The Matter of Israelite Religion

"The Matter of Israelite Religion"

This four-part lecture series will highlight recent material finds relevant to, and theoretical advances in, the study of ancient Israelite religion, with implications for biblical literature and ideas.

Cosponsored by the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies.

A reception will follow each lecture.


Jonathan Klawans
4:30 p.m., Swift Common Room (1st floor)

Jonathan Klawans (Religion, Boston University), specialist in the religion and religious literature of ancient Judaism, on "Symbol, Function, Theology and Morality: On Rules and Rituals in the Priestly Literature of the Hebrew Bible." Klawans teaches courses in Western Religion, the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Jewish history, and Rabbinic literature. He is the author of Impurity and Sin in Ancient Judaism (Oxford University Press, 2000) and Purity Sacrifice and the Temple: Symbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism (Oxford University Press, 2005), as well as numerous articles. His current research project focuses on the theological views of Josephus and the ancient Jewish sects (Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes).


Matthew Suriano
4:30 p.m., Swift Hall Common Room (1st floor)

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Matthew Suriano, University of Maryland, speaking on "Death in the Kingdom of Judah: The social process of dying and the ritual context of the dead."  Matthew Suriano, Assistant Professor in the Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland, was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and studied history as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He began his graduate studies in Israel, first at Jerusalem University College and later at the Hebrew University. His Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Northwest Semitics is from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. Matthew has participated on several archaeological excavations and has been a fellow at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He is currently a member of the Tel Burna Archaeological Project.


Jeremy Hutton
4:30 p.m., Classics 110

Jeremy Hutton, University of Wisconsin-Madison, speaking on "Upon the Roof of the Temple: Reconstructing the Phenomenology of Altar Usage from Archaeological and Textual Remains." Hutton is Assistant Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of The Transjordanian Palimpsest: The Overwritten Texts of Personal Exile and Transformation in the Deuteronomistic History (deGruyter, 2009), along with many additional articles.


Nili Sacher Fox
4:30 p.m., Classics 110

Nili Sacher Fox, Professor of Bible and Director of the School of Graduate Studies at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, on "Fashion vs. Ideology: Biblical Laws Pertaining to Israelite Dress." Fox holds a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Fox teaches Bible, Archaeology, Ancient History and Languages, and is co-director of the Graduate Summer-in-Israel Program. She has written on various topics relating to the history and culture of ancient Israel, including: In the Service of the King: Officialdom in Ancient Israel and Judah and Mishneh Todah: Studies in Deuteronomy and Its Cultural Environment in Honor of Jeffrey Tigay. Currently she is working on a monograph entitled "On the Ancient Catwalk: Dress and Identity in the Biblical World."

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