On March 22, 2017, Professor James Crossley (St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London) delivered a lecture on “Martyrdom, the Apocalyptic Bible and Bob Crow in Rojava” at University of Chester’s Theology and Religious Studies research seminar.
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.
Welcome and Presentation of the Leo Baeck Medal by Rabbi Ronald B. Sobel to Prof. Ismar Schorsch (3:10)
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)
On December 9, 2004, Professor Louis Feldman (October 29, 1926 – March 25, 2017) lectured on the question, “Why were the Maccabees opposed to the Greek Religion and Culture?“(mp3; lecture beginning at 1:12).
The talk is made available by Yeshuva University’s YUTorah Online.
On October 21, 2016, Professor Bart Ehrman (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) debated Dr Robert Price (Centre for Inquiry Institute) on the topic, Did Jesus Exist?
The debate was hosted by the freethought group Mythicist Milwaukee, at their 2016 Mythinformation Conference.
Speaker for the affirmative: Bart Ehrman
30 minute presentation
Speaker for the negative: Robert Price
30 minute presentation
10 minute break
10 minutes of questions for Robert Price
10 minutes of questions for Bart Ehrman
This repeats 2 times for each speaker for a total of 60 minutes
10 minute break
Audience question and answer period
Immediately following the debate, James Crossley, Daniel Gullotta, David Fitzgerald and James McGrath discussed it with Arick Mittler and Matt Kovacs. The discussion is available in two mp3 files:
On February 25, 2015, Professor Eric Cline (The George Washington University) delivered a lecture at The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, on the collapse of civilization at the end of the Late Bronze Age. The lecture was on the same subject as his recent book, 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (2014).
For more than three hundred years during the Late Bronze Age, from about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex international world in which Egyptians, Mycenaeans, Minoans, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Cypriots, and Canaanites all interacted, creating a cosmopolitan and globalized world-system such as has only rarely been seen before the current day. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, as it did after centuries of cultural and technological evolution, the civilized and international world of the Mediterranean regions came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. Large empires and small kingdoms, that had taken centuries to evolve, collapsed rapidly. With their end came the world’s first recorded Dark Ages. It was not until centuries later that a new cultural renaissance emerged in Greece and the other affected areas, setting the stage for the evolution of Western society as we know it today. Blame for the end of the Late Bronze Age is usually laid squarely at the feet of the so-called Sea Peoples, known to us from the records of the Egyptian pharaohs Merneptah and Ramses III. However, as was the case with the fall of the Roman Empire, the end of the Bronze Age empires in this region was not the result of a single invasion, but of multiple causes. The Sea Peoples may well have been responsible for some of the destruction that occurred at the end of the Late Bronze Age, but it is much more likely that a concatenation of events, both human and natural — including earthquake storms, droughts, rebellions, and systems collapse — coalesced to create a “perfect storm” that brought the age to an end.
– Lecture by Eric Cline on “1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed“
Professor Cline also delivered a similar lecture to the National Capital Area Skeptics, on October 8, 2016, in Bethesda, Maryland:
Professor Mark S. Smith (Princeton Theological Seminary) explains the origins of monotheism in ancient Judaism, in an address to the Tangier Global Forum, University of New England, Tangier Campus Auditorium, Morocco, on January 19, 2017 (the talk begins at 5:13).
Monotheism (the belief in only one god), given birth in ancient Israel and known from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, has been a topic of fascination for centuries. In the modern times, monotheism functioned to advance Christian claims to “western” superiority as colonialist powers came into contact with “non-western” societies. Thus, monotheism has been a colonializing discourse. By contrast, the monotheistic discourse found in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament served as a means to preserve and assert Israelite identity in the face of the colonizing power of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires. This monotheistic discourse was grounded in traditional Israelite practice and thought and developed fully under the impact of both internal socio-political stresses and external influence from the Assyrian and Babylonian empires. This lecture will address the various factors that contributed to Israel’s vision of one god for the world.
Dr. Matthias Henze (Rice University) delivers a lecture on the topic, “In the Company of Angels: The Resurrection of the Dead in Early Judaism and Christianity,” recorded at Trinity University on March 2, 2017 (lecture begins at 4:36).
Jews and Christians share the belief that at the end of time God will raise the dead and make them live again. Some early Jewish and Christian writers went even further and anticipated a life among the angels. What do we know about the origin of this belief? The hope for the resurrection of the dead did not originate with Christianity, as is often claimed, but has deep roots in ancient Judaism. This talk will trace the origins of the belief in the resurrection from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament through Judaism of the Second Temple period into the New Testament. Only when the New Testament texts about the resurrection are read side by side with the ancient Jewish texts about the end of time can we fully appreciate what the two religions have in common and where they differ.
The Sefaria Library is a developing online collection of Jewish texts, in Hebrew/Aramiac and English translation (in progress).
Thus far, Sefaria includes the following:
On March 17, 2016, Professors Christine Hayes (Yale University, University of Antwerp) and Paula Fredriksen (Boston University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem) delivered two lectures on divine law, examining Jewish and Christian concepts, respectively. The event was hosted by the UCSIA/IJS Chair for Jewish-Christian Relations at the University of Antwerp.
Christine Hayes, “What’s Divine about Divine Law?” (00:13)
Paula Fredriksen, “Divine Law in the Latin West: Augustine on Paul” (41:20)
On October 21, 2015, Dr Michal Beth Dinkler (Yale University) lectured on “Why Rhetoric’s Never ‘Just Rhetoric’: Reading the New Testament Rhetorically”.
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).
Professor Peter Hawkins (Yale University) delivered the 1995 Stone Lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary, on the topic of “Dante and the Bible”.
The five lectures are available in mp3 (audio) format:
Professor David Noel Freedman (1922-2008) delivered the 1989 Stone Lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary, on the topic of “The Prophets of the Eighth Century, B.C.E.”.
The five lectures are available in mp3 (audio) format:
Professor Martin Hengel (1926-2009) delivered the 1987 Stone Lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary, on the topic of “The Bible as the Scriptures of the Church”.
The four lectures are available in mp3 (audio) format: