi-layered, surprisingly self-aware discourse about animals as well as about the anthropocentrism that infuses human relationships with them. For readers of religion, Judaism, and animal studies, her book offers new perspectives on animals from the vantage point of the ancient rabbis.

More information on Prof. Berkowitz's book can be found at the following link:
http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/religion/judaism/animals-a...