A Workshop at the University of Chicago
October 5-6, 2014
Sponsored by the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies, the Center for International Relations, the Franke Institute for the Humanites, the Martin Marty Center, and the Leo Baeck Institute London.
This conference is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Alexandra Zirkle at .
Recent scholarship has highlighted the political and cultural stakes at play in the deployment of notions of secularism and religion. This workshop explores how these notions informed the interplay between ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ reading practices and the formation of German-Jewish identity between 1750-1950. Various conceptions of the secular and the religious, distilled in debates about the essence of religion, historiography, political agency, and reason, constituted distinct constellations of reading and authorial subjects. This workshop analyzes 18th- through 20th-century reading practices, including the interpretation and translation of biblical commentary, philosophy, and literary texts, to examine the cultural and political ramifications of various notions of ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ hermeneutics.
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Sunday, 5 October, Third Floor Lecture Hall, Swift Hall
5:00 pm Welcoming remarks, Dean Margaret M. Mitchell
Introduction of keynote speaker: Paul Mendes-Flohr
Jonathan M. Hess “Religion, Secularism, and the Shape of German-Jewish Culture”
Monday, 6 October; Franke Conference Room, Franke Institute
9:30-11:00am – Session 1
Yael Almog, “Mendelssohn’s Interpretive Paradigm and the Continuity of Jewish Ritual”
Abraham Socher, “Allusion and Blasphemy: Notes Toward a Theory of Modern Jewish Heresy”
11:15am -12:45pm – Session 2
Alexandra Zirkle, “The Fruits of PaRDeS: Mediating Modernity through Biblical Exegesis”
Eliyahu Stern, “Kant and the Yeshiva: The Eastern European Jewish Reception of the Critique of Reason”
2:30-3:45pm – Session 3
Andreas Braemer, “Zacharias Frankel (1801-1875): Jewish Scholarship between Denominational Theology and Empirical Research”
Abigail Gillman, “‘Der einfache Sinn’: Philippson, Hirsch, and the Language of Torah”
4:00-5:30pm – Session 4
Larisa Reznik, “Is there (in)justice in Translation? Rosenzweig between Theology and Politics”
Na’ama Rokem, “Utopias of Translation: Paul Celan and Yehudah Amichai”
5:45-6:30pm Concluding discussion