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 Bible,… read more about Experts say Bible has enduring role in American life »

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Shalom TV Daily News, featured the acquisition of Rabbi Abraham Heschel's papers by Duke.  Listen to what they had to say during their broadcast at 3:33.You can also view the broadcast directly on YouTube: read more about Shalom TV Features the Heschel Acquisition »

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, which… 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 campaign. "The… 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 Best… read more about Shai Ginsburg discusses Israeli cinema in the article "A Country Called Conflict" »

by Eric Meyers Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in… read more about Director Eric Meyers discusses "Jewish Berlin" »

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 context. In… 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. They… 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," "Religion and Identity in… 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 »

Duke University and the Center for Jewish Studies are proud to host The Bible in the Public Square conference this Fall - September 9-10.  Keynote speakers will include Charles Haynes Senior Scholar at the First Amendment Center, and Melissa Rogers, who was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama to serve as chair of his inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  We hope you will join us for this event that is open to the public! read more about Bible in the Public Square Conference Schedule »

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Editor's Note: In 2008, Duke Magazine profiled five incoming members of the Class of 2012.  As the class prepares to graduate this month, the magazine returned to the students to see how they fared, and one story is reprinted below.  More can be found in the May issue of Duke Magazine. Paul Salem: Hard work, preparation and moral purpose. Photo by Jon Gardiner/Duke University Photography Durham, NC - As the oldest member of the Class of 2012 and its only combat veteran, former U.S. Marine Paul… read more about Paul Salem: A Moral Imperative to Heal »

Come celebrate the end of a great year with us. Our guests will be Mirjam and Noam Zadoff from the University of Munich. They will lead a discussion on: “Jewish-German Dialogues: Gershom and Werner Scholem.” Please RSVP to Amy at papers available: JSS – Zadoffs abstract JSS – Mirjam Zadoff-2 JSS – Noam Zadoff read more about Next Seminar May 3 with Mirjam and Noam Zadoff »

Moshe Feiglin is not known for his film criticism. A high ranking member of Israel’s ruling Likud party, the right-winger is better known for his extremist views. Yet, two months ago, he published one of the most important aesthetic pronouncements to be made in Israel in recent years. Featured in Ma’ariv, Feiglin’s statement was made vis-à-vis Joseph Cedar‘s award-winning film Footnote. Given its political significance, it is worth quoting at length:“What shall I say? In the past, one could not find an Israeli film… read more about Shai Ginsburg writes on Joseph Cedar’s "Footnote" »

The next meeting of the Jewish Studies Seminar is Sunday, April 29. Our guest is Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Co-Director, Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Stanford University. She will present “Rabbinic Urban Topography: The Eruv and other Neighborhood Maps.” paper available  JSS – Fonrobert read more about Next seminar April 29 with Charlotte E. Fonrobert »

Q&A with Mark Goodacre and Eric MeyersBy Lauren Carroll   In the week following Easter and Passover, a new controversial book and corresponding film about religious archeology is gathering media attention. Filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and James Tabor, chair of the religious studies department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, believe they have found an ossuary containing the bones of Jesus Christ and his wife and child in the East Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem. But, two Duke professors are… read more about Q&A with Mark Goodacre and Eric Meyers »

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Center for Jewish Studies are pleased to announce the availability of new fellowships to support scholars, students, and independent researchers whose work would benefit from access to the Judaica materials held by the Rubenstein Library, the Duke Divinity School Library, and/or Perkins Library. Applicants must live outside of a 100-mile radius from Durham, NC.  More information can be found at the following: read more about Research Fellowships in Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible »

The next meeting of the Jewish Studies Seminar is Sunday, March 18. Our guest will be Professor Christine Hayes of Yale University. She will lead a discussion of her essay “Legal Realism and Sectarian Self-Fashioning in Jewish Antiquity.” paper available  JSS-Hayes read more about Next Seminar March 18 with Prof. Christine Hayes »

This story originally appeared in The Herald Sun. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in;… read more about Katheen Perry '13 preaches "Healing Bitter with Bitter" »

Eric Meyers’ review of “The New Jesus Discovery”Review of “The New Jesus Discovery” (Simon and Schuster 2012, ISBN 978-1-4516-5040-2) Eric M.Meyers, Duke UniversityFor nearly two millennia Christians have venerated the site believed to be where Jesus was buried. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was built at a place where liturgical celebrations were held in honor of Christ’s death and resurrection, even before the destruction of the temple in 70 CE. Emperor Hadrian in 135 CE built his Capitoline temple there, and a shrine… read more about Eric Meyers' Review of "The New Jesus Discovery" »