2017-18 BUJS Forum

detail of poster for event with professor jonathan klawans on december 4, 2017

Judaism Was a Civilization

December 17, 2017

Boston University Department of Religion Professor of Religion Jonathan Klawans presented on “Judaism as a civilization.,” taking the cue from Mordecai Kaplan who proposed that Judaism should be studied as “peoplehood,” which looks at Judaism beyond solely a religious or ethnic group. This frame allows for scholars to examine Jewish antiquity as a civilization in order to understand what it meant to be a Jew centuries ago.

Anti-Semitism and Zionism: Ideologies or Emotions?

detail of poster from talk by professor penslar

January 29, 2018

Professor Derek Penslar (University of Toronto and Harvard) presented on a work in progress dealing with different Zionist responses to anti-Semitism from the perspective of affect theory. Primary cases for this examination were Theodor Herzl and Chaim Weizmann who attached different affective qualities to anti-Semitism while using the fact of anti-Semitism differently for their respective Zionist advocacy under very different historical circumstances. Professor Simon Rabinovitch offered a finely-honed response to Prof. Penslar’s paper. Prof. Penslar, who is about to take a permanent position at Harvard University, returned to campus again later as a respondent for one of the workshop papers of the Modern Mediterranean Identities series, directed by Prof. Arkin.