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Jewish Studies between Modern Theories of Knowledge and Jewish Intellectual Tradition

International Workshop on Jewish Intellectual History at Freie Universität June 2 to 4, 2015

№ 153/2015 from Jun 01, 2015

A workshop at Freie Universität Berlin from June 2 to June 4, 2015, will examine new approaches in the scholarly study of Jewish intellectual history. Experts from Israel, Germany, and other European countries as well as the United States and Canada will address to what extent the discipline of Jewish studies, which was founded in the 19th century as the "science of Judaism," approaches Jewish thought as a subject of scholarly investigation without including the specific Jewish intellectual tradition or epistemologies. The workshop title is "How Jews Know – Epistemologies of Jewish Knowledge." It will be held in English and is public. Admission is free.

Since the "science of Judaism" was founded in the 19th century with the aim of investigating Judaism as an "object of science" (Immanuel Wolf, 1822), the Jewish religion and culture have been considered within the categories of modern scholarly studies. Often this was, and continues to be, in contrast to the Jewish textual tradition as a separate form of systematic knowledge.

The workshop participants work with collections of texts such as the Torah, the Mishna, the Talmud, and the Midrash, as well as with Jewish knowledge institutions such as the yeshiva, the Bet Midrash, and the Beth Din, and the forms of Jewish knowledge transfer in oral and written traditions. Jewish knowledge traditions will also be compared with those of other religions, such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Taoism.

The workshop is being held by the Dahlem Humanities Center of Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), and the Zentrum für jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg.

Time and Location

  • Tuesday, June 2, through Thursday, June 4, 2015, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
  • Freien Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, Room JK 33/121, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Dahlem Dorf or Thielplatz (U3)

Further Information