University of Helsinki Research Funds has granted funding for a three-year long research project titled “Conceptions of Virtue in Early Judaism” directed by CSTT team 4 member Elisa Uusimäki. Also Sami Yli-Karjanmaa from team 4 and Anna-Liisa Tolonen from the Centre of Excellence Reason and Religious Recognition take part in the project.
The project asks what virtue (i.e., human behaviour regarded as morally valuable) meant for ancient Jews. How did they discuss and practise virtue? According to Uusimäki, her team fills a research gap by analysing conceptions of virtue in early Jewish literature (ca. 350 BCE – 150 CE).
– Scholars have typically sought for the historical roots of virtue discourse in Greek philosophical sources. Jewish sources can no longer be ignored, however, if the diversity of the Mediterranean virtue discourses is taken seriously, Uusimäki explains.
– This project demonstrates the cultural variety of such discourses, thus enabling dialogue between biblical, religious, and Greco-Roman studies.
Congratulations to Elisa and her team!