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By George Steiner

The decline of formal spiritual structures has left an ethical and emotional vacancy in Western tradition. George Steiner, the world over popular philosopher and pupil, pursues this and examines the choice "mythologies" of Marxism, Freudian psychology, Lévi-Straussian anthropology, and fads of irrationality.

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A Collection of Papers, Leiden 1995. H. Feldman – G. Hata (eds), Josephus, Judaism and Christianity, Detroit MI 1978; H. , 315–324; W. Mizugaki, ‘Origen and Josephus’, in: op. R. Coleman-Norton, ‘St. E. Hardwick, Josephus as an Historical Source in Patristic Literature through Eusebius, Atlanta 1989; H. Schreckenberg, Die Flavius Josephus Tradition in Antike und Mittelalter, Leiden 1977; H. Schreckenberg – K. Schubert (eds), Jewish Historiography and Iconography in Early Christian and Medieval Christianity.

An additional complicating factor is that the textual history of Jewish and Christian sources in Late Antiquity is unavoidably fragmented. The preservation of texts can often have a complex transmission history influenced by internal power struggles or purely random events, such as natural catastrophes. 114 Taking into consideration the above remarks on the process of encounter, a situation is envisaged in which the evidence for exegetical encounters exists as a result of long and elaborate processes, filtered by precise methodological approaches, often also manipulated by specific theological intentions, and perhaps occasionally influenced by other circumstantial factors that remain undisclosed.

32 introduction is a tradition simply an extension of the wording, motifs and concepts found in the biblical narrative? 116 The first stage is to trace alternative approaches to the same question raised by the biblical text. In this way, different exegetical arguments on a given issue can be distinguished. Rabbinic traditions often outline a variety of exegetical approaches, frequently accompanied by rabbinic opinions and/or disputes over meaning; these are delineated for the selected traditions under discussion.

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