Previous Research Projects

Oxford Seminars in Advanced Jewish Studies

Project 1: “Orthodoxy, Theological Debate, and Contemporary Judaism: Exploring Questions Raised in the Thought of Louis Jacobs”  
(January to June 2013)

Convenors: Dr Adam Ferziger (Bar Ilan University) and Dr Miri Freud-Kandel (OCHJS)

In this, the first Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies, participants examined the state of contemporary Orthodox Judaism.  Within this framework the Seminar addressed the place of rational debate in contemporary Judaism, changing approaches to interpretations of revelation, the impact of gender issues, and the viability of concepts such as inclusivism, pluralism, and openness in Orthodox Judaism. Many of these topics reflect questions that were raised in the theological writings of Louis Jacobs. The research seminar provided an opportunity to bring together scholars to examine the principles and rabbinic texts upon which Jacobs built his theology.  It considered the extent to which Orthodoxy has attempted to answer the questions Jacobs posed for it over fifty years ago.
For details of the seminars, lectures and events associated with the project please see below:
OSAJS Halivni Lecture  HT’13
Orthodox Judaism and Theology in the 21st Century
London Events 2013

London Lecture (Sperber) HT 2013

OSAJS Seminars  HT 2013

OSAJS (Internal) Seminars HT 2013

OSAJS Seminars TT 2013

OSAJS (Internal) Seminars TT 2013
Yom Limmud
London Lecture 26 May

Louis Jacobs Lecture 9 June

Video recordings of some of these events
are available
on the louisjacobs.org website:
quest_videos.php

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Project 2 : “On the Word of a Jew: Oaths, Testimonies, and the Nature of Trust”
(October 2013 to March 2014)

Project leaders:
Professor Mitchell Hart (University of Florida) and Professor Nina Caputo (University of Florida)

This Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies seminar examined when and how Jews became reliable or trustworthy in the realm of the law—as witnesses, but also as lawyers and judges– and in a host of other realms, including medicine, politics, academia, culture (particularly the art world), and business and finance. Participants  focused on traditionally Christian countries or empires, but also the status of Jews under Muslim rule. The question of Jews and trust is more generally a question of Christian (or Muslim) transformation over time. Thus, the seminar provided an opportunity to explore how “the Jew” serves as a spur or impulse to large-scale changes in mentalities and practices, and to explain how this occurred within specific institutional settings: from the pre-modern world of theology and exegesis, to modern institutions like law courts, hospitals, universities, parliaments, businesses, cultural institutions such museums, galleries, and auction houses.
For details of the seminars and lectures associated with the project please see below:
OSAJS Word of a Jew Seminars MT 2013
OSAJS Word of a Jew Seminars HT 2014
OSAJS Word of a Jew Conference Programme 

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Project 3: The Reception of Josephus in the Early Modern Period  (January to June 2014)

Project Leaders:
Dr Joanna Weinberg
 (University of Oxford) and
Professor Martin Goodman (University of Oxford)

This Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies investigated the varied uses of the writings of Flavius Josephus in Jewish and Christian literature in the early modern period. Read more about the Josephus Seminar 

For details of the seminars and lectures associated with the project please see below:
OSAJS Josephus poster HT 2014
OSAJS Josephus poster TT 2014

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Project 4: Jewish Books in Amsterdam 1600-1850: Authors, Producers, Readers and the Construction of Jewish Worlds (January to June 2015)

Project leaders:
Professor Shlomo Berger (University of Amsterdam)
Dr César Merchán-Hamann (University of Oxford)

Amsterdam was the centre of Jewish printing in Europe from 1650-1800. While printers in the city served the demands of a local Jewish book market they also printed Jewish books written outside the Netherlands and later distributed all over Europe. Read more about Jewish Books in Amsterdam Seminar 

For details of the seminars and lectures associated with the project please see below:
OSAJS Jewish Books poster HT’15
OSAJS Jewish Books poster TT’15
OSAJS Jewish Books Conference Programme


Project 5: Israel in Egypt/Egypt in Israel:
 the land of Egypt as concept and reality for Jews in Antiquity and the early medieval period.
(January to June 2016)

Project Leaders:
Professor Alison Salvesen
(University of Oxford)
Professor Sarah Pearce (University of Southampton)

This Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies addressed a number of questions about identity and belonging among Egyptian Jews over the course of one and a half millennia.
Read more about the Israel in Egypt project

For details of the seminars and lectures associated with the project please see below:
OSAJS Israel in Egypt Seminars HT’16
OSAJS Israel in Egypt Workshops HT’16
OSAJS Israel in Egypt Seminars TT’16
OSAJS Israel in Egypt Workshops TT’16
OSAJS Israel in Egypt Conference Programme