The character of Aseneth becomes transformed from material mother of the sons of Joseph to mythic mother-figure for the tribes of Israel and penitent nations who join in worshiping Israel’s God.She has become, in this ancient tale, a productive site of intervention in Israel’s story—a matriarch who matters in the history of and for the future of God’s covenanted community.
How did women of various regions, backgrounds, situations, and temperaments assume authority, exercise power, and shape both their legacy and the legacy of Christianity?
Borders change, today and throughout history. Incorporating maps into the classroom encourages the students to view this for themselves and to begin to understand the myriad of ways that politics shapes geographical borders.
“Performing the banquet shifted their analysis from the realm of the academic into the realm of something that is socially functional, assisting with student thinking about the ancient texts as representative of real people and their actions and beliefs.”
If Esther had a Pinterest, what would she post on it? If Ruth had a Spotify playlist, what songs would she include? What if Susannah joined the #metoo movement?
In this creative assignment, students were empowered to engage with the biblical text in new ways: they understood some of the ways that biblical texts can relate to the modern world and vice versa, they used their own creative voices, and they reflected critically on why we must develop awareness of moments of pain and trauma in the world around us.
In 2017, the Religious Worlds of Late Antiquity SBL section organized a review panel to discuss Todd Berzon's Classifying Christians: Ethnography, Heresiology, and the Limits of Knowledge in Late Antiquity. During the month of July, AJR will feature the panelists' responses.
This panel sparked further discussion among scholars and the broader public, such as in a Washington Post article. In collaboration with AJR, scholars from this panel will be sharing their work with the larger scholarly community and the public.
“Beautifully written and clearly organized, the strength of Belser’s method for reading rabbinic tales is in not fitting the Bavli into any one theoretical framework, but rather in allowing her hermeneutic lenses to shift along with the text.”
“To briefly sketch some of Rosenblum's findings, we see that Greek and Roman sources are often perplexed by or antagonistic to these laws, Hellenistic Jews justify the laws via allegory, reason, and revelation, Rabbinic sources only begin to provide justifications beyond revelation with the Amoraim, and later Christian sources return to allegory, while denying the literal adherence to these prohibitions.”