A Roadmap to the Heavens: An Anthropological study of Hegemony among Priests, Sages, and Laymen (Hardback)
  • A Roadmap to the Heavens: An Anthropological study of Hegemony among Priests, Sages, and Laymen (Hardback)
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A Roadmap to the Heavens: An Anthropological study of Hegemony among Priests, Sages, and Laymen (Hardback)

(author)
£77.95
Hardback 364 Pages / Published: 30/12/2008
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The challenge of this book has been to rethink prevailing ideas about the social map of Jewish society during the rabbinic period in Israel. New insights were made possible by using anthropological theories and tools. The book explores the rich and complex relationships among the sages, priests, and laymen who competed in social, cultural, and political arenas for hegemony. It demonstrates that this struggle was not a simple case of displacement of the priestly elite by a new scholarly elite.In the process of constituting a counter-hegemony of the sages, there was a complex push-pull process: attraction-rejection, imitation-denial, and co-operation-confrontation. They undermined the old order by using the old hegemonic priestly discourse. Whereas the sages proposed a new order based on intellectual achievement, they nevertheless created on top of the earlier hegemonic order a new order of group nepotism, endogamy, ritual purity, and secret knowledge and education provided only to the proper social classes. Ben-Zion concludes that even in the process of resistance and disengagement from the priestly hegemony, the sages could not free themselves from the bondage of the priestly discourse and praxis.

Publisher: Academic Studies Press
ISBN: 9781934843147
Number of pages: 364
Weight: 676 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
A fascinating insight into the social structure and dynamics of the Tannaitic period . . . Dr. Ben-Zion creates an intriguing typology of the processes of identity formation, full of ambivalence, contradictions, and challenges. The book itself is well written, integrates theoretical and empirical material, and sheds light on a topic not hitherto examined from an anthropological point of view. In my opinion, it is an excellent example of the confluence of history and anthropology at the center of our discipline.--Eyal Ben-Ari, Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
This is an important work at the intersection of anthropology, history, and the theory of religion. . . By applying various anthropological theories, Sigalit Ben-Zion opens up a dynamic landscape of identity formation among various groups, such as Priests and Sages. Dr. Ben-Zion's ground-breaking work in the field of Jewish studies should engage a wide readership.--Leif Manger, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen

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