Torah v. Jewish Law: A Genre-Critical Approach to the Political Theology of Reappropriation

  • Michael Zank
Part of the Boston Studies in Philosophy, Religion and Public Life book series (BSPR, volume 6)


Using M. Bakhtin’s genre-critical approach, I argue that the Torah, as a work of literature, shows similarities with the genre of the novel. This approach allows me to distinguish between Torah and rabbinic law, a difference that is relevant to understanding the categorical differences between two major moments of reappropriation and self-fashioning in light of these two distinct, though related, traditions, namely, the early modern Protestant use of the “ancient Hebrew republic” and the modern “Jewish law” (mishpat ivri) discourse in Russian Zionism and Israeli constitutional theory.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish StudiesBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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