Category Archives: Conferences

Creating Holiness: Books, Scrolls and Icons as Carriers of Sacredness, Conference in Mainz, 17–20 June 2024

Every written culture has its sacred texts. Through the regular reading of these texts, which is usually guided by a fixed rite in the same direction, a group of people reassures themselves of their community and constructs a place of cultural identity beyond the profane. The sacred text not only defines the respective beliefs, but also represents the physical expression of divine revelation, and is often itself revered as a representative of the divine in ritual. Such a text has a special quality as a manuscript, since its value can be increased not only by the high quality of the material and decoration, but also by the extraordinary virtues of the scribe and the circumstances of the act of writing itself. There are notions of what requirements such a scribe should fulfill and what rituals writing itself is subject to. The process of writing becomes a sacred act, a divine service, or an ascetic practice.

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Controversy and Perception: Jews and Christians Amidst Dialogue and Dispute

Jewish-Christian interaction has existed since the inception of Christianity. Jews and Christians encountered and responded to one another over the centuries in a variety of contexts and fashions. These encounters had a significant impact on the experiences and cultures of both the Jewish and the Christian communities.

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Penn Jewish Studies Graduate Student Conference 2024

Topic: Jews and Political Authority: Citizenship, Homeland, and Diaspora

On March 11-12 the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania will host a graduate student conference that wishes to explore Jewish relationships to political authority from the biblical to modern era. How have Jews imagined, constructed, and created both physical and conceptual homes under the rule of various political powers and across millennia? How did they transform non-Jewish strangers into neighbors and seemingly foreign polities into homelands? When under foreign rule, how did they wrestle with intersecting memberships in strictly Jewish collectivities, families, and networks? How did they aspire to, imagine, and construct forms of political authority that were Jewish by definition? How did Jewish cultural production – including art, literature, and music – subvert or reinforce political structures?

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Journée d’Étude : Du fragment au livre. Manuscrits hébreux en Italie médiévale

Lundi 11 septembre 2023, École FRANÇAISE DE ROME

Cette journée s’inscrit dans le projet de la section médiévale de l’EFR/EPHE-PSL; “Culture scribale fragmentée : vestiges des manuscrits hébreux en Italie – paléographie et histoire du livre”. La journée réunira des chercheurs en histoire du livre juif et paléographie hébraïque travaillaNt sur l’Italie. Elle aura pour but d’entamer une réfléexion approfondie sur la spécificité des techniques et esthétiques du livre hébreu italien ainsi que sur les contextes intellectuels et économiques de sa production et diffusion, le destin des volumes spécifiques, l’histoire des collections et, enfin, la réutilisation des fragemnts des livres dans les reliures.



  • Judith Olszowy-Schlanger – EPHE-PSL/Oxford University
  • Vivien Prigent Directeur des études pour le Moyen Âge
  • Grazia Perrino Assistante des études pour le Moyen Âge

Conference: Premodern Forms of Cultural Appropriation?

11–13 September 2023, Johannisstraße 4 , Room: J101, 48143 Münster

In cooperation with the Department of History and the Institute for Jewish Studies: Developed within the post-colonial debate, the concept of ‘Cultural Appropriation’ has scarcely been applied to pre-colonialist times. The conference looks at instances of potential cultural appropriations in the premodern world, branching from antiquity, over medieval and early modern times in a wide range of transregional and interdisciplinary papers. Here, the conference also discusses the applicability of the concept to those contexts.