November 10-11, 2019 

SUNDAY : CLASSICS  110  | MONDAY : SWIFT HALL (3rd floor lecture hall)

Rabbinic Judaism was born twice, in the spaces and cultures of Roman Palestine and Sasanian Iran. Rabbinic lore and argument must be understood in relation to these contexts, even in its desire to stand apart from them. The conference celebrates a new generation of scholarship, dedicated to historical, comparative and critical readings of the rabbis and their texts. The papers will speak to the broadest possible audience, and the conference will conclude with a general discussion in which all are invited to participate.


Sunday, November 10

1:00pm. Welcome by David Nirenberg, Dean of the Divinity School and the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor, Committee on Social Thought, Department of History, The Divinity School, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Jewish Studies, and the College, and Clifford Ando, the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor; Professor of Classics, History and Law.

Session 1: Moderated by RAFE NEIS (Michigan)

1:30-2:30. SHULAMIT SHINNAR (Columbia University): Poverty and Illness in Palestinian Rabbinic Literature"
2:30-3:30. SIMCHA GROSS (The University of Pennsylvania): "The 'Secular' Sasanian Empire: Babylonian Rabbinic Stories and Strategies of Accommodation in Context"

3:30-4:00. Coffee break

Session 2: Moderated by REBECCA WOLLENBERG (Michigan)
4:00-5:00. AMIT GVARYAHU (Hebrew University): "Jewish and Roman Jurists on Navigating Financial Markets"
5:00-6:00. SARIT KATTAN GRIBETZ (Fordham University): "Time and Difference in Rabbinic Judaism"

Reception, 6 pm

Monday,  November 11

Session 3: Moderated by AHMED EL SHAMSY (Chicago)
10:00-11:00. YEDIDAH KOREN (Tel Aviv University): "Real and Imagined Jews Maintaining Genealogical Information"
11:00-12:00. SHAI SECUNDA (Bard College): "Talmud as History: The Formation of the Talmud in its Sasanian Context"

12:00-1:30. Lunch

Session 4: Moderated by ERIN WALSH (Chicago)
1:30-2:30. URIEL SIMONSOHN (The University of Haifa): "Assessing the confessional agency of Jewish women in the middle Islamic period – a few methodological suggestions"
2:30-3:30. TZVI NOVICK (The University of Notre Dame): "Quantitative Comparison in Early Rabbinic Law"

3:30-4:00. Coffee break

4:00-5:00. Discussion. Moderated by JAMES T. ROBINSON (Chicago) NATALIE DOHRMANN (The University of Pennsylvania)
JASON MOKHTARIAN (Indiana University)

Persons with a disability who need an accommodation to attend a Divinity School event, please call Suzanne Riggle in advance: 773-702-8219.

Sponsored by: The Eastern Mediterranean Seminar; the Divinity School; the Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies; and the Classics Department of the University of Chicago