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Religious Cultures in the Early Modern Period:

Tradition, Authority, Heterodoxy

 23-25 May 2005 

Research Workshop of the Israel Science Foundation


Goldstein-Goren International Center for Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University

Monday 23 May 


9:00- Greetings


9:30-11:15 Orthodoxy and Dissent 

Chair: Zeev Gries, Ben-Gurion University

William Kolbrener, Bar-Ilan University. "Love of God" in the Age of Philosophy

Arthur Marotti, Wayne State University. Catholicism in Protestant England

Aaron Landau, Ben-Gurion University. Jews and Moors at the Crossroads: Alterity and Dissent in Shakespeare and Cervantes


11:15-11:45 Coffee Break


11:45-13:00 Milton and Theology

Chair: Jon Whitman, Hebrew University

Sanford Budick, Hebrew University. Samson Agonistes, Job and the Achievement of Moral Freedom

Albert Labriola, Duquesne University. Jewish Christianity in Milton's Paradise Lost: The Son as Angel of the Lord


13:00-14:30 Lunch Break


14:30-15:45 Intercultural Dynamics

Chair: Mayer I. Gruber, Ben-Gurion University 

Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Ben-Gurion University. Print Shops, Hebraists, Converts and the Shaping of Jewish Tradition

Avraham Oz, Haifa University. Nationhood and Religion in Early Modern Drama 


15:45-16:15 Coffee Break


16:15-18:00 Religion and Art

Chair: Katrin Kogman-Appel, Ben-Gurion University

Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby, Ben-Gurion University. Art and Sermons: Mendicants and Muslims in Florence

Ellen Spolsky, Bar-Ilan University. Iconoclasm in 16th Century England 

Daniel M. Unger, Ben-Gurion University. The Sacrament of Penance: Art and Politics at the Beginning of the 17th Century




Tuesday 24 May


9:30-11:15 Biblical Exegesis 

Chair: Barbara Hochman, Ben-Gurion University

Avi Gross, Ben-Gurion University. Solomon Molkho's Biblical Self-Perception. 

Lawrence Besserman, Hebrew University. Job in the King James Bible: Traditional Religious Belief and Its Critique

Michael Rony, Ben-Gurion University. Jewish Philosophical Commentaries on the "Tower of Babel" Story 


11:15-11:45 Coffee Break


11:45-13:00 Sermons I

Chair: Michael Heyd, Hebrew University

Matt Goldish, Ohio State University. The Sermons of Hakham Solomon Aailion and Clerical Heresy in Late 17th Century England

Marc Saperstein, George Washington University. Saul Levi Morteira and Heresy


13:00-14:30 Lunch Break


14:30-15:45 Sermons II

Chair: Haim Kreisel, Ben Gurion University

Jeanne Shami, University of Regina. Anxious Conformity: John Donne and the Early-Modern Protestant Pulpit in England

Chanita Goodblatt, Ben-Gurion University. Miserere Mei Deus: Donne's Exegetical Strategy as Polemic


15:45-16:15 Coffee Break


16:15-18:00 Mystical Movements and Issues

Chair: Boaz Huss, Ben-Gurion University 

Moshe Idel, Hebrew University. Kantian Philosophy and the Kabbalah

Dror Ze'evi, Ben-Gurion University: Sufis, Preachers and Beardless Youths: The Struggle for the Soul of slam in the 17th Century

Noam Flinker, Haifa University. Kabbalah and Literary Theurgy in Shakespeare and Milton 



Wednesday 25 May


10:00-11:15 Jewish-Christian Polemics

Chair: Yosef Kaplan, Hebrew University

Golda Akhiezer, Hebrew University: The Karaite Polemicists in Poland 

Daniel Lasker, Ben-Gurion University/Yale University. The Impact of the Reformation on the Jewish-Christian Debate 


11:15-11:45 Coffee Break


11:45-13:00 Women in Religious Society

Chair: Edward Fram, Ben-Gurion University

Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky, Bar-Ilan University: The World of the Jewish Woman in Spanish and "Musta-Arabic" Society 

Anne Lake Prescott, Barnard College: Anne Locke and Sister Anne de Marquets:Time, Psalter and Ritual


13:00-14:30 Lunch Break


14:30-16:15 Issues in Theology

Chair: Guy Stroumsa, Hebrew University

Elhanan Yakira, Hebrew University. Spinoza and the Critique of Religion: The Birth of Modern Political Thought

Jason Rosenblatt, Georgetown University. Selden and Stubbe on Idolatry, Blasphemy, and the Passion Narrative

Achsah Guibbory, University of Illinois at Champagne/Barnard College. The Church of England, Judaism and the Jewish Temple in 17th Century England

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