Ritual Theory and Religious Professionalism in Judaism in Late Antiquity


ACLS Fellowship Program


Near Eastern Languages and Cultures


The project is a study on ritual discourse in ancient Judaism its relationship to religious professionalism the in Greco-Roman world in late antiquity. It is an effort to assess the degree to which religious professionalism was a phenomenon that permeated the culture of the ancient Mediterranean and influenced a variety of Hebrew and Aramaic religious texts outside the rabbinic canon. The project focuses on the proliferation of discourse on ritual in Judaism among liturgical poets from the second to the six century and studies how the role of these poets as ritual experts facilitated this discourse. It is also an examination of indicators of the social status and professional positions of the synagogue poets in relation to the rabbinic academies.