Modes of Canonization
Modes of Canonization: The Case of The Cairo Genizah
The Canon and Genizah research group sought an answer to the question of what causes some works to achieve canonical status while others of seemingly paramount significance are consigned nonetheless to oblivion. The issue arises in all areas of the humanities, in any textual investigation of historic social and legal phenomena, among cultural anthropologists, and in studies of the formation of memory and the organization of knowledge.
But the question is of particular interest to scholars of Jewish literature because it touches on the creation of "the Jewish bookshelf" - the primary vehicle for the maintenance of cultural continuity of a people which was separated from its homeland throughout most of its existence. Defining "the Jewish bookshelf" is at the center of an ongoing contemporary discourse on the subject Jewish identity and continuity.
The Canon and Genizah research group turned its focus toward the Cairo Genizah in their attempt to resolve this issue. This Genizah is unique in that it comprises a matchless hoard of written sources, both literary and documentary, many of which did not survive elsewhere. Comparing the myriad forgotten works preserved therein with the precious few that survived outside of it and right down to the present may shed some light on the process of canonization. The group's primary goal throughout their three years at Scholion was to develop an original model, applicable perhaps to many other academic fields of an historical-textual nature, to explain the dynamics of marginalization and oblivion on the one hand and of endorsement and canonization on the other.
Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Robert Brody email@example.com
Prof. Amia Liblich firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Zvi Stampfer email@example.com
Dr. Donna Shalev firstname.lastname@example.org
Zeev Elkin Zelkin@knesset.gov.il
Dr. Maya Benish-Visman email@example.com
Gabriella Cerra firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Yoel Regev email@example.com
On June 2005, the group held a concluding conference. For the invitation, click here. For the review on the Scholion Newsletter, click here.