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The Text And Its Context

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Chapter Summary

Theoreticians of the reception of literary texts may roughly be divided into two opposed camps, one claiming that the meaning of a text is almost entirely determined by the readers and the other positing that a text must be approached according to the author's intentions and expectations from the potential audience in the contexts of both its production and reception. This chapter discusses a brief survey of the state of scholarly research on the Chronicle of Aḥima῾az is called for. In sum, to the medieval mind, still shaped by orality, midrash was then "simply" a most general quest for meaning carried out in the sphere in which myth and history organically merged with the entire cultural heritage of Jewish society. The Christian saint would even be more effective than the preacher, for while the preacher would edify through rhetoric the saint would do that by exemplary action.

Keywords: Aḥima῾az; cultural heritage; historical context; Jewish society; literary texts; midrash



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