Best Selling Books by Hartley Lachter

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release date: Apr 13, 2015
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Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts

The love of books in the Jewish tradition extends back over many centuries, and the ways of interpreting those books are as myriad as the traditions themselves. Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink offers the first full survey of Jewish illuminated manuscripts, ranging from their origins in the Middle Ages to the present day. Featuring some of the most beautiful examples of Jewish art of all time―including hand-illustrated versions of the Bible, the Haggadah, the prayer book, marriage documents, and other beloved Jewish texts―the book introduces readers to the history of these manuscripts and their interpretation.

Edited by Marc Michael Epstein with contributions from leading experts, this sumptuous volume features a lively and informative text, showing how Jewish aesthetic tastes and iconography overlapped with and diverged from those of Christianity, Islam, and other traditions. Featured manuscripts were commissioned by Jews and produced by Jews and non-Jews over many centuries, and represent Eastern and Western perspectives and the views of both pietistic and liberal communities across the Diaspora, including Europe, Israel, the Middle East, and Africa.

Magnificently illustrated with pages from hundreds of manuscripts, many previously unpublished or rarely seen, Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink offers surprising new perspectives on Jewish life, presenting the books of the People of the Book as never before.

release date: Nov 01, 2014
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Kabbalistic Revolution: Reimagining Judaism in Medieval Spain (Jewish Cultures of the World)
The set of Jewish mystical teachings known as Kabbalah are often imagined as timeless texts, teachings that have been passed down through the millennia. Yet, as this groundbreaking new study shows, Kabbalah flourished in a specific time and place, emerging in response to the social prejudices that Jews faced.

Hartley Lachter, a scholar of religion studies, transports us to medieval Spain, a place where anti-Semitic propaganda was on the rise and Jewish political power was on the wane. Kabbalistic Revolution proposes that, given this context, Kabbalah must be understood as a radically empowering political discourse.  While the era’s Christian preachers claimed that Jews were blind to the true meaning of scripture and had been abandoned by God, the Kabbalists countered with a doctrine that granted Jews a uniquely privileged relationship with God. Lachter demonstrates how Kabbalah envisioned this increasingly marginalized group at the center of the universe, their mystical practices serving to maintain the harmony of the divine world. 

For students of Jewish mysticism, Kabbalistic Revolution provides a new approach to the development of medieval Kabbalah. Yet the book’s central questions should appeal to anyone with an interest in the relationships between religious discourses, political struggles, and ethnic pride. 
release date: Jul 17, 2021
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Rural Landscapes of the Punic World
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release date: Jul 17, 2021
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Kabbalistic Revolution: Reimagining Judaism in Medieval Spain (Jewish Cultures of the World) by Hartley Lachter (2014-11-01)
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release date: Oct 31, 2018
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To Fix Torah in Their Heart: Essays on Biblical Interpretation and Jewish Studies in Honor of B. Barry Levy
In this volume, students of beloved teacher B. Barry Levy come together to honor his erudition, superb pedagogy, kindness, and verve, with a collection of essays that reflect Levy's wide range of interest and expertise. Levy, sensitive to the meaning of a text for its original and intended audience, but also to how that meaning changes and develops over the course of years of interpretation, gave his students the broadest education in the evolving context of biblical study. This expansive focus is evident in the essays included in this book. From a study of astronomical observations in the ancient Near East, to an exploration of the excesses of obedience and sacrifice as recounted in the stories of Abraham and Isaac and the Buddhist Vessantara Jataka, from Talmud, to modern Bibles for children, to the evolution of the Dead Sea Scrolls from text and artifact to sacred object, To Fix Torah in Their Hearts is a diverse and engaging collection, of value to scholars and general readers alike.
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