Tuesday
Mar272012

Sherman Lectures 2012: The Messianic Idea in Judaism Revisited

You are cordially invited to attend the 2012 Sherman Lectures which are to be given by Prof. Philip Alexander, FBA, Emeritus Professor of Post-Biblical Jewish Literature at the University of Manchester, on The Messianic Idea in Judaism Revisited.

 

The lectures will be held Mon 16 – Thu 19 April at 5:15pm each day, except for the final session on Thu 19 April when we will start at 4:15pm. The venue is A113 in the Samuel Alexander Building, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL (Building 67 on the Campus Map). If you would like to help publicise this event, please download the poster

Series Abstract:

Messianism is integral to the theology of Judaism, and is one of the big ideas that Judaism has bequeathed to the world, influencing, as it has, profoundly, Christianity and, to a lesser degree, Islam. Much has been written on the subject, but much, I would argue, remains to be said. In this series of lectures I will attempt to draw together more than twenty years of thinking and writing on Jewish Messianism to present a systematic account of my ideas. I will offer a critical overview of previous scholarly work, discuss the problems of defining Messianism (a surprisingly tricky task), trace the history of Messianism within Judaism from earliest times to the present, and then offer a series of probes into three particular versions of the Messianic Idea – Messianism as a historical-political process, Messianism as a drama in the spiritual realm, and “neutralized” Messianism – all based on close reading of primary sources. I will then propose a descriptive, analytical grid which will attempt to capture comprehensively the structure and key motifs of Jewish Messianism, onto which any specific form of the phenomenon can be mapped, and its distinctive character, as opposed to other forms of Messianism, ascertained. I will conclude by offering, as a historian of Judaism, some reflections on the implications of my analysis for the future of Jewish theology and for Jewish-Christian dialogue.

Community Sherman Lecture (in association with the Zionist Central Council and the Jewish Representative Council): Messianism and Zionism

8pm Sun 15 April at a North Manchester Venue to be advised on booking. Tel: 0161 720 8721 by 12 April.

This talk will be a “taster” for my Sherman Lectures, “The Messianic Idea in Judaism Revisited”, to be delivered at the Centre for Jewish Studies of the University of Manchester, 16th-19th April. In it I will explore one aspect of the larger topic, namely the relationship between Messianism and Zionism. Both Messianism and Zionism have a long history within Judaism. I will trace the development of both ideas and explore how, over the centuries, they have converged and diverged. We will spend most of our time on the modern period, from the rise of modern political Zionism in the late 19th century onwards, and examine a variety of  views which see Messianism and Zionism as irreconcilable, as compatible, and as more or less identical. We will conclude by considering the implications of using messianic language in political discourse in Israel.

Tuesday
Mar272012

ICCJ Conference

New Neighbours, New Opportunities: The Challenges of Multiculturalism and Social Responsibility. Registration is now open for the annual International Council of Christians and Jews’ (ICCJ) conference, 1-4 July 2012. This year’s event will take place in Manchester and has been organized in cooperation with the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester, the UK Council of Christians and Jews and its local Manchester CCJ  branch. Conference ProgrammeTheme and Workshops. You can register now at www.iccj.org.

Tuesday
Mar272012

New Publication

How Jewish is Jewish Folklore?: The Nineteenth-Century Rise of Folklore Studies and the Claims of Jewish Cultural Authenticity. Dr Cathy Gelbin has contributed a chapter to Irene A. Diekmann et al (eds.) '...und handle mit Vernunft': Beiträge zur europäisch-jüdischen Beziehungsgeschichte (Hildesheim: Olms; 2012), 209-224. This article looks at Germany from the 1870s until World War I, when as part of a broader discourse on folk traditions and the nation Jewish folktales played an important role in defining the racial and cultural status of the Jews. As rising racial antisemitism scientifically redressed the old concept of the Jews’ essential difference, the proponents of “Wissenschaft des Judentums” (the Scientific Study of Judaism) studied Jewish folk traditions to promote the culturally productive nature of the Jewish diaspora for both Jews and non-Jews. Further information.

Tuesday
Mar272012

Rylands Haggadah in New York

Restored 14th C Hebrew manuscript preserved by experts at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands library is ready to go on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The manuscript will be the centrepiece of the exhibition 'The Rylands Haggadah: Medieval Jewish Art in Context', which runs from 27 March to 30 September. It will be flown to the United States accompanied by Conservator Steve Mooney who has spent the last eight months securing the areas of pigment and gold leaf which had started to crack and flake. Further information and Video Interview.

Tuesday
Mar272012

Student Visit

Manchester Jewish Museum and Heritage trail. On 14 March Dr Jean-Marc Dreyfus organized two visits for the students from his second year course, ‘A history apart: Jews in Europe 19th-20th centuries’. They visited the Manchester Jewish Museum, learning about the history of the museum and the community that worshipped there, and took part in the Heritage Trail around the old Jewish quarter of Cheetham Hill, a walking tour led by local historian Merton Paul in which they visited sites of great importance to the people of the community, often refugees from Eastern Europe, and heard anecdotes about their lives.

Tuesday
Mar272012

Manuscripts Excursion

Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit. On 14 March Dr Sophie Garside led a group of fifteen students from Religions and Theology and Middle Eastern Studies on an excursion to visit the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge. They were treated to a presentation of a selection of manuscripts and a talk by Dr Ben Outhwaite, Head of the Unit, and a further talk and display from our own Dr Renate Smithius about interesting manuscripts from the Cairo Genizah which are held in the John Rylands University Library, Manchester.

Friday
Feb242012

Recent Publication

Typology of Jewish Literature Project. A whole volume of the academic journal Aramaic Studies was recently devoted to the results of the Manchester-Durham Project led by Alex Samely on the literary structures of ancient Jewish texts. Aramaic Studies volume 9 (Autumn 2011) contains articles and analyses by Project team members Philip Alexander, Robert Hayward, Rocco Bernasconi and Alex Samely, and also presents to the scholarly world, for the first time in printed format, the key document arising from this four-year project: a systematic list of all key literary features that shape ancient Jewish literature. This list of literary features, called the "Inventory", occupies the final 50 pages of this 250 page volume. Further information.

Saturday
Feb182012

Recent Publication

Am ha-aretz in the Mishnah. CJS honorary research fellow Dr. Rocco Bernasconi has published an article in the Revue des Études Juives which considers how the term am ha-aretz is used in the Mishnah. The purpose of the article is to show that despite the different meanings and interpretations connoted by the term throughout the Mishnah, it is possible to find a unifying element across its usages. Further information.

 

Saturday
Feb182012

Recent Publication

The Genesis Apocryphon. CJS honorary research fellow Dr. Rocco Bernasconi has published an article in Aramaic Studies which considers the literary structure of the Genesis Apocryphon. The manuscript as it has come down to us is incomplete with both the beginning and the end missing. The article thus tries, on the basis of the extant evidence, to single out what was the original shape and literary genre of the text. Further information

 

Friday
Feb172012

Manchester Jewish Museum

Wandering Lonely Jews in the English Countryside’. On Tues 21 February, 7.30pm, acclaimed historian Professor Tony Kushner from the University of Southampton will examine the experiences of and responses to 'The Boys' who came to Britain at the end of the Second World War. Through the exploration of place, identity and Englishness, he will analyse how far the experiences of these children have become part of local narratives of the past. Venue: Manchester Jewish Museum, 190 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, M8 8LW. Fee £4.00. Booking essential. Email info@manchesterjewishmuseum.com or call 0161 834 9879.

Wednesday
Feb152012

Levinas Reading Group  

Open discussions of the Philosophical Oeuvre. The reading group, which was established by Alex Samely, Professor of Jewish Thought, meets fortnightly during term time to discuss the writings of the French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. The close readings, which are engaged with in open discussion, are based on the English translations (although the French original is also recommended) and can be highly technical. For further information, contact alex.samely@manchester.ac.uk.

Friday
Feb102012

Open Evening

Thursday 1 March 2012

After our CJS research seminar, led by former Co-director of the Centre, Prof Bernard Jackson, we will be hosting a kosher reception followed by an Open Evening in which we will showcase the activities of the Centre and its staff, including a number of current projects being conducted in the Centre. We would be delighted if you would join us for this event.

16:0017:30 Bernard Jackson (Liverpool Hope University) 
"Constructing a Theory of Halakhah"
Venue: Room 2.03, Mansfield Cooper Building
 
Please note that Bernard Jackson will give this seminar in place of Karen Adler, who had to cancel for reasons of ill health. Please also note the change of venue for the CJS research seminar series for semester two. All CJS seminars will take place in Room 2.03 in the Mansfield Cooper Building. (Building 65 on the Campus Map). See directions

17:30–17:55 Kosher Reception
Venue: North Foyer, Samuel Alexander Building (Building 67 on the Campus Map). See directions

18:00–19:10 Centre for Jewish Studies Open Evening
Venue: Room A101, Samuel Alexander Building
 
Introduction (Alex Samely
 
Short Presentations on Current Projects conducted in the Centre
Renate Smithuis Rylands Cairo Genizah
Jean-Marc Dreyfus Corpses of Genocide and Mass Violence
Bill Williams Jews and Other Foreigners
Alex Samely Database for the Analysis of Ancient Jewish Literature
Maria Haralambakis Moses Gaster’s Contribution to Jewish Studies 

MA teaching (Daniel Langton)

Friday
Feb102012

Plenary Lecture, University of Cambridge

The (Mis) Use of History in Holocaust Theology.  On 22 February, CJS co-director Prof. Daniel Langton will explore the engagement with history among religious commentators on the Holocaust, reflected in their writings about the uniqueness of the Shoah, its challenge to Judaism and the covenant, its connection to the State of Israel, and the problem of evil. He will critique the claim that, ultimately, historical analysis is incapable of explaining the Nazi genocide, and criticise the tendency to trace God’s providential action and revelation in history. Time and Venue: 2.15pm, Divinity Faculty. Further information.

Friday
Feb102012

Bill Williams Library Opening Hours

Reference-only library for students and staff of the university, as well as the general public. Bill Williams' personal research library but also includes materials from local synagogues and personal donations. The opening hours (without appointment) for this semester are Tuesdays 10am-12pm. If you wish to use the library at any other time please email an administrator. Further information.
Friday
Feb102012

Jewish Chronicle

The Growth of the Charedim. CJS honorary research fellow Dr Yaakov Wise is one of several contributors in a debate concerning Chasidic demographics that is featured in Simon Rocker's article in the JC (9 Feb 2012). The article considers, amongst other things, the estimated population figures of the 'strictly orthodox' communities in the UK, ranging from 33,000 (JPR) to 59,000 (Wise). Further information.
Friday
Feb102012

Seminar, University of Oxford

The Significance of Moses Gaster.  Dr Maria Haralambakis, Hanadiv Fellow at the CJS, spoke at the David Patterson seminar series at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies on 8 February 2012 on 'Moses Gaster (1856-1939): The Gaster collection at the John Rylands University Library.' Further information on her research project and the event.
Monday
Jan232012

CJS Research Seminars, Semester 2

We would like to announce the CJS research seminar series for semester two.

Please note the change in venue this semester. In Semester Two, CJS seminars will take place in Room 2.03 in the Mansfield Cooper Building (Building 65 on the Campus Map). See directions.

16:00 Thu 9 Feb: Sacha Stern (UCL)
"From Qumran to Nicaea: sectarianism and heresy"

16:00 Thu 1 Mar: Bernard Jackson (Liverpool Hope University)
"Constructing a Theory of Halakhah"

16:00 Thu 8 Mar: CANCELLED DUE TO ILL HEALTH. There are currently no plans to find an alternative speaker. 
Piotr Piluk (Journalist)
Jewish Life in Poland in the communist period and after 1989 from the perspective of a monthly magazine ‘Slowo Zydowskie / Dos Yiddishe Vort’”

16:00 Thu 15 Mar: Hadrien Laroche (French Embassy in Ireland)
“When everything is still possible and there is no further reason to hope: the last Genet, Israel, Jews, anti-Semitism and the Dawn of time (1968-1986)”

16:00 Thu 10 May: Miri Rubin (Queen Mary, University of London)
"Norwich 1144, Norwich 1150, and the birth of 'ritual murder'"


We would also draw your attention to a masterclass which might be of interest:

17:30 Wed 8 Feb: Arye Edrei (Tel Aviv University)
“Why No Mishnah in Rome? Problems of the Sources and of Methodology”
Venue: Samuel Alexander Building, S2.9 (South wing, second floor)  

 

Archive: Research Seminars 2009/10

 

Sunday
Jan222012

National Theatre Live Broadcast

Travelling Light by Nicholas Wright.  On 9 February, this NT live production will be broadcast live to cinemas across Manchester (Odeon, Cornerhouse and Cineworld, Didsbury). The play, which stars Tony and Olivier award winning actor Antony Sher, is set in an Eastern European shtetl at the turn of the 20th century. It imagines the birth of silent film in a small Jewish community and later, set in 1936, looks at the golden age of Hollywood's beginnings and the many Eastern European immigrants who were working there. Further information.

Sunday
Jan222012

Internet Project

Grant award for 2 years development. The Nathan Laski Internet Resource Centre offers a careful selection of links to websites useful for teaching and research purposes in the area of Jewish Studies. It is a valued open access tool and is listed on the websites of Ben Gurion University, Queen’s University Toronto, Indiana University, Exeter University, and Stanford University, among others. The Nathan Laski Memorial Charitable Trust has awarded the Centre £2000 for further development of this resource over the next 2 years. 

Wednesday
Nov232011

Genizah Project

11th century Iraqi fragment reconstructed. One of the Genizah fragments, B5446, held at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, has been digitally recombined with others held elsewhere to reconstruct an unusual 'rotulus' or a vertical scroll with the text written parallel to the short side. It includes a passage from the beginning of the She’iltot, a mid-eighth-century Iraqi collection of public sermons on halakhic topics corresponding to the weekly Torah reading. The She’iltot, attributed to Aḥa of Shabḥa, was the first independent halakhic work composed after the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud. Further information.