Introduction to the Talmud

Barry-Scott-Wimpfheimer

Associate Professor Barry Scott Wimpfheimer (Northwestern University) is the instructor for an online course (MOOC) on the Talmud, commencing April 18, 2016. The course is called “The Talmud: A Methodological Introduction“, and may be taken either at certificate level (for US$50) or audited for free.

The Talmud is one of the richest and most complicated works of literature the world has ever known. Since being composed around 1500 years ago it has inspired not only religious reverence but significant intellectual engagement. In this course learners will be introduced to the unique characteristics of this text and the challenges that inhere in studying it while studying a chapter of the Talmud. Students of the course can expect to develop an appreciation for how the Talmud works and why it continues to inspire religious and intellectual devotion. They will be challenged to employ critical reading skills and to analyze legal and historical concepts.

Enroll online here.

 

Daniel Boyarin: Enoch or Jesus? The Quest of the Historical Metatron

Professor Daniel Boyarin (University of California, Berkeley) presents the 2016 Shaffer Lecture in Theology, at Yale Divinity School, in three parts, on March 8, 9, and 10. The topic of his series is “Enoch or Jesus? The Quest of the Historical Metatron”.

In the series, Professor Boyarin furthers his defence of the ancient roots of a greater and subordinate second god within Judaism, the “two powers in heaven”. In the lectures, he lays out the development of a complex binitarian theology in both early Judaism and early Christianity. He also disagrees with Peter Schäfer.

While there is nearly incontrovertible evidence for the interchange between Christian and Jewish circles in late antiquity, there is also good evidence for the circulation of apocalyptic traditions among Jews through the rabbinic period, independent of specific Christian contexts.

  • Daniel Boyarin, 2016 Shaffer Lecture 1, 23:55ff

Lecture 1 (March 8, 2016)

boyarin-shaffer-1

Lecture 2 (March 9, 2016)

boyarin-shaffer-2

Lecture 3 (March 10, 2016)

boyarin-shaffer-3

James Kugel: “Judaism: An Odd Sort of Religion of Laws”

James Kugel delivers a lecture on how Judaism got to be the way it is, a religion centrally concerned with laws, entitled “Judaism: An Odd Sort of Religion of Laws”. The lecture, delivered on on April 12, 2010, was the eighth Joseph S. Gruss Lecture and marked the Inauguration of The Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization, New York University Law School.