Placing Reading: Ancient Israel and Medieval Europe

Jonathan Boyarin

in The Ethnography of Reading

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780520079557
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520913431 | DOI:
Placing Reading: Ancient Israel and Medieval Europe

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“Reading” in ancient Jewish culture signifies an act that is oral, social, and collective, and, in Europe, one which belongs to a private or semiprivate social space. By studying the structure of the semantic affinities and fields of the Hebrew words for “reading,” this chapter aims to show that they do not belong to the same lexical categorization of practices that reading does in modern European culture. It analyzes biblical narrative texts that describe scenes of reading; the descriptions of practice coincide with the semantics of the words involved.

Keywords: modern European culture; reading; Hebrew; Jewish culture; social space

Chapter.  14040 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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