Past Event

New Books in the Arts and Sciences: Celebrating Recent Work by Beth Berkowitz

April 11, 2019
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
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Kent Hall (Room 617), Columbia University, 1140 Amsterdam Avenue, New York

Event Description: 

Animals and Animality in the Babylonian Talmud selects key themes in animal studies - animal intelligence, morality, sexuality, suffering, danger, personhood - and explores their development in the Babylonian Talmud. Beth A. Berkowitz demonstrates that distinctive features of the Talmud - the new literary genre, the convergence of Jewish, Christian, and Zoroastrian cultures, the Talmud's remove from Temple-centered biblical Israel - led to unprecedented possibilities within Jewish culture for conceptualizing animals and animality. She explores their development in the Babylonian Talmud, showing how it is ripe for reading with a critical animal studies perspective. When we do, we find waiting for us a multi-layered, surprisingly self-aware discourse about animals as well as about the anthropocentrism that infuses human relationships with them. For readers of religion, Judaism, and animal studies, her book offers new perspectives on animals from the vantage point of the ancient rabbis. Join us for a conversation on the intersection of these various topics with Beth A. Berkowitz, Sergey Dolgopolski, and Naama Harel.

Event Speakers:

  • Beth A. Berkowitz (Professor and Ingeborg Rennert Chair of Jewish Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University)
  • Sergey Dolgopolski (Gordon and Gretchen Gross Professor of Jewish Studies, University at Buffalo)
  • Naama Harel (Lecturer in Hebrew Language, Columbia University)

Event Information: 

This event is free and open to the public, however registration is required via Eventbrite

Sponsored by the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies, the Department of Religion, the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities and the Office of the Divisional Deans in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Supported by the generosity of the Columbia University Jewish Studies Fund.