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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Aroma of Righteousness: Scent and Seduction in Rabbinic Life and Literature
Green, Deborah A.

University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011 pp. xiv + 286. $69.95


Description: In The Aroma of Righteousness, Deborah Green explores images of perfume and incense in late Roman and early Byzantine Jewish literature. Using literary methods to illuminate the rabbinic literature, Green demonstrates the ways in which the rabbis' reading of biblical texts as well as their intimate experience with aromatics build and deepen their interpretations. The study uncovers the cultural associations that are evoked by perfume and incense in both the Hebrew Bible and midrashic texts and seeks to understand the cultural, theological, and experiential motivations and impulses that lie behind these interpretations. Green accomplishes this by examining the relationship between the textual traditions of the Hebrew Bible and Midrash, the surviving evidence from the material culture of Palestine in the late Roman and early Byzantine periods, and cultural evidence as described by the rabbis and other Roman authors.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Writings, Song of Songs, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Interpretation

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Review by Bálint Károly Zabán
Published 10/10/2013
Citation: Bálint Károly Zabán, review of Deborah A. Green, The Aroma of Righteousness: Scent and Seduction in Rabbinic Life and Literature, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2013).


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