Veda and Torah
Transcending the Textuality of Scripture
Publication Year: 1996
Published by: State University of New York Press
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As a comparative historian of religions specializing in Hindu and Jewish traditions, I find myself in a peculiar position. First, I must confront the critiques of scholars who would condemn the comparative study of religion to a premature demise. Second, I must...
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The differences between the Hindu and Jewish traditions have often been emphasized, so much so that these traditions have generally been characterized as representing opposite ends of the spectrum of world religions. Indeed, "Hinduism" and "Judaism" have...
Part 1: The Word in Creation
CHAPTER 1: Veda and Creation
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In the cosmogonic and cosmological speculations of Vedic and post-Vedic mythology the corpus of Vedic mantras that has been preserved by the brahmanical lineages is represented as only a limited manifestation of the unlimited, eternal reality of Veda. Among the...
CHAPTER 2: Torah and Creation
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The authoritative status of the Torah as a limitlessly encompassing symbol is linked in certain rabbinic and kabbalistic traditions not only to its historical manifestation as a divinely revealed corpus of teachings, but also to its cosmological status as a suprahistorical...
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS 1: Veda and Torah in Creation
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From our analysis of the symbol systems associated with Veda and Torah we have seen that in certain strands of the brahmanical tradition and the rabbinic and kabbalistic traditions scripture is represented as a multileveled cosmic reality that is correlated with the...
Part 2: From Word to Text
CHAPTER 3: Veda and Cognition
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In examining the status and role of Veda in creation in chapter 1, we focused primarily on four types of symbolic complexes, in which the Veda is variously represented as (1) the Word, brahman or Sabdabrahman, which is the essence of the ultimate reality...
CHAPTER 4: Torah and Revelation
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In discussing the status and role of the Torah in creation in chapter 2, we were concerned primarily with four types of formulations found in rabbinic and kabbalistic texts, in which the Torah is variously represented as (1) the Word of God or Name of God, which...
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS 2: Cognition of Veda and Revelation of Torah
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Traditional representations of Vedic cognition and the Sinai revelation are concerned with the mechanisms through which the unbounded Word came to be embodied on earth in a bounded corpus of texts. In the case of both Veda and Torah this process of...
Part 3: Text in Practice
CHAPTER 5: Veda in Practice
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The conceptions of Veda and Torah discussed in the previous chapters function in their respective traditions not only as pervasive and enduring textual motifs, but as paradigmatic representations that reflect and inform certain types of practices by means of which different...
CHAPTER 6: Torah in Practice
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Rabbinic and kabbalistic representations of the Torah's role in creation and revelation both reflect and inform practices associated with the transmission, study, and appropriation of the Sefer Torah. These representations are reflected primarily in (1) the detailed...
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS 3
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When we turn to a comparative analysis of the regulations and practices associated with the Vedic Samhitas and the Sefer Torah, we find that our earlier observations regarding the three fundamental points of divergence between the two traditions-oral vs...
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In the course of our analysis of representations of Veda and Torah in the brahmanical tradition and the rabbinic and kabbalistic traditions, we have delineated certain structural affinities in the symbol systems of these scriptural traditions. We have also noted a...
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NOTE ON TRANSLATION AND TRANSLITERATION
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The translations of all Sanskrit passages are my own. For editions of Sanskrit texts cited, please refer to the bibliography. The transliteration of Sanskrit terms generally follows the scientific system adopted by the Journal of the American Oriental Society. The translations of passages...
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Page Count: 765
Publication Year: 1996