Religion Program Events

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Jacob Neusner Memorial Lecture in Jewish and Religious Studies

Thursday, October 24th at 4:45pm in Olin 102

"The Biblical Book of Samuel and the Birth of Politics: Two Faces of Political Violence"
The Book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The lecture will explore the ways in which the book of Samuel understands political violence political violence unleashed by the sovereign on his own subjects as it is rooted in the paranoia of the isolated ruler and the deniability fostered by hierarchical action through proxies.

Sunday, October 27th at 7PM
The Sixth Street Community Synagogue
325 E. Sixth Street
New York, NY

"Confronting Loss: The Meaning and Experience of Mourning form the Talmud to Maimonides"
The experience of loss and mourning is a painful and ultimately inescapable feature of human life. Jewish law established practices of mourning that prescribe a rather detailed structure of the mourner’s conduct as well as the response of the community to the mourner and its obligation to provide consolation. Maimonides codified this body of regulations in his great code of Jewish Law, the Mishneh Torah, in the section titled “The Laws of Mourning.” This lecture will focus on the attempt to understand the meaning and practice of mourning in the Talmudic tradition and in Maimonides’ thought. It will explore the relationship of the concept of mourning in the Jewish tradition to other understandings of the dynamics of mourning such as Freud’s seminal essay “Mourning and Melancholia.
Location: at 4:45pm in Olin 102 & Sunday, October 27th at 7PM at The Sixth Street Community Synagogue
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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Israel’s Occupation at 50: Territory and Demography in the West Bank

In this talk, Yinon Cohen demonstrates that the strategies Israel has deployed to dispossess Palestinian land and settle Jews in the West Bank have been uncannily similar to those used in Israel proper. After briefly analyzing the Judaization of space from the Jordan Valley to the Mediterranean Sea, he focuses on territorial and demographic processes in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem) since 1967.  He Shows how the settler population has flourished demographically and socioeconomically, thereby enhancing Israel’s colonial project in the West Bank.

Yinon Cohen is Yosef H. Yerushalmi Professor of Israeli and Jewish Studies in the department of sociology at Columbia University.  Before moving to Columbia in 2007, he was a professor of sociology and labor studies at Tel Aviv University. His research focuses on labor markets, social demography, ethnic inequality, and immigration. His most recent publications are on Israel’s territorial and demographic politics (Public Culture, 2018), Ashkenazi-Mizrahi education gap among third-generation Israelis (Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2018), and rising inequality in fringe benefits in the US (Sociological Science 2018).
Time: 4:45 pm – 6:00 pm
Location: Olin, Room 102
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Past Events