Date: Monday, December 04, 2017
Trayes Hall, Douglass Student Center
100 George Street, New Brunswick
Professor Gary Rendsburg
Blanche and Irving Laurie Professor of Jewish History
Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies
Over the course of more than two millennia, Jewish texts have transitioned from scroll to codex to book – and now to the digital age. This talk will survey the classical Jewish sources (Bible, Mishnah, Talmud, Siddur, Haggadah, etc.) from before the age of printing, now available on the internet for the public at large to view, read, and study. This talk will bring this old-new world of Hebrew Studies scholarship to the general community in an accessible manner. Prof. Rendsburg will focus both on the contents of the manuscripts (especially when they differ from later printed editions) and the history of these documents, including their preservation in museums and libraries for centuries, along with the move to greater access in the current digital age. He will look at various manuscripts of the Passover Haggadah – with two, three, four, and even five questions!
Gary Rendsburg serves as the Blanche and Irving Laurie Professor of Jewish History in the Department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. His teaching and research focus on ‘all things ancient Israel’ – primarily language and literature, though also history and archaeology. His secondary interests include post-biblical Judaism, the Hebrew manuscript tradition, and Jewish life in the Middle Ages. Prof Rendsburg is the author of seven books and about 170 articles; his most popular book is The Bible and the Ancient Near East, co-authored with the late Cyrus Gordon. In addition, he has produced two courses for the ‘Teaching Company – Great Courses’ program, one on ‘The Book of Genesis’ and one on ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls’.
Prof Rendsburg has visited all the major archaeological sites in Israel, Egypt, and Jordan; plus he has excavated at Tel Dor and Caesarea. He previously taught at Cornell University and Canisius College; and he has served as visiting professor or visiting research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Colgate University, UCLA, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, the University of Sydney, and the Hebrew University. His forthcoming book is entitled How the Bible Is Written, with particular attention to the use of language to create literature, to be published by Eisenbrauns in 2018.
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