Torah on the Heart: Literary Jewish Textuality Within Its Ancient Near Eastern Context


This essay examines evidence for the interplay of memory recall and written technology in ancient Israel and surrounding cultures. The essay begins with a summary of the comparative evidence for writing-supported textual transmission in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Israel (based on the ’s Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature [2005]). This is followed by a survey of studies in the humanities and social sciences on how memory shifts affect textual transmission. The article concludes with a preliminary summary of the author’s research on memory shifts and other trends in documented cases of transmission history.



Orality & Literacy VII
David M. Carr.

Video: Eugene Botha Productions.

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