Upcoming talks

I’ve been invited back by the fabulous folk at the CAS Core Curriculum to lecture on the Bible in general and the primordial history of Genesis in particular. (Tuesday, Sept 9, 2014, 9:30 am, at the Tsai Performance Center) I’ve been getting more comfortable with these lectures the more my own children have approached (and now reached) college age. It is very exciting to have the opportunity of framing the discussion of the Bible for two hundred first semester freshmen in fifty minutes or less.

On Oct 1 at 5pm I will lecture for the Institute for Philosophy and Religion (David Eckel, Dir.). This year’s series has the title Philosophy and the Future of Religion. My talk will be about whether philosophy can help us understand religion. My somewhat Straussian inclination is to argue that religion and philosophy are completely incompatible. But that would be a polemical position, and I am not sure it is the most productive or even the most accurate position to take. I will need to clarify and limit the topic, and I may be using Varro’s distinction between public, philosophical, and poetic religion to structure what we are even talking about when speaking of religion in general. My aspiration is to make this very complex and vast topic relevant for today.

Further out, I am excited about the programs of the Elie Wiesel Center this fall, with Eli Wiesel, Alan Dershowitz, Ami Ayalon, and Sayed Kashua topping the list. (See our website at www.bu.edu/judaicstudies.)