Brody describes the cultural spheres in which the Geonim were active and the historical and cultural settings within which they functioned. He emphasizes the challenges presented by other Jewish institutions and individuals, ranging from those within the Babylonian Jewish setting—especially the political leadership represented by the Exilarch—to the competing Palestinian Jewish center and to sectarian movements and freethinkers who rejected rabbinic authority altogether. He also describes the variety of ways in which the development of Geonic tradition was affected by the surrounding non-Jewish cultures, both Muslim and Christian.
~Charlotte Fonrobert, Hebrew Studies
"This book offers a superb introduction to the study of the Geonic period, long-awaited especially in the Anglo-phone world. . . . Brody’s book . . . provides an important survey of the current status of scholarship concerning the Geonim. . . . For students both of rabbinic literature and post-rabbinic Jewish culture this book will be indispensable."—Charlotte Fonrobert, Hebrew Studies
~Arnold Franklin, International Journal of Middle East Studies
"This detailed and clearly written book is an invaluable window onto a period of Jewish history that has remained largely unknown to all but a handful of specialists. . . . The Geonim of Babylonia is a valuable and much needed introduction to the literature of the geonic period. Its readers will come away with an appreciation of the major works of the period, as well as a solid grasp of the principal areas of scholarly debate. Brody has an important book that is both accessible to the non-specialist and informative for scholars in the field."—Arnold Franklin, International Journal of Middle East Studies
- Winner of the Annual National Jewish Book Awards in the Sephardic Studies category