Annual Leo Baeck Institute Lecture
Anti-Judaism as a System of Thought
Anti-Judaism as a System of ThoughtIn his recent "Anti-Judaism: The History of a Way of Thinking," David Nirenberg argued that Anti-Judaism should not be thought of as some archaic or irrational closet in the vast edifices of Western thought. Instead, he suggested, it was a powerful conceptual tool, one that played an important role in helping many people make sense of the complex world they lived in. In this lecture he will explain how Anti-Judaism became so central, and describe some of the work it has done in shaping the ways in which past peoples interpreted the worlds they lived in.
David Nirenberg is Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and the director of the university’s Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. His research focuses on the ways in which Jewish, Christian, and Islamic societies have interacted with and thought about each other over the ages. His books on the subject include Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages, as well as Judaism and Christian Art. His recent Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (2013) traces the multiple ways in which thinking about Jews and Judaism has shaped Christian, Islamic, and modern secular thought. His Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism Medieval and Modern, will appear in 2014. David Nirenberg is also a contributor to publications such as The Nation, The New Republic, and The London Review of Books.
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