Our guest will be Rabbi Professor David Ellenson, President and I. H. and Anna Grancell Professor of Jewish Religious Thought at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion.   He will lead a discussion on "National Sovereignty, Jewish Identity and the 'Sake of Heaven': The Impact of Residence in Israel on Halakhic Rulings on Conversion" paper available   JSS – Ellenson read more about CANCELLED – seminar December 9 with Professor David Ellenson »

Fraade and Boyd: There May Never Be a Winner, But We Are All Losing November 21, 2012         by STEVEN BOYD and RACHEL FRAADE for ISLAMiCommentary on NOVEMBER 20, 2012:The two people who came together to write this column are very different. One of us is a male, the other is female. One is from the South, one from the North. One is Jewish, the other is an atheist. One has extremely close ties to Israel, and one has zero immediate ties to any nation in the Middle East.… read more about Shalom Goldman's Students Are Finding Middle Ground »

The next meeting of the Jewish Studies Seminar will be Sunday, November 11. Our guest will be Prof. Shaul Magid, Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Chair in Jewish Studies at Indiana University. He will lead a discussion on “Liberal Judaism, Christianity, and the Spector of Hasidisim.” paper available   JSS – Magid 2012-2013 Schedule November 11, Shaul Magid, [...] read more about Next seminar November 11 with Professor Shaul Magid »

The next meeting of the Jewish Studies Seminar is Sunday, Oct. 28. Our guest is Professor Marsha Rozenblit, University of Maryland. She will present “Jews and Other Germans: The Case of Moravia, 1848-1938.” paper available   JSS – Rozenblit 2012-2013 Schedule October 28, Marsha Rozenblit, University of Maryland,  Jews and Other Germans: The Case of Moravia, [...] read more about Next seminar Oct. 28 with Prof. Marsha Rozenblit – Cancelled »

What does it mean to have religious lyrics in secular pop music? Scholars of religion have attempted to answer this question in a variety of ways. They have described the rock concert as a religious experience and sing-alongs as part of an age-old ritual of mantra recitation. Indeed, "The Boss" himself, Bruce Springsteen, speaks with a Christian inflection when he welcomes his audiences to the "Church of Rock N' Roll."In mid-August, we had the chance to think about this question in a new way when we listened to… read more about Matisyahu's Modern-Day Mantra »

Elissa Lerner   September 24, 2012 On the surface, Duke’s recent acquisition of the collected documents of civil rights leader and theologian Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel is an academic and archival coup. The collection, which has never before been available to scholars, spans five decades and at least four languages, including notes and drafts for nearly all of Heschel’s published works, as well as intimate and extensive correspondence with some of the leading religious figures of his time. But… read more about Archival Reunion »

Durham, NC - The Duke in Berlin program offered by the Germanic Languages and Literature department got some high-profile attention this summer in Germany. It was the subject of a feature story in Der Tagesspiegel, one of Berlin's most well-respected newspapers. It paints the picture of a program that gives Duke students a true, real-world experience through both classroom work and involvement in clubs, internships and initiatives that immerse students in the community.A translation of the article follows:By… read more about German Ink for Duke in Berlin »

It is our pleasure to announce that the Third Biennial Duke Workshop in German Jewish Studies will take place from Sunday, February 10, 2013 until Tuesday, February 12, 2013 in Durham, NC at the King's Daughters Inn (near the Duke East Campus) and in part on campus. We welcome two kinds of proposals: 1) A 10 minute research briefing on your most recent work in the area of German Jewish Studies. Designed to start conversation early in the project and receive input and commentary.… read more about German-Jewish Studies Workshop 2013 »

  What Is “Flipping the Classroom” and Who Is Doing It? By Andrea Novicki On September 27, 2012 · Leave a Comment · In Blog, Teaching Strategies   The flipped classroom – everyone is talking about it, but what exactly does it mean? Derek Bruff, in his Flipped Classroom FAQ defines the flipped classroom as a teaching approach in which students get a first exposure to course content before class through readings or videos, then spend class time deepening their understanding of that content… read more about Assistant Director Laura Lieber is "Flipping the Classroom" »

Duke University Professor, and Director of Jewish Studies, Eric Meyers says archaeology in Israel and Palestine can give context for biblical narratives. In his new book, "Alexander to Constantine," co-authored with Mark Chancey, Ph.D. '99, he argues that Hellenism gave Judaism, and later Christianity, a cultural vehicle for expressing the faiths to worldwide audiences.Watch his interview here: more (and purchase this title) at:http://yalepress.yale.… read more about Eric Meyers discusses his new book: "Alexander to Constantine" »

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Experts say Bible has enduring role in American life By  Jill Rubin|September 11, 2012 Comments (3)Print   Contrary to popular belief, the Bible affects people’s everyday lives because of its influence on the political and social realm, experts said. Biblical scholars gathered for a two-day conference from Sunday to Monday to present the applications of the Bible in politics and foreign policy. The event, titled “The Bible in the Public Square,” discussed the correlation between current events and the… read more about Experts say Bible has enduring role in American life »

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Durham, NC - Duke University will acquire the papers of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a scholar, writer and theologian who is widely recognized as one of the most influential religious leaders of the 20th century, the school announced Monday. Heschel was a highly visible and charismatic leader in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. He co-founded Clergy Concerned About Vietnam and served as a Jewish liaison with the Vatican during the Second Vatican Council, also known as Vatican II.The collection,… read more about An Inspiring Civil Rights Legacy Comes to Duke »

Durham, NC - Duke University's Center for Jewish Studies and Department of Religion will host a conference Sept. 9-10 on how the Bible is used -- and misused -- in political campaigns, school curricula, foreign policy and popular culture. The two-day event, Bible in the Public Square, is free and open to the public, but online registration is requested. Eric Meyers, director of Duke's Center for Jewish Studies, said the conference was intentionally scheduled to coincide with the presidential election… read more about Scholars Examine Bible's Role in American Politics, Sept. 9-10 »

A Country Called Conflict by Shai Ginsburg on Jul 26, 2012 • 11: 29 UTC    Israel is not just bedeviled by the occupation. It also struggles internally, with every manner of social problem. The two biggest winners of this year’s Jerusalem Film Festival could not do a better job of underlining this. Both films explore the insinuation of violence in Israeli society, by looking at the country’s Mizrahi and Bedouin communities. Meni Yaesh’s debut, God’s Neighbors, was awarded the Pirchi Family Award for… read more about Shai Ginsburg discusses Israeli cinema in the article "A Country Called Conflict" »

Religion Professor Laura Lieber, Assistant Director of the Duke Center for Jewish Studies will present her paper "The Play's the Thing": Theatricality in Aramaic Piyyutim at this year's International Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Meeting held in Amsterdam.  She will give her paper in a session entitled "Early Judaism and Rabbinics" to be held on July 25, from 9-12.  Abstract:Liturgical poems not only “translate” biblical narratives into poetry; they do so for a performative… read more about Assistant Director Laura Lieber to present paper at SBL »

June 22, 2012, 10:55 amBy Jacques Berlinerblau Don't wait for Romney to bring up religion. (Photo by Austen Hufford via Flickr/CC) Four years and nine days ago today, Barack Obama stunned (uninitiated) analysts at a campaign stop in Zanesville Ohio with the announcement that if elected he would retain George W. Bush’s much-maligned Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. It would become “a critical part” of his administration, said the junior senator from Illinois. Some liberals were shocked… read more about Jacques Berlinerblau asks "Why So Little Religious Politicking in This Presidential Election?" »

Duke Center for Jewish Studies Affiliated Faculty, Shai Ginsburg (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies), has helped organize the first international conference on Israeli documentary cinema as part of the Jerusalem International Film Festival.The Duke Center for Jewish Studies is also proud to be a co-sponsor of this exciting event.In recent years, Israeli documentary cinema has experienced unprecedented success, both in Israel and abroad. Still, attention has been largely limited to two of its constitutive themes—the… read more about Duke Center for Jewish Studies helps sponsor the first international conference on Israeli documentary cinema »

Shalom Goldman, Professor of Religion, and Duke Center for Jewish Studies affiliated faculty, spoke with IBA News last week about Johnny Cash and the Holy Land.  Cash, whose songs include "In the Land of Israel," had a close connection with the Holy Land as Goldman discusses in this fascinating interview. This is a taped recording from JTV news.      read more about Shalom Goldman on Johnny Cash »

May 16, 2012 By John Fea 7 CommentsAs many of the readers of my blog, “The Way of Improvement Leads Home,” are aware, I have spent a good portion of 2011 and 2012 on the road and on the radio waves promoting my book Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? In the process, I have learned a lot about what Americans think about the founding of the United States.  Many of the people I have encountered have been thoughtful, open-minded, and willing to listen to my interpretation of the relationship between… read more about John Fea: On the Road With Christian America »

The Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) and the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) have teamed up once more to bring you an all-star line-up of Biblical archaeologists and scholars in this thrilling three-day program. Presenting at this exciting program are the ever-popular and celebrated scholars Bart Ehrman and Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Joining them are the future Society of Biblical Literature president Carol Meyers and former ASOR president Eric Meyers, both of Duke… read more about ASOR/BAS Seminar on Biblical Archaelogy »

Religion & Identity in European and Beyond: Between Hybridity and EthnicityThis international conference will take place this June at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel.  Duke Center for Jewish Studies affiliated faculty, Malachi Hacohen (History) and Shai Ginsburg (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies) join an exciting group of scholars to speak on the construction of Jewish Identity.  Session topics include "The European Other: Religion Stereotypes in European Cultures," "… read more about Religion & Identity in Europe and Beyond »

Obama and the Two Types of MarriagePosted: 05/17/2012 11:42 amIn the wake of President Obama's declaration of his personal support for the right of same-sex couples to marry under civil law, the nation is understandably focused on debating the merits of this position. Three related points from President Obama's announcement, however, deserve our attention as well. First, President Obama noted that there is an important difference between civil marriage and religious marriage. The state defines civil marriage, which… read more about Melissa Rogers: Obama and the two types of marriage »

Inside the First Amendment, Religion Commentary In Va. high school, will Ten Commandments stay or go? Charles C. Haynes Director, Religious Freedom Education Project Friday, May 18, 2012The two-year battle over posting the Ten Commandments on a high school wall in Giles County, Va., has been polarizing, angry and downright nasty.Last week, U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski tried to avoid more litigation by ordering the warring parties to seek common ground through mediation.In order to jump-start the peace process,… read more about In Va. high school, will Ten Commandments stay or go? »

Register online at the following for the Bible in the Public Square Conference happening September 9-10 at Duke University. you have questions, or are planning on registering a large group - please contact Serena Elliott at or give us a call at 919-660-3504. We look forward to seeing you for this exciting event! read more about Registration now open »