"From the Temple to the Synagogue" is an analysis on the influence of external cultures, predominantly the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism on the early rabbis following their failed revolt against Rome and the destruction of the Second Temple in the first century CE. How did the Jewish people react to the upheaval of their center of worship? What can we attribute to the major changes in their religious literature and centers of worship following the demise of their rebellion? Is it possible that what has traditionally been seen as an isolated and uniform group of people did in fact borrow major theological ideas from neighboring religions? This analysis demonstrates the transmission of ideas into this new center of power in the Jewish community, that of the rabbis, through their changed notions of the afterlife, the incorporation of artistic design within the synagogue, and the apocalyptic literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls community of Qumran. While the conversation has become more open in recent years to the idea that Judaism did not simply grow in a bubble, the extent to which Persian ideas made their way into Jewish theology has been largely ignored. This work seeks to demonstrate how open early rabbinic Judaism was to the exchange of ideas and how much of their ideas can be attributed to their non-Jewish neighbors.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
History; Public History
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Cohen, Adam, "From the Temple to the Synagogue: Exploring Changes in Judaism After the Fall of the Second Temple" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6325.