Department of Religious Studies
College of Arts & Sciences
The Department of Religious Studies will be bringing in as well as sponsoring distinguished guest speakers throughout the year.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Professor Menachem Mor, University of Haifa, will present two lectures on Tuesday, September 20, 2016.
1:20 p.m., Classroom Building Room 219, "Samaritans Past & Present"
- Abstract: Menachem Mor is one of Israel’s leading experts on the tiny remnant of the Samaritan community and its long history, dating back, perhaps to the Assyrian conquest of Samaria. Perspectives from Jewish sources in late antiquity shed light on just what the “Samaritans” symbolized to the New Testament audience, and their fraught interactions with the mainstream Judean community. An ancient Jewish source suggests that they are an offshoot of Judaism and will be accepted as Jews when they “renounce Mt. Gerizim, and confess Jerusalem and the resurrection of the dead.” In modern times, their numbers have declined but their status remains controversial, both in Israeli society and in their relations with Arab and Jewish neighbors; in 1994, the Israeli Supreme Court considered their status within the very complicated issue of eligibility for the Law of Return. This lecture treats the question "who is a Samaritan?" according to a variety of ancient sources: Biblical, Mishnaic and Talmudic, contemporary considerations derived from the ancient sources, and how these influenced Samaritan status today.
5:10 p.m., Classroom Building Room 214, "Bar Kokhba: From Hebrew to English"
- Abstract: Twenty-five years after Professor Menachem Mor published his path-breaking volume The Bar Kokhba Revolt: Its Extent and Effect (Hebrew, 1991), he produced an English, extended version, entitled The Second Jewish Revolt: The Bar Kokhba War 132-136 CE (2016). This rebellion was one of the major challenges to Rome in the first few centuries of Imperial rule, and the last attempt at Judean independence in antiquity. In this lecture, Professor Mor will review dilemmas, debates and corrections related to the new edition, methodological issues, and the contribution of Archaeology to the understanding of History. In addition, the lecture will address issues such as the date of the Revolt, the name of its leader, its geographical scope, and its outcome.