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Lecture | FLARe lecture series

Jewish Messianism and Post-Rabbinic Culture

Wednesday 23 June 2021
Framing Late Antique Religion Lecture Series
This is an online event. Please register below to receive the link to the lecture.
Reconstructed section of the Cardo Maximus dating to the Byzantine era, Jerusalem, photo by Carole Raddato

The events of the first part of the seventh century – the Persian conquest of Jerusalem, the Byzantine reconquest, and the Muslim triumph over restored Byzantine rule – clearly led some contemporary Jews to believe that the eschaton was at hand. We know this from Jewish apocalyptic works composed during these years as well as from piyyutim (liturgical poems) that express messianic hopes in relation to the events. But these hopes and expectations have their roots in earlier centuries. This lecture will consider the range of evidence for Jewish messianism and eschatology in the period after the completion of the Talmud Yerushalmi and the great Palestinian midrashim in the fifth century, the relation of post-rabbinic expectations to classical rabbinic messianism and eschatology, and the impact of other aspects of post-rabbinic culture on the literary expression of these expectations.

About Martha Himmelfarb

Martha Himmelfarb is the William H. Danforth Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Her most recent book is Jewish Messiahs in a Christian Empire: A History of the Book of Zerubbabel (2017).

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