Rewriting the Exodus: Susan Docherty’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture

On May 23, 2016, Professor Susan Docherty (Newman University, Birmingham) delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture, “Rewriting The Exodus”.

The biblical account of the Exodus has always been significant for Jews in constructing their history, identity and theology. The story of how God acted through Moses to free the Israelite slaves from their suffering in Egypt is, not surprisingly, retold in numerous Jewish writings throughout the centuries.

In Graeco-Roman times, the large number of Jews living outside of Palestine in cities and towns throughout the Empire particularly enjoyed celebrating Moses as a Hebrew hero who triumphed over hostile foreign powers. One of the most interesting of these retellings, known as the Exagoge, takes the form of a Greek Tragedy. I will discuss the interpretation given to the Exodus in this play, and how this compares to that found in other early Jewish sources and the New Testament.

This text raises questions which are still relevant today, including how far religion can be assimilated to different cultures, and how free theologians should feel to adapt authoritative sacred texts to respond to new circumstances.

The lecture is available for viewing on Panopto:

 

Christine Hayes: Moses at Sinai – God’s Partner or Adversary? (Shavuot 5776)

Professor Christine Hays (Yale University) delivered a lecture in the Shalom Hartman Institute 5776 Rabbinic Webinar Series on Shavuot and its commemoration of the giving of Torah. The lecture, “Moses at Sinai: God’s Partner or Adversary?” was given on the first day of Shavuot 5776 (June 1, 2016).

Sidnie White Crawford on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Composition of the Bible

Here is a collection of lectures given by Professor Sidnie White Crawford (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) on the subject of the Dead Sea Scrolls and what they tell us about the composition of the Bible.

 

“The Rewritten Bible at Qumran” (4Q Reworked Pentateuch)

“What Do the Dead Sea Scrolls Teach Us About The Bible?”

“The Dead Seas Scrolls After 60 Years: What Have We Learned?”

“The Qumran Collection of Texts as a Scribal Collection”

Lawrence Schiffman – 2006 Stroum Lectures: The Religion of The Dead Sea Scrolls

Professor Lawrence Schiffman (University of Chicago) delivered the 1990 Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, “Creation, Revelation, and Redemption: The Religion of The Dead Sea Scrolls”.

Lecture 1: God, Humanity & The Universe in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Lecture 2: Scripture, Law & The Life of the Dead Sea Sect

Lecture 3: Apocalyptics, Messiahs, and the End of Days

Peter Flint on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament

The late African biblical scholar Dr. Peter Flint delivers a lecture introducing the Dead Sea Scrolls and their relevance for understanding the New Testament, on January 16, 2012 at El Shaddai Ministries, Tacoma, WA.

Elie Wiesel on Genesis and Job

On October 11, 2001, Elie Wiesel (September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016) was invited to present a guest lecture in Boston University’s Core Curriculum: The Ancient World (Humanities, Genesis to Plato) course (run by Professor James H. Johnson). Elie Wiesel’s lecture begins (at 14:30) with the stories in Genesis and proceeds to discuss the book of Job (33:10). The video culminates with a Q&A session (44:35).

Note that the sound quality of the video is below par.

Phyllis Trible on Jacob, Hagar and Sarah

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Professor Phyllis Trible delivered the 2014 Kellogg Lectures at Episcopal Divinity School, on May 9, 2014. The two lectures are available in audio format, on SoundCloud:

1. Justice for Jacob

2. Justice for Foremothers: Hagar and Sarah

 

Ron Hendel: “The Exodus as Cultural Memory”

Professor Ron Hendel (University of California at Berkeley) delivered a lecture at the Arizona Centre for Judaic Centre on March 9, 2015, on the subject of “The Exodus as Cultural Memory”.

The Exodus is a central event in biblical and Jewish memory. But according to the archaeological and historical record, it is unclear what it is a memory of.  I propose that it is, in part, a transformed memory of the demise of the Egyptian Empire in Canaan, which facilitated the emergence of Israel as an independent people.  The story served as an engine of a distinctive cultural identity, a function that it continues to perform today.

The lecture begins at 5:30.

A version of the lecture was published in Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective, edited by Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider, and William H.C. Propp (Springer, 2015).

The Book of Exodus: Myths and Stories – Thomas Römer’s 2014-2015 Seminars at the Collège de France

Videos of Professor Thomas Römer’s 2014 and 2015 seminars at the Collège de France, entitled The Book of Exodus: Myths and Stories, are available at the Collège’s website, or for download at the links provided below (800mb+). The seminars have been overdubbed by an English translator.

His lectures cover similar material to that in his book, Moïse en version originale (Bayard, 2015).

Thomas Römer is Professor of Old Testament at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Collège de France, and author of many works, including Israels Väter (1990), on the Patriarchal traditions in the Pentateuch, and The So-called Deuteronomistic History (2007), on the unity and disunity in the books of Deuteronomy to Kings.

20 FEBRUARY 2014, 2:00 pm
Introduction: Between Autocthony and Allochthony – the Invention of the Exodus

27 FEBRUARY 2014, 2:00 pm
The Oppression in Egypt

06 MARCH 2014, 2:00 pm
Pharaoh’s Midwives: The Birth of Moses, an Imported Legend

13 MARCH 2014, 2:00 pm
The Birth of Moses (continuation). Moses and the Midianites (Part I)

20 MARCH 2014, 2:00 pm
Moses and the Midianites (Part II)

27 MARCH 2014, 2:00 pm
From the Divine Name to the Attack of Moses. Preparations of the Narrative of the Plagues

03 APRIL 2014, 2:00 pm
A Competition of Magicians ? The « Plagues » of Egypt

10 APRIL 2014, 2:00 pm
The Institution of the Passover and the Passage of the Sea. The Historicization of a Myth

26 FEBRUARY 2015, 2:00 pm
Going out of Egypt: Building a Mythical Story

05 MARCH 2015, 2:00 pm
The Song of Myriam and Moses and the First Sojourn in the Desert: The “Law Before the Law”, Manna and Nostalgic Longings for Egypt (Exodus 15-17)

12 MARCH 2015, 2:00 pm
Exodus 16: The Discovery of Manna and the Sabbath

19 MARCH 2015, 2:00 pm
Massa and Meribah, the War Against Amalek and the Encounter on the Mountain of God (Exodus 17-18)

26 MARCH 2015, 2:00 pm
From the Mountain of God to Sinaï (Exodus 18-19)

02 APRIL 2015, 2:00 pm
Theophany, Covenant and Decalogue

09 APRIL 2015, 2:00 pm
The Decalogue and the Covenant Code

16 APRIL 2015, 2:00 pm
The Covenant Code, Breaking and Restoring the Covenant (Exodus 21-40)

Emerson Powery on “The Origins of Whiteness”: The 2015 Jane D. Schaberg lecture

On March 26, 2015, Professor Emerson Powery (Mercy College) delivered the Jane D. Schaberg lecture in Scripture Studies, as a part of the 2015 Cushing Distinguished Lecture series at University of Detroit Mercy. His lecture discusses the origins of whiteness in slave narratives and the interpretation of the “Curse of Ham” narrative.

“The Origins of Whiteness and the Black (Biblical) Imagination: The Bible and the Slave Narrative”

Baruch Schwartz: Did Moses Really write the Torah?

Baruch SchwartzCan “a sincere, religious commitment to traditional Judaism can be reconciled with the non-Mosaic origin of the Torah?”

Professor Baruch Schwartz (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) addresses this topic as part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP).

Personally, I have arrived at the conclusion that there is no contradiction whatsoever between fidelity to the critical method of studying the Bible and commitment to Jewish belief and practice.
Q & A with Dr. Baruch J. Schwartz

The talk “Moses Wrote This Torah’ [Deuteronomy 31:9]: Did He Really?” is available in m4a audio format:

schwartz_baruch

Jon D. Levenson on the Akedah / Sacrifice of Isaac

Professor Jon D. Levenson (Harvard Divinity School) delivered three talks on the Akedah, or sacrifice of Isaac, in Genesis 22, as part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP).

The talks are available in m4a audio format:

Midrash: What Bothered the Rabbis In Genesis 22 (July 8, 2008)

levenson_jon

The Afterlife of the Story In Judaism (With A Glance At Christianity & Islam, Too) (July 9, 2008)

levenson_jon

The Artistry of Genesis 22 (July 11, 2008)

levenson_jon

Yair Zakovitch on Intermarriage, Ruth versus Ezra and Deuteronomy

Professor Yair Zakovitch (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) delivered a talk on “Intermarriage And Halachic Creativity” as part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted Feburary 17, 2005.

The talk is available in m4a audio format:

Zakovitch_Yair

Phyllis Trible on Genesis 1, Dominion, and Ecology

Dr Phyllis Trible delivered a lecture at the Korean Institute of Theology in 2012 entitled “The Dilemma of Dominion”, which addresses Genesis 1, the meaning of “dominion” and ecology.

The lecture is available on YouTube, from 8:00, following introductions in Korean.