The following announcement of a conference on “Religious Studies and Rabbinics” was circulated via H-Judaic.


A conference on *Religious Studies and Rabbinics*, co-organized by Elizabeth Shanks Alexander and Beth Berkowitz, will be held at the University of Virginia on February 18-19, 2013.  The goal of the conference is to promote dialogue between the fields of religious studies and rabbinics.


In recent years, scholars of rabbinics have increasingly turned to theories and methods from religious studies to illuminate rabbinic texts and culture. At the same time, the field of religious studies increasingly recognizes the importance of attending to data like that from rabbinic culture, whose legal concerns and exclusively literary remains can complicate existing approaches to religion.  This conference seeks to explore both the opportunities and challenges offered by the encounter between these two fields.


Those interested in attending should be in touch with Deborah Galaski at**


Please see below for a description of the program.


Monday, February 18, 2013*


***Session I: **Religious Studies, The Humanities and the Secular University


*Kurtis Schaeffer*, “J. Z. Smith on the Humanities… and Human Nature

*Charles Mathewes*, “Alexandria between Athens and Jerusalem: Religious Studies as a Humanistic Discipline”

*Paul Jones*, “A Cheerful Unease: Theology and Religious Studies”


*Keynote Address *by *Randall Styers*


*Tuesday, February 19, 2013*


***Session II:  Terms and Stakes in the Encounter***

*Jonathan Schofer*, “Religious Studies and Rabbinics: Past Interactions and Future Possibilities”

*Beth Berkowitz*, “Different Religions? Definitions in Rabbinics and Religious Studies”


*Session III: **Challenges and Opportunities in the Encounter***

*Chaya Halberstam*, “The Yoke of Torah: Law and Religion in Rabbinic Judaism”

*Elizabeth Shanks Alexander*, “Theology, Religious Studies and Rabbinics”

*Ra’anan Boustan*, “Mysticism, Rabbinics and Religious Studies”


*Session IV: **Case Studies***

*Sarit Kattan Gribbetz*, “Time and Religious Identity in Comparative Perspective: Augustine, the Rabbis, and the Roman Calendar”

*Jordan Rosenblum*, “Thou Shalt Not Cook a Bird in its Mother’s Milk?: Theorizing the Evolution of a Rabbinic Regulation”

*Naftali Cohn*, “Ritual Failure and Ritual Success in the Mishnah: Contemporary Theory For an Ancient Text”

*Gregg Gardner*, “Between Religion and Ethics: ‘Acts of Kindness’ (*gemilut hasadim*) in Early Rabbinic Judaism”


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