Expressions of Sceptical Topoi in (Late) Antique Judaism

Reuven Kiperwasser*, Geoffrey Herman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Scepticism has been the driving force in the development of Greco-Roman culture in the past, and the impetus for far-reaching scientific achievements and philosophical investigation. Early Jewish culture, in contrast, avoided creating consistent representations of its philosophical doctrines. Sceptical notions can nevertheless be found in some early Jewish literature such as the Book of Ecclesiastes. One encounters there expressions of doubt with respect to Divine justice or even Divine involvement in earthly affairs. During the first centuries of the common era, however, Jewish thought, as reflected in rabbinic works, was engaged in persistent intellectual activity devoted to the laws, norms, regulations, exegesis and other traditional areas of Jewish religious knowledge. An effort to detect sceptical ideas in ancient Judaism, therefore, requires a closer analysis of this literary heritage and its cultural context. This volume of collected essays seeks to tackle the question of scepticism in an Early Jewish context, including Ecclesiastes and other Jewish Second Temple works, rabbinic midrashic and talmudic literature, and reflections of Jewish thought in early Christian and patristic writings. Contributors are: Tali Artman, Geoffrey Herman, Reuven Kiperwasser, Serge Ruzer, Cana Werman, and Carsten Wilke.

Original languageAmerican English
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages164
ISBN (Electronic)9783110671483
ISBN (Print)9783110671445
StatePublished - 19 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameStudies and Texts in Scepticism

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Reuven Kiperwasser and Geoffrey Herman, published by Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. All rights reserved.


  • Early Judaism
  • Rabbinic Judaism
  • Scepticism


Dive into the research topics of 'Expressions of Sceptical Topoi in (Late) Antique Judaism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this