Astrology in the Torah: a comparative study of astrological themes in the Hebrew Bible and Babylonian Talmund.

Rubin, David (2019) Astrology in the Torah: a comparative study of astrological themes in the Hebrew Bible and Babylonian Talmund. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

Against a backdrop of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world, surrounded by paganism and astrolatry, emerged the Jewish Bible. A millennium later, in quiet enclaves of the Sasanian Empire of pre-Islamic Iran, a melting-pot of heterogeneous religious and ethnic communities, dominated by Zoroastrian culture, the Babylonian Talmud, the culmina- tion of generations of Rabbinic oral discussion of Torah law, was born. Contemporary divinatory practices prevalent in the pagan cultures of Classical Antiquity were seemingly reviled in both the Bible and the Talmud. Yet, beneath that apparent veneer, there was evidence of an atti- tude towards celestial phenomena that paralleled that of contemporaneous culture, the cognition of a relationship between the stars and the Earth that belied a wholesale rejection of astrological belief. Whilst spurning astral religion, both the Jewish Bible and the Talmud incorporated a cosmology and attitude that recognised the significance of the celestial bodies beyond the physical. This paper seeks to analyse the nature and extent of that attitude, comparing and contrasting the Bible and the Talmud’s conception of the heavenly bodies. It will also seek to deter- mine and clarify the relationship of the conceptual worlds of the Tanach’s authors and classical Rabbinic Judaism [Talmudic] to astrology and its various categories, assessing whether or not the rabbis’ theological stance vis-à-vis astrology differs substantially from that of the Bible.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: astrology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Natalie Williams
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2021 11:14
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 11:14
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1715

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