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Feb. 10, 2004


LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University will host the Jewish studies conference, "Rabbinic Judaism," Sunday, Feb. 22, in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center.

According to Rivka Ulmer, assistant professor of religion and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair in Jewish Studies, the papers and lectures of this conference will address the culture of Rabbinic Judaism in late antiquity.

"The first centuries of the Common Era saw the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity. This time period has been referred to as the `formative period' of Judaism. Some of the major Jewish movements and groups during this time include the Dead Sea sectarians, Jewish Messianic movements and the core group of Jewish culture, the Rabbis.

"Major Jewish texts, e.g., Mishnah, Midrash and Talmud, were created during this period. Conference papers will address Near Eastern, Greco-Roman and Iranian influences upon Rabbinic Judaism. The presenters will discuss exegetical strategies, cultural icons as well as emotions and ritual in rabbinic texts. An exhibition at the Bertrand Library entrance will focus on the theme of the conference," she said.

The schedule of presentations, which are open to the public, is as follows:

11 a.m.: "Egyptian Cultural Icons in Homiletic Midrash," Rivka Ulmer, Bucknell;

11:30 a.m.: "Exegesis vs. the Messiah: a Rabbinic view on the Adoption and Passion in Luke," Holger Zellentin, Princeton University;

1:35 p.m.: "Moving Heaven and Earth: The Power of Tears in Rabbinic Culture," Herbert Basser, Queens University, Canada;

2:25 p.m.: "What is New in Rabbinic Prayer?" Reuven Kimelman, Brandeis University;

3:10: Study break and conversations with the speakers, followed by "Greetings," Maria Antonaccio, Bucknell;

3:25 p.m.: "The Regulation of Sex in the Babylonian Talmud in the Light of Zoroastrianism," Yaakov Elman, Harvard University and Yeshiva University;

4:15 p.m.: "The Dead Sea Scrolls and Rabbinic Halakhah," Lawrence Schiffman, New York University;

5 p.m.: "Alternative Biblical Theologies of Sacred Space: A View from the Mishnah," Mayer Gruber, Ben Gurion University, Israel;

5:45 p.m.: closing remarks, Stephen Bowen, Bucknell.

This program is made possible by the John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair in Jewish Studies at Bucknell. Additional support for some lectures was granted by the University Lectureship Committee. The Committee for Campus Diversity supported the study break.

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