Thursday, August 28, 2014

52nd PSCO (2014-15)

Dear friends and colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that our 52nd PSCO — co-chaired by me, Matthew Chalmers, and Natalie Dohrmann — will explore "Formative Figures and Paths Not Taken: The Study of Ancient Judaism and Christianity between History and Historiography." In concert with the 2014-2015 Katz Center theme-year on "New Perspectives on the Origins, Context, and Diffusion of the Academic Study of Judaism," we will focus on key figures in the study of ancient Judaism and Christianity in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries, situating them both in terms of their own modern contexts and in terms of their contribution to scholarship on antiquity. We are hoping to revisit formative contributions to scholarship but also to recover forgotten insights and interesting paths not taken — especially in relation to the interactions of Jewish studies and Jewish scholars with the dominantly Christian contexts of early research. In the process, we hope to bring historians of antiquity into conversation with historians of modernity so as to help situate our own scholarly endeavors as part of ongoing contextualized reflections and continually remade memories of ancient Jewish and Christian pasts.

Our opening session will be on Thursday October 2 (7pm-9pm) and will feature John G. Gager of Princeton University speaking on Jacob Taubes, Michael Wyschogrod, and radical Jewish approaches to Paul and “early Christianity." More details, suggested readings, etc., will be sent out closer to the date. We’re still working on pinning down the schedule for the rest of the year. Confirmed sessions to mark in your calendar = David Ruderman will speak on William Wotton (1666–1727) and the Christian recovery of the Mishnah in early modern Europe on Thursday December 11, and Bernard Levinson will speak on Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) on Thursday March 19th. Unless otherwise noted, all sessions will be held in the Second Floor Lounge of Cohen Hall at the University of Pennsylvania and will run from 7:00pm-9:00pm, preceded by an informal dinner. More details soon!

Many of the talks at the Katz Center this year may also be of interest; for the fall schedule, please see

All the best, Annette
In case you didn't know, PSCO stands for "Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins. Their website is here and their Facebook page is here.