CSP 3-Part Distance Learning Series - Part 3 of 3 - Inside the Jewish Mind-Jewish Tours of Heaven and Hell
With Prof. Marc Michael Epstein, live from Poughkeepsie, New York
Underwritten by a grant from Terry and Toni McDonald
Co-sponsored by Temple Beth Shalom of Needham, MA
We’re often told that the Jews are people of the book, and that it’s Jewish texts and knowledge that are the be-all an end-all of Jewish culture. All this is true. But it’s also true that Jews were a people of imagination, invention and emotion. That part of Jewish history is harder to access than, say, what influence the biblical and rabbinic tradition had on their diets, or how their patterns of immigration changed in reaction to pogroms. The inner dimensions of Jewish consciousness—what thrilled and frightened them, what made them sad and elated them, what they anticipated or dreaded lay beyond the world in which they lived—is ingeniously excavated by Marc Michael Epstein, Professor of Religion and Visual Culture on the Mattie M. Paschall (1899) & Norman Davis Chair and Director of Jewish Studies at Vassar College. His sources are those often ignored or discarded as peripheral by scholarship—art, literature, even music regarded as marginal jottings in the seemingly larger and more impressive ledger of history. But he reads, absorbs and interprets those sources as exciting clues on the trail of new discoveries and innovative observations about Jewish history and society. Your view of Jewish culture will be forever transformed.
Sponsor: Community Scholar Program (CSP); Temple Beth Shalom of Needham, MA