Ancient Synagogue:
From Its Origins Until 200 C.E.
Papers Presented at an International
Conference at Lund University,
October 14-17, 2001

Edited By Birger Olsson & Magnus Zetterholm
December 2003
Almqvist & Wiksell International
ISBN: 91-22-02028-4
589 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 8 "
$99.50 Paper Original


The renewed intensity during the first part of the 90's of the debate concerning the ancient synagogue was a major influence on the decision to start the synagogue project in Lund: "The Ancient Synagogue: Birthplace of Two World Religions". On the basis of extant sources and modern scientific theories and methods, the project aimed at describing this formative institution in the broadest terms possible, including five research areas: (1) An historical analysis of the synagogue's origin, development and history up to 200 C.E., (2) A sociological analysis of the synagogue in its societal, economic, religious, cultural and political contexts, (3) A linguistic analysis of the languages employed in the synagogue in primarily Greek-speaking areas, (4) A liturgical ideological analysis of the synagogue's "services"; taken in a broad sense, and (5) A hermeneutical, ideological analysis that employs Targum studies to elucidate the activity of interpretation that took place in the synagogue. An international conference was organized as part of the project. The contributions to this conference are published here. In his opening paper, Lee I. Levine defines the results and the main problems of synagogue research today. The main papers deal with the five research areas mentioned above: the origins of the synagogue; life in the Diaspora synagogues; the languages of the synagogue; worship in the synagogue; and the hermeneutics of the synagogue. Introductions and evaluations as well as a discussion of current views on the synagogue at ancient Ostia and the Jews of Rome are included.

Religious History
Coniectanea Biblica. New Testament Series No. 39

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