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2013 Penn Lectures in Judaic Studies at AJ
As part of the 2013 Penn Lectures in Judaic Studies, Charles Manekin, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, will be speaking on How Medieval Jewish Rationalists Read the Bible and Why It Matters. According to James Kugel, ancient readers of scripture shared four assumptions: that the Bible is divine, that it lacks contradiction and superfluity, that it possesses hidden meanings, and that its doctrines are eternally true. Medieval Jewish rationalists like Abraham Ibn Ezra, Moses Maimondes, and Levi Gersonides added an additional assumption: that the Bible is the rational work of a rational God. Since the Jewish rationalists accepted both the divinity of scripture and the truth of science, they read science and scripture not only as complementary but, at its deepest level, identical. Their project has been viewed as heretical by religious conservatives and as tendentious and bizarre by modern scholars. Manekin’s lecture will examine this interpretative assumption of the medieval Jewish rationalists, and suggest areas where its strangeness can be reduced if not eliminated. Please call the synagogue office at 215.635.6611 to register. Following 7:30 minyan at 8:00 PM.