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Unformatted text preview: Krawiec, Rebecca. Shenoute and the Women of the White Monas- tery: Egyptian Monasticism in Late Antiquity . Oxford, 2002. A study of Shenoute’s letters to female monastics, especially the letters in the second volume of his Canons (as recon- structed by Emmel, 2004). Layton, Bentley. “Social Structure and Food Consumption in an Early Christian Monastery: The Evidence of Shenoute’s Canons and the White Monastery Federation AD 385–465.” Muséon 115 (2002): 25–55. The first systematic study of all nine volumes of Shenoute’s Canons (as reconstructed by Emmel, 2004). Leipoldt, Johannes. Schenute von Atripe und die Entstehung des na- tional ägyptischen Christentums . Leipzig, 1903. The first fun- damental study of Shenoute, not yet entirely superseded (al- though sooner or later it must be replaced). Young, Dwight W. Coptic Manuscripts from the White Monastery: Works of Shenute . Vienna, 1993. An assortment (rather arbi- trary than systematic or thematic) of fragments of Shenoute’s works, with English translations and notes. S TEPHEN EMMEL (2005) SHERIRA D GAON (c. 906–1006), Babylonian halakh- ist and head of the academy at Pumbedita for some thirty years. Sherira D was a major league authority whose many re- sponsa circulated throughout the whole Jewish Diaspora. He combined his legal preeminence with a rational attitude to- ward Talmudic legend, thus setting the pattern that was fol- lowed by his son and successor, H D ai. The single most influential work by Sherira D is the book- length Iggeret (Epistle), sent as a response to the community of Kairouan in North Africa. Ya E aqov bar Nissim had asked on behalf of his co-religionists that the gaon explain how the oral law had reached its present form in the Talmud, how and when the various rabbinic works had been compiled and edited, and what was the import of the frequent disagree- ments among the Talmudic rabbis. This series of questions doubtless reflected the anxiety felt among rabbinites con- fronted by the Karaite claim that the Talmud was a human product anchored in history rather than a divine oral law. In the Epistle, which Salo Baron has called the “outstanding his- toriographic contribution of the geonic era,” Sherira D provid- ed indispensable literary and historical data on the process by which the Talmud evolved; indeed, he defined the terms of much future discussion of this topic, both medieval and modern. The Epistle divides into two parts: the first traces the history of Talmudic literature through the pioneering in- ductive use of selected source materials, while the second is a history of exilarchic and geonic leadership probably based on the academy’s archives. The basic ideological position of Sherira D is that the oral law had a literary history but did not substantively develop through the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods. The Mishnah and the Talmud are authoritative crystallizations of the law possessed by the earlier genera- tions, and even Talmudic discussion simply recaptures, on...
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