Adele Reinhartz: “The Gospel of John and the ‘Parting of the Ways'”

Professor Adele Reinhartz (University of Ottawa) presented a paper at Boston College on April 8, 2014 on how the Gospel of John informs the debate about the separation of Christianity from Judaism.

reinhartz

The question of when and how the Jesus movement—one first-century Jewish group among many—became a separate and distinct set of institutions, communities, beliefs, and practices, is perhaps the most contentious issue in the study of early Christianity.  A key text in this debate is the Gospel of John, which is thought by many to allude to the expulsion of Jewish believers in Jesus from the synagogue.  This lecture examines the ways in which the Fourth Gospel has been used in this debate, and considers the expulsion theory as well as its alternatives in the context of the larger question of the “Parting of the Ways.”

 

 

Jesus and Brian Conference: Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Biblical Scholarship

jesus-and-brian

The Jesus and Brian Conference explored “the historical Jesus and his times, via Monty Python’s Life of Brian“. The conference was held on Friday 20 June to Sunday 22 June 2014, at the Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s College London. Videos from most of the talks are now available on YouTube (see below).

Monty Python’s Life of Brian provoked a furious response in some quarters when it first appeared in 1979, even leading to cries of ‘blasphemy’. However, many students and teachers of biblical literature were quietly, and often loudly, both amused and intrigued. Life of Brian in fact contains numerous references to what was then the cutting edge of biblical scholarship and Life of Jesus research, founded on the recognition of the historical Jesus as a Jew who needs to be understood within the context of his time. Implicitly, in setting ‘Brian’ within the tumultuous social and political background of his age, Life of Brian sets Jesus within it also. It assumes the audience has some knowledge of the gospel accounts, which directly inform the comedy.

Ever since Philip Davies first wrote on the film 15 years ago, other scholars too have turned their gaze to consider exactly what Life of Brian does in regard to Jesus scholarship, and have increasingly delved into its curious corners to reflect on what it says both about the tumultuous times of Jesus and also contemporary scholarly discussions. Biblical scholarship has moved on greatly in the past 25 years, and various aspects of Life of Brian correlate with themes now intensely explored. Every Bible scholar knows what ‘blessed are the cheese-makers’ means!

Session One

Professor Joan E. Taylor (King’s College London): Welcome Address and Introduction: ‘The Historical Brian

Professor Martin Goodman (University of Oxford): ‘The Life of Brianand the Politics of First-Century Judea’

Professor George Brooke (University of Manchester): ‘Brian as a Teacher of Righteousness’

Interview with John Cleese and Terry Jones, with Richard Bauckham

Session Two

Professor Bill Telford (Durham University): ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian and the Jesus Film

Professor Philip Davies and Prof. James Crossley (University of Sheffield): ‘Monty Python’s Life of Jesus

Session Three

Dr Helen Bond (University of Edinburgh): ‘You’ll Probably Get Away With Crucifixion’: Laughing at the Cross in Brian and the Ancient World

Dr Guy Stiebel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem): ‘Romani Ite Domum: Identity and Expressions of Resistance in Judaea

Session Four

Professor Steve Mason (University of Aberdeen): ‘What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? Brian and Josephus on Anti-Roman Sentiment

Professor Paula Fredriksen (Boston University): ‘Are you a Virgin? Biblical Exegesis and the Invention of Tradition’

Session Five

Dr David Shepherd (Trinity College Dublin): ‘When Brian met Moses: The Life of Brian (1979) Wholly Moses (1980) and the ‘failure’ of biblical parody

Dr Aaron Rosen (King’s College London): ‘Laughing at Brian, Laughing at Christ: Some Reflections on Film and Modern Art

Session Six

Katie Turner (King’s College London): ‘”The Shoe is the Sign“:The Costuming of the Life of Brian and the Clothing of First-Century Judaeans’

Professor Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt University): ‘Beards for Sale: The Uncut Version of Brian, Gender and Sexuality

Session Seven

Professor Bart Ehrman (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill): ‘Brian and the Apocalyptic Jesus

Professor Adele Reinhartz (University of Ottawa): ‘Hook-nosed Heebies: Brian, Jesus, and Jewish Identity

Session Eight

Revd. Canon Professor Richard Burridge (King’s College London):‘The Church of England’s Life of Python–Or, What the Bishop Saw’

Dr David Tollerton (University of Exeter): ‘Blasphemy! On Free Speech Then and Now

(no video provided by Kings College)

Update (September 10, 2015): The book of the conference is now available:

jesus-and-brian-book

Troubling Legacies: Anti-Judaism in Antiquity and Its Aftermath

The 2014 Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism Annual Conference examined “Troubling Legacies: Anti-Judaism in Antiquity and Its Aftermath”. The four panels are available for viewing on YouTube.

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Panel  1: Non-Christian Greek and Roman Anti-Judaism?

Erich Gruen, “Was there Judeophobia in Classical Antiquity?”

Benjamin Isaac, “Greek and Roman Hostility: Cultural Incompatibility”

Dale B. Martin (moderated session)

Panel 2: John’s “Jews” and their Effective Force in Reception History

Adele Reinhartz, “The Devil Incarnate: John’s anti-Jewish legacy”

Ruth Sheridan, “Reproducing Johannine Anti-Judaism: The Case of Commentary on John 8:32”

Harold Attridge (moderated session)

Panel 3: Nineteenth Century Philosophy and Theology

George Kohler, “Supersessionism in Jewish-Christian Debates in Germany between 1830-1870”

Anders Gerdmar, “The Construction of the Jews in 19th Century German Protestantism: the Case of Tübingen professors Beck and Baur.”

Paul Franks (moderated session)
Joshua Ezra Burns (respondent)

Panel 4: Contemporary Legacies

Sarah Hammerschlag, “The figure of the Jew and the New Universalism”

Ward Blanton, “What is an Apparatus?” Machineries of Paulinism and the Force of the Name ‘Jew'”

J. Kameron Carter, “(In-)Sovereignty in Palestine: Négritude and the Reproductions of Colonialism.”

Early Jewish-Christian Relations: SBL 25-Year Retrospective

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Ancient Jew Review is publishing the papers from the recent 25-Year Retrospective on the Early Jewish-Christian Relations panel, held at the SBL Annual Meeting in San Diego in November 2014.

Andrew Jacobs, Introduction, “Early Jewish Christian Relations at SBL: A 25 Year Retrospective

Jeffrey Siker, “Jewish/Christian Relations at 25: Retrospect & Prospect

Adele Reinhartz, “The Jewishness of Christianity: the Straddling of Two Eras

Ra’anan Boustan, “Jews and Christians: Embracing the Wide Spectrum

Ross Kraemer, “Patterns and Theory: the Evolution of a Category

Susanna Drake, “Alterity in Late Antiquity: Disrupting Binaries

Jew and Judean – A Marginalia Review of Books Forum

Jew-or-Judean

In a Marginalia forum on August 26, 2014, eight scholars write replies to Adele Reinhartz’s essay, “The Vanishing Jews of Antiquity”, Marginalia, June 24, 2014. Responses are by Steve Mason, Daniel Schwartz, Annette Yoshiko Reed, Joan Taylor, Malcolm Lowe, Jonathan Klawans, Ruth Sheridan, James Crossley. In addition, Adele Reinhartz provides a reply.

The essay and responses are available for download in epub and mobi formats.

The Bible in the Public Square Conference – Duke University

Bible in the Public Square

The Bible in the Public Square Conference took place at Duke University, September 9-10, 2012. Presenters considered the influence of the Bible in spheres such as U.S. politics and culture, the U.S. founding era, public schools, and Middle East policy.

Videos of the presentations are available both on the Duke University website and on YouTube (see below).

Session 1: The Bible in Presidential Politics

Jacques Berlinerblau (Georgetown University), “The Bible in the Presidential Elections of 2012, 2008, 2004 and the Collapse of American Secularism”

Session 2: The Bible and Popular Culture

Chair: Mark Chancey (Southern Methodist University)
Adele Reinhartz (University of Ottawa), “Then as Now: Old Testament Epics and American Identity”
David W. Stowe (Michigan State University), “Babylon Revisited: Psalm 137 as America’s First Protest Song”

Session 2, continued

David Morgan (Duke University), “The Bible as Image in American Visual Culture”
Rubén R. Dupertuis (Trinity University), “Translating the Bible into Pictures: Comic-Book Bibles and the Politics of Interpretation”

Session 3: The Bible and America’s Founding Era

Chair: Carol Meyers (Duke University)
John Fea (Messiah College), “Does America Have a Biblical Heritage?”
Shalom Goldman (Duke University), “God’s American Israel: Hebrew, the Bible and the American Imagination”

Session 4: The Bible and Middle East Policy

Chair: Eric Meyers (Duke University)
Yaakov Ariel (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), “Biblical Imagery and Political Action: the Roots of Christian Support for Zionism and Israel”
Mordecai Inbari (University of North Carolina, Pembroke), “Zionism, Bible, and the Messianic Crisis of the West Bank Settlements”

Session 5: The Bible and Public Schools

Chair: Shalom Goldman (Duke University)
Charles Haynes (First Amendment Center), “Battling over the Bible in Public Schools: Is Common Ground Possible?”
Melissa Rogers (Wake Forest Center for Religion & Public Affairs), “‘Rightly Dividing the First Amendment? An Evaluation of Recent Decisions regarding the Bible and Public Schools”
Mark Chancey (Southern Methodist University), “The Good Book as Textbook in Historical Perspective”