Monthly Archives: August 2012

6 posts

Why did Mahlon and Chilion die? According to the Targum

Other resources for the Book of Ruth and its Targum can be found by navigating the menu above. Last month [July 2012] I presented my paper on the conversion of Ruth in Targum Ruth.1 I noted, in passing, that the Targum also explains why the two sons/husbands died in Moab. A reminder of the biblical text: Ruth 1:1   In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain […]

“Spinning Spinoza” When is a Jew not a Jew?

I have never read as much Spinoza as I feel I should have (and I thought about that again while in Amsterdam). I had a colleague at a previous institution who was a HUGE Spinoza fan. He was also very reformed and, as this piece points out, would portray Spinoza as the Patriarch of the Reform Judaism. I always thought this was odd since my reading suggested that …well, he wasn’t very Jewish at all. […]

Are “sound scholarship and religious faith” compatible? The Rev Professor Christopher Evans remembered

A recurring theme in his teaching was that sound scholarship and religious faith are not incompatible, and he insisted in his own research and in the work of his students on applying the most rigorous standards of intellectual integrity. He also asserted that theology is not a discipline which can be profitably carried on by itself, in isolation from other disciplines. via The Rev Professor Christopher Evans – Telegraph. Others have noted the passing of […]

Atheist on Atheist

No, it is not some new WWE extravaganza (but I know some who would pay to watch it) it is a surprisingly good Chronicle of Higher Education Article on the war that is raging between the so-called “New Atheists” (now with 40% more bile!) and those atheists and scholars who are researching the evolutionary origins of religion.┬áDoes Religion Really Poison Everything? I rarely wade into these waters because I do not believe that all religion […]

Presbyterians and Methodists?

I grew up in a Presbyterian church that is now part of the EPC. I know lots of Methodists. I am an Episcopalian, what some call “Catholic light.” But I don’t get the joke. What does it even mean? “White is the new vanilla?” That makes as much sense. Perhaps I should submit it to CIDU Bill. Anyone?      

Call for Applications: Chaiken Family Chair in Jewish Studies, PSU

I am sharing this job announcement for the Chaiken Family Chair in Jewish Studies at Penn State. I want to say, that in spite of everything that has gone on around Penn State this year it remains a wonderful and fantastic institution. In fact, I would say that of all the academic institutions I have been a part of (Cornell, Oxford, Tulane) Penn State is at the very top of the list. Our Jewish Studies […]