Work in Progress to “Visit Jewish Italy”

Shortly before the Jewish New Year 5779, the non-profit Fondazione per i Beni Culturali Ebraici in Italia ("Foundation for Jewish Cultural Heritage in Italy"), with the financial support of the Cav. Guglielmo De Lévy Jewish Foundation, launched a new web portal for Jewish museums, monuments, and cult buildings in Italy from Antiquity to the present. Available in English and Italian as "Visit Jewish Italy", the website is especially handy for travelers with its mobile-friendly template and indexes of Jewish sites by location and type (such as cemetery, synagogue, Kashrut services, and museums). Scrolling down, the user can interact with the site by browsing destinations or listings of a specific feature. The template is rich in images and interactive maps which lead to short descriptions of each site with address, visiting hours, and contact information. 

As a test run, we selected, at random, the location of "Marsala" in Sicily, where Jews are likely to have settled in Roman times and where a documented Jewish presence is known in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries before the expulsion of Jews from Southern Italy in 1492. The landing page for Marsala is dominated by several images of the historic Jewish quarter. Clicking on the "Discover" button, we arrive at a page with a Google map of the area. A small button marked "Preview" brings up a summary of the preceding page, but clicking on an unlabeled image at far left opens up a much more detailed itinerary of Jewish Marsala, locating a synagogue, cemetery, and mikveh, as well as city museum collections, the Flemish Tapestry Museum and “Baglio Anselmi” Archaeological Museum, which exhibit Jewish-themed items. This kind of information is what we were really after, but we only came across it by accident, clicking on a picture that turned out to be a hyperlink. It would be helpful to re-tool this feature so that people know where to look and how to arrive at these nicely-detailed guides. 

Our next stop is Rome, with far more listings in all the categories. At this point, we understand that by clicking on the picture, we will get the guide. In the example of Rome, however, in light of its sizable Jewish community of today and clear evidence of very ancient origins, it is a hard to figure out what makes the FBCEI list as a "Jewish" cultural good. Some of the modern synagogues are listed, like the Great Temple and Di Castro Oratory, but not all of the Jewish centers of worship and community in Rome (because they are not historic enough, or belong to specific movements within Judaism on a global scale, like Chabad Lubavitch and Reform?). The archaeological remains of the Jewish catacombs of Vigna Randanini and Villa Torlonia and Synagogue at Ostia Antica are listed, but not state and church museums which hold artifacts from these ancient Jewish sites and others (a short list would include the Vatican Museums, the Capitoline Museums, and National Museum of Rome). The absence of museums is not because they are not directly overseen by the Rome's Jewish community, for the Arch of Titus is listed on the site, and it is not even a Jewish monument, as intended, though it has come to symbolize to some the modern Jewish State. Given the difficulty and expense of visiting Jewish catacombs, that do not yet have public opening hours, this oversight should be corrected, with the addition as well of the locations of various Hebrew and other Jewish manuscripts and documentation in Rome collections and archives, also essential testimonies to Rome's Jews (maybe, too, specifying which Jewish treasures are in the Vatican's possession - quite a list).

There are other sites we would like to see included in the geographical listings - Tivoli, for instance, also Bari, Taranto, Lavello, Fondi, Nocera - even if the location of many of their Jewish buildings and cemeteries is not certain, there is the certainty that they were there, and local museums preserve some traces (for if Agrigento is included for this reason, then why not also Comiso?). To many, we must seem overly critical, and nit-picking like this is perhaps demanding too much. Yet a web portal is in essence an interactive and fluid means of communication, that should be periodically updated and fine-tuned to reach as wide a public as possible. "Visit Jewish Italy" is on a quest for perfection in this affair - freely defining itself as a "work in progress", and lively public engagement and constructive feedback will be the most important measures of its success.

- Jessica Dello Russo

 

שנה טובה ומתוקה! Shanà Tovà u’Metuka 5779! Annual ICS Jewish New Year’s Reflection

For what has become an annual ICS tradition to mark the Jewish New Year and High Holiday season, and in preparation for a big meeting of its board this coming week, the society reflects upon not only the past year of activity, but also a more remote period of its history, going back forty years to the time of its foundation. To understand the big question at the time it was first raised: Why an International Catacomb Society?, click here (link)

This is also a good time to reach out to ICS members to ask how they themselves would answer that question. What led you to join the ICS, and what have you found useful or not about the services it has been able to provide? What do you think should be improved, included, and introduced to allow the ICS to live more fully its founding mission? What would you do if you could, really, with the resources at ICS's disposal? Good responses (like, within the realm of possibility, not wacky or offensive) will be treated with confidentiality and communicated (anonymously, if so desired) to the powers-that-be, the ICS directors, at the annual board meeting this coming week, so get in touch (at info(at)catacombsociety.org) by next Friday, September 14, 2018. 

Let's make this new in the New Year! A good, sweet year to all!

“Jews – An Italian Story. The First Thousand Years” exhibit at the National Museum of Jews and Judaism in Italy and of the Holocaust in Ferrara

"The Jews - An Italian Story. The First Thousand Years." Exhibit at the National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah (MEIS), Via Piangipane, 81, Ferrara, through 16 September 2018 (admission and hours).

The exhibit "Jews - An Italian Story. The First Thousand Years" at Italy's National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah (MEIS) through 16 September 2018 displays over two hundred Roman and Medieval-era artifacts from areas of Italy in which Jews are known to have lived, worked, and worshipped within broader societal contexts from the densely urban to the sparsely rural within the time frame of the second century BCE through the eleventh century CE. Much ground is covered, both chronologically and geographically, and only the exceptional occasion of the MEIS's provisional inauguration in late 2017 (the museum is not scheduled to be fully operational before 2020) could put the Italian bureaucratic universe in perfect alignment to make possible this event. Wishing that the collection could stay together like this forever is useless: most of the exhibit material will soon be repatriated to different museums and archives in Italy and abroad, so much of the collection is that rare or unique. True, it is not the first show for a number of pieces that visitors might recall from other exhibitions, some Jewish-themed, others with a broader focus on ancient religion or Rome. The MEIS show, however, is different on a number of counts. As "An Italian Story", the show puts welcome emphasis on Southern Italian sites, hardly a day trip from the country's tourist meccas (the MEIS's location in Ferrara, on the other hand, is easily reached from transportation hubs Bologna and Venice). In addition, it juxtaposes familiar stories and sources - the Roman destruction of the Temple as celebrated on the Arch of Titus reliefs, the Rome and Ostia epigraphs with Jewish motifs and terminology, the venerable writings of the Cairo Genizah (fragments of piyyettanim) and illuminated manuscript copies of Josephus and the enigmatic Collatio, with artifacts rarely on public display or in fact only recently discovered. 

With the exception of some non-Jewish propaganda, like a statue of Titus, coins marking Judea's defeat and subjugation, Hellenistic-style kitsch in the form of a pygmy-style Solomonic scene from Pompeii, and original texts of anti-Jewish decrees or simply administrative concerns (like the Diploma of Berengar I of 905, making mention of Jewish merchants in medieval Verona), along with a tiny number of objects which reflect Christian appropriation of Jewish Scripture (including a gold glass with a Mosaic scene, and a personification of "Synagoga") the artifacts selected for display or shown in careful reproduction, like wall paintings from underground funerary chambers in Rome and Venosa and mosaic panels from a building in Bova Marina in Calabria, do not always contain explicitly "Jewish" motifs, but relate nonetheless to the title theme of Jewish practices and beliefs being interpreted and perpetuated in Italy over a long time and in distinctly "Italian" ways as regards other lands of Jewish Diaspora - even during the centuries once known as the "Dark Ages".  

In terms of quantity, the bulk of the ancient artifacts with some sort of recognizably Jewish content comes from Rome (more specifically, from cemeteries in Rome used by Jews), but the number of finds from other sites is slowly increasing, maybe by handfuls, and not always in original context, but it is enough, often, to understand a Jewish investment in maintaining certain practices and religious rites over time. Here, in fact, faced with dozens of examples of epitaphs (close to fifty in all), and over a hundred small finds, such as seals, stamp impressions, amulets, and especially clay lamps (recently cataloged), the diversity among representations of classic Jewish motifs, especially the menorah, are vivid, and suggest anything but staticity in Jewish art, that to non-Jews might have seemed particular, yes, but not so very peculiar.

The last halls of the exhibit display primarily manuscripts - over twenty - and eighteen original documents, many in Hebrew, dating no earlier than the beginning of the Medieval period, as Hebrew texts do not survive before that date in Italy, with the exception of a few lines of text on some epitaphs, seals, and amulets, even one or two apparently Samaritan-themed invocations. Here, too, the emphasis is on Rome and south Italy, on Roman, Byzantine, Lombard, and Saracen territories where Judaism was a cultural and intellectual force with study centers of Hebrew instruction and writing (for example, Oria, Otranto, and Brindisi) though sites north of Rome are not excluded (for reference is made to population centers like Lucca, Pisa, Ravenna, and Verona). The guide par excellence to the diffusion of Jewish culture in many areas of the Italian coastline and south is the twelfth-century Spanish traveler, Benjamin of Tudela, who sought out Jewish families throughout Italy while en route to the Holy Land. Quotes from his "Travel Blog" of sorts are illuminating for their testimony of families, professions, and local histories that are deeply rooted not just in the Bible and Jewish folklore, but also in shared cultural traditions reaching back to Ancient Rome. Other texts in the collection, however, are more explicit about a new, wretched period of Diaspora in formation, characterized by the Crusades, the Inquisition, and many forced conversions and migrations. This period of oppression does not break up Italian Jewish culture entirely, but shifts its centers of activity, leaving Italy's Southern Jewish communities largely silent until very recent times. "The Jews - an Italian Story" tries to explain why their story matters in the overall history of Italian Jews - and amply demonstrates their contributions to Italy's cultural and intellectual traditions, notably in science, music, and medicine, even the time-honored practice of magic - well beyond the scope of Jewish observances.

The exhibit is in Building C of the old prison of Ferrara, one of five structures that will form the MEIS. The challenge of showing "things" that are not necessarily art - the kinds of objects that an ordinary visitor might pass over in a typical museum display - is met by grouping artifacts in terms of chronology and geography, and by providing virtual guides - that is, projections of scholars of international repute who introduce each exhibit hall in Italian with English subtitles. Many of these exhibit commentators have also contributed to the catalogue, edited by curators Anna Foa, Giancarlo Lacerenza and Daniele Jalla and published in Italian and English by Mondadori Electa (2017). Even with the show's closure in a few weeks, this volume, with hundreds of illustrations will enjoy long use as a guide to Jewish artifacts in so many corners of Italy - a task the show's curators have admirably succeeded in doing to emphasize the MEIS's relevance to Italy, and Italy's necessary role in the MEIS.

-Jessica Dello Russo

no images were found

Interview with Estelle Shohet Brettman on “Judaism and Christianity in the Catacombs of Rome”

On 13 January 1980, right at the time the International Catacomb Society was being formed "to raise funds to preserve the Jewish catacombs of Italy", society co-founder Estelle Shohet Brettman discussed her new exhibition on funerary art in the catacombs, "Judaism and Christianity in the Catacombs of Rome", with journalists Sonya Hamlin and Frank Avruch of the Sunday Open House television program. This was one of three televised appearances by Brettman in 1979-1980 "because of interest generated by the exhibit" (she also was interviewed by Carol Yelverton for a Channel 68 cultural segment on 26 December 1979 and by Carol Collins for the TV series "Show of Faith" on 8 February 1980). The International Catacomb Society has digitized the Sunday Open House segment, which can be viewed at this link, along with footage for the "Show of Faith" program that records the original installation of Brettman's catacombs exhibit at the Boston Public Library between December 1979 and February 1980 (link)

Brettman's exhibit, renamed "Vaults of Memory: Jewish and Christian Imagery in the Catacombs of Rome," would travel to many different venues in the USA and abroad though the late-1990's (link). In 2003, the show was digitized as a virtual exhibit, complete with a catalogue in pdf originally published by Brettman in 1985 (these images, and thousands of others from Brettman's slide library, also can be viewed in DAPICS). Nearly twenty years after its launch, "Vaults" continued to draw crowds and educate an English-speaking public about the cemeteries used by Jews, Christians, and polytheists in late antique Rome and other parts of the Mediterranean. The main thrust of Brettman's research was, as she put it, on "how symbolism used over 3000 years ago was tied in with that used in Christian, Greco-Roman, and Jewish burials in the Roman empire". Her outlook was ecumenical and dedicated to raising public awareness about the underground burial sites so that there would be better efforts to study and preserve them as "important links" to different societies' shared concerns and beliefs. As a longtime museum educator, Brettman also lectured extensively about ancient art, and at the time of her death in 1991 was completing a monograph on the catacombs, now edited and published in part in open source format on the ICS website (link).

Thanks to this extraordinary legacy, the International Catacomb Society remains on the forefront in developing learning resources and education networks for making ancient cultures more accessible and relevant to our own lives. To expand upon this mission and increase funding for its public programming and scholarships, the society depends on the vital support of individuals like Estelle Brettman, who became a true "star", not only in name ("Estelle"), as a shining example of generosity so many years after her death. 

As the society has honored and perpetuated Estelle's memory since 1991, it welcomes the involvement of others who desire to establish and endow a legacy project or projects in keeping with its focus on public scholarship. Through the Society's Patrons and Partners program, eligible ICS sponsors can obtain naming rights to a scholarship, lecture series, or other project, including but not limited to those ICS currently supports. ICS offers a specialized network of professionals and students on five continents, powerful outreach, and expert staff in program development. Please do not hesitate to reach out to ICS at info@catacombsociety.org to discuss your ideas about future collaboration, and new ways to look at the old, as Brettman did in a wonderfully creative and independent way that started as a search for answers, led to her life's work, and, ultimately, gave birth to a legacy. This is the ICS.

(Image: Estelle Shohet Bretmann meeting with close friend, Cardinal Giuseppe Caprio, to discuss Vatican logistical support for showing of "Vaults of Memory" in Rome)

Initiation to Christian Archaeology: Weekend English-language course in Rome (November 2018 – March 2019)

Initiation to Christian Archaeology: English-language program for 2018-2019 (also held in Italian)
Moderator: Professor Fabrizio Bisconti, Superintendent of Catacombs for the Vatican.
Instructors: Olof Brandt, Carlo Dell'Osso, Stefan Heid, Lucrezia Spera, Gabriele Castiglia, Chiara Cecalupo, and Giovanna Ferri.

The course "Initiation (introduction) to Christian Archaeology" was launched at the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology (PIAC) in Rome in 1960 to disseminate knowledge of the early Christian monuments of Rome along with important references to the other regions of the Orbis christianus antiquus. As an overview of the origins and the development of the first Christian communities up to the time of Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), the course contributes to the formation of instructors of Church History and teachers and students of related subjects.
The classes meet on Saturdays from November to March and include on-site visits to catacombs, churches and museums in Rome and environs, giving students the chance to study monuments and collections that are not so well known and often closed to the general public. Each student will be given a card – distributed by the PIAC – valid for the year of the course (though not for access to the Institute library), along with a badge – provided separately by the PCAS (Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology) – to be used until the end of the academic year for free admission to all the catacombs open to public (S. Callisto, S. Sebastiano, Domitilla, Priscilla, S. Agnese, S. Cristina di Bolsena, S. Gennaro di Napoli, S. Senatore ad Albano). Also, the card and the badge entitle the bearer to a 10% discount on the PIAC publications. 

The course is open to college students and others in possession of at least a high school diploma. The course registration period is from October 1st to November 5th, 2018, during the PIAC's office hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9 A.M. – 6 P.M.; Thursday and Friday, 9 A.M. – 2 P.M. Two passport photos are required and the course tuition is 300 euros. The fee for the final
exam and diploma is 60 euros.

Contact information: Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology - Via Napoleone III, 1 – I-00185 Rome - Tel. +39.06.44 65 574 – Fax +39.06.44 69 197 email: piac.segretario@piac.it – segreteria@piac.it Website: www.piac.it

Calendar of Lessons and Visits

NOVEMBER –
Saturday 10 November, h. 9.30-11.30 A.M. C. DELL’OSSO: Course overview and Introduction
to Christian Archaeology
Saturday 17 November, h. 9.30-11.30 A.M. G. CASTIGLIA: From Classical to Christian Town
Saturday 24 November, h. 9.30-11.30 A.M. G. CASTIGLIA: The Catacombs: Origins and Typologies

DECEMBER –
Saturday 1 December, h. 9.30-11.30 A.M. L. SPERA: The Christianisation of Rome and visit to the Crypta Balbi museum
Saturday 15 December, h. 9.30-11.30 A.M. S. HEID, Roman Hagiography and Liturgy

JANUARY –
Saturday 12 January, h. 9.30-11.30 A.M. C. DELL’OSSO: Patristic Sources
Saturday 19 January, h. 9.30 A.M. Visit to the Coemeterium Maius
Saturday 26 January, h. 9.30-11.30 A.M. C. CECALUPO: Funerary Laws and Rites

FEBRUARY –
Saturday 2 February, h. 9.30-11.30 A.M. O. BRANDT: The Development of Christian Architecture
Saturday 9 February, h. 9.30 A.M. Visit to the necropolis of Isola Sacra
Saturday 16 February, h. 9.30 A.M. Visit to the church of Santa Pudenziana
Saturday 23 February, h. 9.30-11.30 A.M. G. CASTIGLIA: Origins and Development of Christian Epigraphy

MARCH –
Saturday 2 March, h. 9.30 A.M. Visit to the cloister and lapidary of San Lorenzo fuori le mura
Saturday 9 March, h. 9.30-11.30 A.M. G. FERRI, Reading Ancient Images. Paintings,
Mosaics, Sarcophagi
Saturday 16 March, h. 9.30 A.M. Visit to the catacombs of Via Anapo
Saturday 23 March, h. 8.30 EXAMS

Mandel Postdoctoral Fellowships in Humanities & Jewish Studies for 2019–2022 (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

(Source: Mandel Scholion Research Center): Mandel Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities and Jewish Studies for 2019–2022

The Mandel Fellowships are intended for scholars, from Israel and abroad, who have shown exceptional excellence, depth, and originality, and whose research may enrich academic and cultural discourse. Applications will be accepted from candidates who completed their doctoral degrees no earlier than October 1, 2014. Candidates who have not yet completed their degrees may apply if they have submitted their dissertations by September 2, 2018. If awarded the fellowship, their acceptance will be conditional upon approval of their doctoral degrees by April 1, 2019. Mandel Scholars engage in research in optimal conditions and teach one annual course (2 hours per week). Teaching in English is possible. Mandel Scholars receive approximately 150,000 NIS per year in addition to a research budget.

The fellowship is for three years, beginning October 1, 2019. There is an option for a two- or one-year tenure.

Scholars are selected on a competitive basis with no preference for a specific field of study in the humanities or Jewish studies.

Deadline for Applications: September 2, 2018

Mandel Scholion Website: http://en.scholion.huji.ac.il/

Terms of the Fellowship: Mandel Scholars will devote their time to research and are not allowed to work elsewhere, apart from teaching at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Mandel Scholars are each allotted an office in the Mandel Building on Mount Scopus, where they are to carry out their ongoing research at least four days a week. Scholars will also engage in the Center's joint activities, approximately once a month.
The fellowship begins on October 1, 2019 and ends on September 30, 2022. Fellows will submit reports on their research at the end of each academic year (by July 15) and in the middle of the second year (by January 15). Reports should focus on the fellow’s research progress during the period reviewed and research goals for the next period.
The Center’s academic committee is authorized to terminate a fellowship at the end of the first or second year, if the aforementioned terms (sections 1-3) are not met.
The Fellowship is subject to the Hebrew University’s postdoctoral regulations

Submission Procedure: Applications are to be submitted via the Humanities section of Hebrew University’s Scholarship System according to the instructions provided there. Please note! the applications system will close on Sunday, September 2, 2018, at 23:59 (Israeli time)

Any questions? scholion@savion.huji.ac.il

Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College invites applications for the 2019-2020 Corcoran Visiting Chair in Christian-Jewish Relations

(Source: BC CJL): Boston College and its Center for Christian-Jewish Learning invite applications for a one year visiting appointment (renewable for a second year) as the 2019-2020 Corcoran Visiting Chair in Christian-Jewish Relations, specializing in some aspect of the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. or its earned equivalent, have published in the field, and hold (or have retired from) a tenured position (or its equivalent) in a university or seminary. Applications from all relevant disciplines are welcome. The Corcoran Chair will agree to take on specific responsibilities related to the mission of the Center. The full description is available at www.bc.edu/cjl

Electronic submission of the following are requested: letter of application, CV, and a proposal for the research and writing to be done while holding the Chair, including an indication of how these fit into the guidelines above. Two letters of recommendation should be submitted directly. Applications are due by November 16, 2018. Decisions will be made by February 15, 2019. Communications should be addressed to Prof. James Bernauer, SJ (cjlearning@bc.edu), Director, Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, Stokes Hall N405, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 USA.

____________________________________________
Camille Fitzpatrick Markey, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Center for Christian-Jewish Learning
Boston College
Stokes Hall N405
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
617-552-4495
www.bc.edu/cjl

Seminar on Naples Jointly Sponsored by the Bibliotheca Hertziana, German Archaeological Institute and German Historical Institute in Rome (April 1-7, 2019)

(Source: Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte):  Joint Study Course of the Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History, the German Archaeological Institute and the German Historical Institute in Rome (April 1-7, 2019).
The application deadline is 16 September 2018.
The intensive course, led by scientists from the participating institutes, is aimed at advanced students of Classical and Christian archeology, historical building research and art history, and history from the Middle Ages to the present.
Naples is considered an emblematic city of the European South and is often understood as a Mediterranean counterpart to Western modernity with its normative concepts of order, rationality and progress. The strong individual character of the city below Vesuvius is especially influenced by the superimposition, the mesh and juxtaposition, of historical epochs and layers of Greek and Roman antiquity through the Middle Ages and Baroque Eras to Fascism and the present time. These shifts and shifts and the associated images and narratives of the city should be examined in the study course with different subject-specific approaches on the ground.

The course participants will receive intensive training and engage in active participation (including leading a presentation on original research conducted during the course).

The number of participants is limited to fifteen: five scholars of archeology and architecture); five for art historians and five for historians. The costs for the trip is 150 Euro: lodging and admissions are covered by the organizing institutes. Participants are responsible for travel costs to and from the course site.

Prerequisite for the course: M.A. degree in a relevant discipline.

Applications should send in one PDF file the following: a cover letter (max one page), a curriculum vitae, a copy of degrees earned and abstract of an ongoing research project to: Rossi (at) biblhertz.it. Deadline for all applications is September 16, 2018.

In Memoriam: Fabio Filippello, ICS Collaborator (1942-2017)

The ICS learned only recently that Fabio Filippello, an ICS collaborator in the 1980's, passed away in his native Rome on 12 February 2017. Mr. Filippello was the creator of a number of photographs of catacomb paintings and Early Christian and Jewish artifacts in museums and other collections included in the ICS exhibit "Vaults of Memory - Jewish and Christian Imagery in the Catacombs of Rome".

In memory of its late president and a life-long car enthusiast, the MG Car Club Italy is organizing "I Sette Colli - La Sabina, Memorial Fabio Filippello", a 3-day tour from 5-7 October 2018. Registration forms are here and further information can be obtained from MG Car Club d’Italia Via Trasversale Marecchia, 5575 – 47822 Santarcangelo (RN) - Cell. 3283297213 Tel. 0541/1792259 E-mail segreteria@mgcarclubitalia.org.

ICS's last contact with Mr. Filippello was in Rome in 2016, when he was kind enough to share with staff originals of photographs now in DAPICS, the Digitized Archives Program of the ICS. We express sincere condolences and appreciation for his great assistance to the ICS in its formative years. 

[Photo: Fabio Filippello, Abigail Gillespie, Alberto Marcocci, and Estelle Brettman in the atrium of the Jewish Catacombs of Vigna Randanini, ca. 1980]

CFP for CTU Conference “Many Rooms: Space and Sanctity in Judaism and Christianity” (1-2 April 2019)

Call for Abstracts for conference on sacred space in Judaism and Christianity at Catholic Theological Union (Chicago, IL) 1-2 April 2019.

The next Hayim Perelmuter Conference will take place at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago on April 1–2, 2019 in partnership with University of Notre Dame. The Perelmuter Conference has a long tradition of focusing on Jewish-Catholic dialogue and exploring scholarship pertaining to the intersection of Jewish and Catholic literature, history, and theology. The theme of the 2019 conference will be “Many Rooms: Space and Sanctity in Judaism and Christianity.”
The organizers invite abstracts that pertain to Jewish and Christian approaches to navigating the realms of sacred space, and in particular welcome abstracts that address the meaning of sacred space in Judaism and Christianity; the sanctification of space beyond the house of worship; questions of how the synagogue and the church have been and continue to be utilized as spaces that both preserve tradition and offer opportunity for new modes of religious expression; the ways that access to holy spaces has served to enforce or subvert structural norms; the relationship between religious practice in the Jewish and Christian home versus in institutional settings; and how holy space is used metaphorically in Jewish and Christian literature.

Plenary event will be the Spring Shapiro lecture delivered by Prof. Steven Fine, Dean Pinkhos Churgin Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University and founding Director of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies.

Please submit an abstract of approximately 300 words by November 1st to Dr. Malka Simkovich at msimkovich@ctu.edu and Dr. Tzvi Novick at mnovick@nd.edu. Papers can address one or another religious tradition, but abstracts with a comparative focus, or with clear comparative relevance, are especially welcome. Graduate students are asked to submit a curriculum vitae along with their abstract. Decisions about accepted papers will be made by December 1. Accepted papers should be 20 minutes in length, to be followed by 10 minutes of discussion. The conference will provide speakers with meals and an honorarium to help cover travel costs and discounted lodging at CTU.
Contact Info:
Malka Simkovich msimkovich@ctu.edu
Tzvi Novick mnovick@nd.edu