- Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies in 2013
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Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies
“Orthodoxy, Theological Debate, and Contemporary Judaism:
Exploring Questions Raised in the Thought of Louis Jacobs”
January to June 2013
Seminar leaders: Dr Adam Ferziger, Bar Ilan University and Dr Miri Freud-Kandel, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies
This Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies will examine the state of contemporary Orthodox Judaism. Within this framework the Seminar will address 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. This research seminar will provide an opportunity to bring together scholars to examine the principles and rabbinic texts upon which Jacobs built his theology. It will consider the extent to which Orthodoxy has attempted to answer the questions Jacobs posed for it over fifty years ago.
In all these ways this Seminar is designed to enable important academic questions to be considered while also tackling subjects that are of considerable significance for contemporary Jewish communities and individuals within those collectives. As a result, it is hoped that the Seminar will make an important contribution both to scholarship and to contemporary debates. See Trinity Term seminars
Weekly seminars will be convened through the duration of two Oxford terms, 21 January to 8 March and 22 April to 14 June 2013. These will offer a forum for the fellows to address central research topics related to the overall theme of the project. The opportunity for experts to come together in such a Seminar setting for an extended period of time, freed from teaching and administrative responsibilities, will facilitate the production, publication and dissemination of a considered and scholarly contribution to understanding the possible future directions for Orthodox Judaism and the role of theology and theological debate in contemporary Judaism.
On Wednesday 23 January (in place of the usual David Patterson Seminar) there was a public lecture at Yarnton by David Weiss Halivni, which launched both the OSAJS project and a related Symposium on Orthodox Judaism and Theology in the 21st Century (Programme here.) In his lecture Rabbi Weiss Halivni considered the question “Is the critical method compatible with Orthodoxy?”
The launch of a new Louis Jacobs exhibition at the Muller Library took place on the same date.
A number of events in connection with the overall theme of the Seminar will take place in London during the course of the project. London events 2013