About This Journal

The Journal of Textual Reasoning (JTR) traces its roots to a group of Jewish philosophers and text scholars who, in the late 80s, began studying classical Jewish texts together. These thinkers sought to reinvigorate Jewish thought by attending to the methods of reading and reasoning exemplified in these classical sources. This practice of philosophic text study, which they came to call "Textual Reasoning," flourished during the 90s in lively online discussions, meetings of the American Academy of Religion and the Association for Jewish Studies, and Textual Reasoning conferences.

The JTR began in 1991 as an electronic journal called the "Postmodern Jewish Philosophy Bitnet Journal," an early experiment in online academic publishing. Originally edited by Peter Ochs, its initial purpose was to showcase some of the work emerging from the practice of Textual Reasoning and to experiment with alternative forms of academic production. In 1996, the journal's name was changed to the Journal of Textual Reasoning, and a Society of Textual Reasoning was officially founded in March of 2000. (The "Old Series" from this early period will be available here as "Volume 0".)

In 2002, the Journal of Textual Reasoning moved to the University of Virginia. For two decades it has continued to foster innovative Jewish thought at the intersection of philosophy and text study. (For more on our guiding philosophy, visit our Aims and Scope page.)

Now, in 2023, it begins an exciting third life on the Digital Commons Network, sponsored by William & Mary ScholarWorks. The move to W & M has made it possible for us to make significant (and overdue) aesthetic and technical changes to the journal. Most notably, we are in the process of reissuing past volumes of the journal as high-quality PDFs with the look and feel of a print journal, including proper pagination. We will be assigning each article a unique DOI, greatly expanding our visibility on Google Scholar (where our recent issues already now appear prominently in relevant searches), and making the journal available on online databases. We hope that these changes will better honor the excellent scholarship that it has been our privilege to cultivate.