Jewish Studies

Levinson Lectures

Date Speaker Title of Lecture
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Weatherspoon Auditorium
7:30pm
Dr. Martin Kavka Letting God In To The Public Sphere: On The Politics of Covenant
Judaism in the United States is frequently described as a religious tradition centered on the notion of covenant, the relationship between God and the people of Israel in which God will bless the people in history if the people act in accordance with divine commands. But what is the function of this description? What are the desires of scholars and theologians who have invoked it? In these remarks, Prof. Kavka will show that covenant-talk arose in the US as a way to highlight the unique way in which Jews could participate in American politics -- the esteemed theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote in 1954 that "God will return to us when we let Him in -- into our banks and factories, into our Congress and clubs, into our courts and investigating committees" -- and will ask whether this language is still appropriate for an age in which the enemies of the West are no longer godless Communists, but godly zealots
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Weatherspoon Auditorium 
7:30 pm
RESCHEDULED
Dr. Marc Lee Raphael,
Professor and the Nathan Gumenick Chair of Judaic Studies at College of William and Mary
American Jewish Humor: A Celebration!
What makes a joke "Jewish?" Professor Raphael will compare Jewish and American humor, and discuss what underlies the best of Jewish humor.  Raphael will, BTW, tell some great Jewish jokes - educational and fun!
March 27, 2012
7:30pm
Dr. John Gager,
Princeton University
Turning the World Upside Down: An Ancient Jewish Life of Jesus
March 31, 3:00pm Dedication of the Henry Samuel Levinson Seminar Room
March 31, 2011 Dr. David J. Halperin UFOs--Visitors from Inner Space
October 22, 2009 Dr. Jon Schofer Stewardship or Vulnerability? Ancient Jewish Rainmaking 
and the Foundations of Environmental Ethics
August 27, 2009 Dr. Eyal Zisser The Influence of Syria & Iran on Peace in the Middle East: 
An Expert's Perspective
November 16, 2008 Dr. Lee Levine "The Revolutionary Impact of Archaeology on our Understanding of Jewish History"
April 29, 2008 Dr. Ellen Haskell "Divine Domesticity: Women, Marriage and the Home in Jewish Mysticism" 
EVENT CANCELED Dr. Richard Friedman “Before the Apple - What Was Life Like Before the Events in Eden?”
March 22, 2007 Dr. Michael Stone “Adam and Enoch: Vying Paradigms for Explaining Evil ”
September 11, 2006 Dr. Amy-Jill Levine "Creating Anti-Semites: How the Church and the Academy Misunderstands Both Jesus and Judaism"
February 2, 2006 Dr. Marc Bregman "Envisioning the Sacrifice of Isaac"
September 14, 2005 Dr. Paula Fredriksen "History and Hollywood: Jews and Gentiles from Mel Brooks to Mel Gibson"
October 26, 2004 Dr. Frances Malino "Jewish Sisters in Muslim Lands: 
The Teachers of the Alliance Israélite Universelle"
March 30, 2004 Dr. Henry Levinson "Why the Great American Religious Thinkers Would Have Been Better Off Jewish"
March 2, 2004 Dr. Jonathan Sarna "The Emergence of American Judaism"
February 4, 2003 Dr. Stephen Whitfield "Judaism in the South"
April 15, 2002 Dr. Ross Kraemer "Rehabilitating Salome: Herodian Jewish Princess and the Death of John the Baptist"
September 21, 2000   Dr. Moshe Halbertal "Controversy About Controversy: The Rabbis’ Argument About Argument"
March 23, 2000 Dr. Peter Ochs "Judaism and Christianity After the Holocaust"