The Role of Wissenschaft des Judentums in Shaping Jewish Identity

On March 1, 2015, the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) and the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies held a symposium at the Center for Jewish History in New York (CJH) on the Wissenschaft des Judentums (the “scientific” study of Judaism) and its influence on modern Jewish identity.

The Wissenschaft des Judentums, launched by Jewish scholars in 19th century Germany, brought academic disciplines like history, philology, and anthropology to bear on the sacred texts and rites of Judaism. This enterprise not only formed the basis of modern academic Jewish studies, but also shaped the manifold understanding and practice of Judaism as it exists today.

1:30 PM
Introduction (0:00)
Welcome and Presentation of the Leo Baeck Medal by Rabbi Ronald B. Sobel to Prof. Ismar Schorsch (3:10)

1:40 PM
Opening Remarks on the Wissenschaft by Prof. Ismar Schorsch (16:25)

1:50 PM Panel I: Wissenschaft des Judentums and Contemporary Jewish Identity

Chairperson—Andreas Brämer (Institute for the History of German Jews, Hamburg) (27:40)

Christian Wiese (Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main)
The impact of the Wissenschaft on academic Jewish culture and identity among Jewish scholars (30:30)

Mirjam Thulin (Institute of European History, Mainz)
The Wissenschaft and the definition of religiously liberal Jewish identity (45:50)

Yitzhak Conforti (Bar-Ilan University)
The impact of the Wissenschaft on Jewish nationalism and Zionism (59:45)

3:15 PM Panel II—Wissenschaft des Judentums and Contemporary Jewish Culture

Chairperson—David Sorkin (Yale University) (87:30)

Gavriel Rosenfeld, “If Only We had Died in Egypt: What-Ifs of Jewish History from Abraham to Zionism” (Fairfield University) (90:10)

Annie Polland, The Tenement Museum (Lower East Side Tenement Museum) (103:35)

Jonathan Rosen, The limitations of teaching Jewish knowledge in contemporary culture (Nextbook Press) (117:30)

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Can Evangelicals do Historical Criticism? A Syndicate Symposium

hays-ansberry

There is a symposium at Syndicate on the volume edited by Christopher M. Hays and Christopher B. Ansberry, Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism (2013).

The following critical responses to the volume are available on the Syndicate website:

Symposium Introduction, by Chris Tilling (see also special redacted extracts introducing each chapter in the book, on the author’s blog)

Welcome to the Conversation“, by Kenton Sparks, with response by Hays and Ansberry, and further response by Sparks, May 25, 2015

How Now Shall We Read“, by Ashleigh Elser, May 27, 2015

Scripture Making: The Authority of Moses and the Apostle Paul“, by Sarah Whittle, May 29, 2015

Things Done (pretty well), and Things Left Undone“, by Stephen Fowl, June 1, 2015

Though I Walk through the Valley of the Shadow of the Critics“, by David Crump, June 3, 2015

Biblical Studies Online on iTunes

BSO

Our very own brand of Biblical Studies Online podcast are available on iTunes. Biblical Studies Online podcasts will be a fairly regular (hopefully 1-2 every month), about 10 minutes long,  and will cover a wide range of topics in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, early Judaism, New Testament, historical criticism, reception, and more. One notable feature will be interviews with scholars in the field and the first interviews should be uploaded in the next couple of weeks. It has genuine Biblical Studies Online artwork but there is no introductory jingle as you may have heard with other leading biblical studies podcasters.

The first podcast is on reception history and biblical studies.

In this podcast, James Crossley (University of Sheffield) introduces Biblical Studies Online podcasts and the general aims. It looks at issues of historical criticism and reception history and whether there should even be a distinction between the two.

The second podcast will be available on iTunes in the next 24 hours. It is currently available here and is on the late Tony Benn and his understanding of the Bible and religion. It ‘looks at the former Labour MP Tony Benn and his views on religion and the Bible. In particular, it looks at how Benn understood the Bible as part of a British and English socialist tradition.’

The Bible in Contemporary English Politics

From Sheffield Biblical Studies, three lectures by James Crossley:

The following three audios (mp3) are full length lectures are from the William Temple Association lecture series (Jan./Feb. 2014)

Lecture 1: The Bible in Contemporary English Politics; or, Tony Benn and the decline of the Radical Bible. This looks at the assumptions of what the Bible ‘really means’ in English (and broader) political discourse and the decline of politically radical interpretation of the Bible in English politics with particular reference to Tony Benn.

Lecture 2: Margaret Thatcher’s Religion. This is, incidentally, a bit different from a previous lecture on Thatcher’s Bible, though with some overlap towards the end (on her biblical exegesis). It looks at Thatcher’s Methodist upbringing, her ‘rediscovery’ of Methodism in the 1970s, the Cold War and her understanding of Marxism in to religion, her understanding of Judaism, her conflicts with the CofE, and her biblical exegesis.

Lecture 3: Tony Blair and the End of the Radical Bible. This lecture looks at how Blair developed Thatcher’s Bible and her understanding of religion during the war on terror. It will further look at Blair’s reinterpretation of Labour’s more radical heritage to now concern liberal interventionism. Blair represents the final victory of Thatcher’s Bible in parliamentary politics.

Biblical Studies and the Modern Invention of “Religion”: AAR Roundtable

A roundtable at the 2011 American Academy of Religion Conference discusses the disciplinary genealogies of Biblical Studies and the modern category of Religion.

A19-314 Biblical Studies and the Modern Invention of “Religion” from American Academy of Religion on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 19, 2011
American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting
San Francisco, California

Panelists:
Elizabeth A. Clark, Duke University
Karen L. King, Harvard University
Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University
Halvor Moxnes, University of Oslo
Brent Nongbri, Oberlin College
Yvonne Sherwood, University of Glasgow

Tomoko Masuzawa, University of Michigan, Presiding

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza interviewed on her Life and Work

Prof Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza is interviewed about her life and work, at the 2012 American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, on receipt of the Martin E. Marty Public Understanding of Religion Award.

Shaun Allen Casey, Wesley Theological Seminary (Presiding)
Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Harvard University
Judith Plaskow, Manhattan College

A18-251 The Marty Forum: Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza from American Academy of Religion on Vimeo.

Daniel Boyarin: “No ‘Judaism’ in Josephus”

Prof Daniel Boyarin examines the uses and limitations of the term “Judaism”, with reference to Josephus.

The Fern & ManFred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies presented a 20th anniversary lecture by Daniel Boyarin, Professor of Talmudic Culture and Herman P. & Sophia Taubman Chair, University of California at Berkeley called “No ‘Judaism’ in Josephus.” The lecture was given on October 24, 2013 in the McClung Museum Auditorium.