Textual Reasoning

Review of Past Events


AAR 2000 in Nashville: Study Session on Dabru Emet--A declaration of Jewish Christian Relations. See here for more.

Textual Reasoning Editorial Conference Sunday, March 5, 2000 Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City. Conveners: Steven Kepnes (Colgate University) and Shaul Magid (JTS)

On Sunday, March 5, a circle of friends and editors of TR gathered at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, to discuss the future of Textual Reasoning. The meeting was attended by Steve Kepnes, Shaul Magid, Randi Rashkover, Nancy Levine, Aryeh Cohen, Elliot Wolfson, Laurie Zoloth, Michael Zank, Zachary Braiterman, Robert Gibbs, Peter Ochs, and Martin Kavka.

The day of discussions allowed us to take stock of the activities of TR over the past decade, as well as to consider a number of new ventures. Under the heading of the newly founded Society for Textual Reasoning, TR will continue to operate a web journal and list-discussions. In addition, we plan to develop a hardcopy journal, initiate new international discussion groups and web-activities that will be associated in an International Web of Webs (IWW), enhance our presence at the gatherings of professional associations (AJS, AAR, APA, etc.), and support local conferences that will allow us to do more of what we love best: to congregate and spend time with each other over the reading of, and reasoning with, texts.


TR @ AAR, 1999 As in previous years, Textual Reasoning hosted a reception and study session at the annual meeting of the AAR (Boston/Mass). This year's topic was `Teaching Troubling Texts' (See TR vol. 8). Whether it was due to the intrinsic value of the topic, to the popularity of our presenters (Bishop Krister Stendahl and Professor Robert Goldenberg), or to a discernible increase of general interest in the activities of Textual Reasoning (see further program notes by Peter Ochs), the session was unusually well attended with 50+ participants. Shunning the allure of much more lavish receptions that were held elsewhere at the same hour, people kept on walking into our session and stayed, so that ever new piles of chairs had to be wheeled in.

The topic of 'teaching troubling texts' has also spawned several rounds of discussion on tr-list. We hope to find a way to make some of the very interesting debates of the past accessible in an archived form.



Textual Reasoning @ paideia World Congress of Philosophy, Boston, August 10-16, 1998. TR hosted three roundtable discussions at the World Congress of Philosophy on the topic of Talmud Torah and Paideia. Participants: Gerda Elata-Elster (University of Beer Sheva), Steven Kepnes (Colgate University), Ruven Kimelman (Brandeis University), Chair: Michael Zank. For more, see http://www.bu.edu/WCP

Orlando/Florida, Nov. 21-24: TR hosted its study session and reception at the annual meeting of the AAR/SBL, focusing on the Israeli Declaration of Independence. Presenter: Jay Harris. Respondents: TBA. For more information see the forthcoming program of the American Academy of Religion, Annual Meeting.



Annual Conference of the AAR/SBL 1997 in San Francisco/CA Sunday (November 23 1997) at the Parc Fifty-Five Hotel, Medici Room, 9:00pm-11:00pm. The 1997 study session was dedicated to a kabbalistic text, one of the most obscure symbolic representations of the godhead from the Zoharic Literature, the Sifra de Tzeniuta. The text is given in TR 6.2 in a translation with introduction by Pinchas Giller, Washington University/St. Louis. Professor Giller, author of The Enlightened Will Shine. Symbolization and Theurgy in
the Later Strata of the Zohar
(Albany: SUNY Press, 1993), elegantly led the assembly through the symbolic language of the text, an enjoyable night of study.

Political Dimensions in Modern Jewish Thought Boston October 26-27, 1997. Program Director: Michael Zank. A conference of The Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University in cooperation with Textual Reasoning. For more, see here.

International Conference in Postmodern Jewish Philosophy and Rabbinic Text Study June 15-17 1997 Drew University, Madison, New Jersey [Schedule in detail]

At this gathering, Jewish philosophers served as hosts to leading rabbinic text scholars. Examining biblical, talmudic,
and kabbalistic texts on the subject of "Talmud Torah" (study of Torah), participants brought all of their methods
of text study into conversation: history, literary studies, philosophy, and traditional modes of exegesis. One goal was
to ask what modes of "Textual Reasoning" have led the conversation and drawn it together or apart.

Text studies were led by Daniel Boyarin, Tikvah Frymer-Kensky, Michael Fishbane, David Weiss Halivni,
Norbert Samuelson, and Elliot Wolfson.

Among the Jewish and Christian commentators and respondents were Robert Gibbs, Susan Handelman, Virginia Burrus, Aryeh Cohen,
Steven Fraade, Steven Kepnes, Menachem Lorberbaum, Peter Ochs, Robert Eisen, Michael Signer, Almut Bruckstein, Tzvi Blanchard, David Novak, Edith Wyschogrod, Eugene Borowitz, Shaul Magid, Charlotte Fonrobert, Maeera Schreiber, Irwin Kula,Yudit Greenberg, Jacob Meskin, David Ford, George Lindbeck, and Daniel Hardy. Conference Chair: Peter Ochs, Jewish Studies, Drew University, Maidson, NJ 07960

For more see Textual Reasoning vol. 6.2 (May/June 97).