Vacancies: Four salaried PhD positions, Lund University

The Centre of Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University will shortly advertise four paid PhD positions in a range of fields including Jewish Studies. Applicants will be asked to submit course transcripts, a copy of their MA thesis and a dissertation plan. The successful candidates will receive full funding for four years and will be required to spend the larger part of that time at Lund University. 

The application procedure opens on Feb. 1 and a link to the application system will appear here:  https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/about-lund-university/work-lund-university/applying-position.

Deadline for submission is Feb. 28, 2021.

You are welcome to contact Magnus Zetterholm (Magnus.Zetterholm@ctr.lu.se) if you would like to learn more. 

The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded and is run by Dr Katharina Keim and Dr Karin Zetterholm at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University. Don’t forget to sign up to our blog to receive the latest news from the Network in your email inbox. You are always welcome to get in touch with us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

Event: Evening Lecture Series on “Jews and Health: Tradition, History, and Practice,” Centre for Jewish Studies at SOAS (online)

The Centre for Jewish Studies at SOAS, University of London is hosting an evening lecture series for 2020-21 on ‘Jews and Health: Tradition, History, and Practice’. All are welcome, but advance registration is required via eventbrite.

The programme is provided in full below. Please note that all times are in GMT.


SOAS, University of London

Centre for Jewish Studies

2020-21 

Evening Lecture Series

Chair: Prof. Catherine Hezser (HRP)

Jews and Health: Tradition, History, and Practice

In the time of Coronavirus, the preservation of health, the prevention of infection, and the healing of the sick have become our foremost concerns. The topics of health and illness play a prominent role in the Jewish tradition from the Hebrew Bible onwards. In the Book of Job, the protagonist is given advice by his friends on how to deal with the disease that afflicts him. In the Babylonian Talmud, rabbis provide medical advice in the context of Hellenistic and Persian medicine. Jewish physicians were present at the Ottoman sultan’s court. Jews also experienced epidemics such as the plague in earlier periods already and understood the need for social distancing and adjustments in religious law. This lecture series looks at health, illness, and medicine amongst Jews from antiquity until today.

The lectures will take place on Zoom on Wednesdays from 18:00-19:00h. Attendance is free of charge. Advance registration on Eventbrite (at the links provided below) is required separately for each lecture. Places are limited to 50 for each lecture. Those who have registered will receive a Zoom link a few days before the event takes place. For questions please contact the organiser at ch12@soas.ac.uk.

Wednesday 18 November 2020, 18:00-19:00h GMT: 

Prof. Katherine E. Southwood, St John’s College, University of Oxford:

“Illness in the Book of Job and the Health Advice of Job’s Friends”:

The lecture launches her recently published book, Job’s Body and the Dramatised Comedy of Moralising (London: Routledge, 2020). The book highlights the key role Job’s body plays in undermining the idea of illness as divine retribution. Job’s friends provide a wealth of moralising advice in response to his own body-centred language. In Job, the juxtaposition of bodily experience and traditional wisdom is explored in a light-hearted way, shifting from tragedy to comedy, similar to Aristophanes and Athenian theatre plays. In the dialogues, the self-righteous Job becomes ever more frustrated and this change is expressed in body-centred language.  Exaggerated metaphors of divine attack and surveillance reflect Job’s symbolic protest against retribution language. In response, his friends increase their moralising talk until the comic character Elihu suggests that the wind within constrains Job. As all the characters become increasingly vexed, the audience follows the windy discussion, knowing all along that Job is blameless.  

Katherine E. Southwood is Associate Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at the University of Oxford since 2013, after an appointment as University Lecturer at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham. Her research is interdisciplinary, using insights from Anthropology and Classical Studies. She has published three monographs and numerous articles. She is currently program unit chair of the Society for Biblical Literature’s “Social Sciences and the Interpretation of Hebrew Scriptures” unit.

Register for the lecture on Eventbrite:

Wednesday 13 January 2021, 18:00-19:00h GMT:

Prof. Mark Geller, University College London and Paris Institute of Advanced Studies:

“Forget about Galen?  Talmudic Medicine in Context”

The lecture will investigate to what extent rabbis of the Babylonian Talmud were familiar with the medicine of their era, as a reflection of larger questions regarding the extent of penetration of Hellenistic science into Babylonia.  Medicine serves as a useful barometer for the level of general scientific knowledge. Talmudic medicine can be used as a test to determine whether Babylonian rabbis were influenced by the medical writings of authorities such as Hippocrates or Galen, as is often assumed to be the case, or whether Talmudic medicine reflects other inspirations.

Mark Geller is Jewish Chronicle Professor of Jewish Studies at University College London since 1976. He is an expert on Semitic languages, including Aramaic, Akkadian, Sumerian, Ugaritic, and Arabic, and on the Babylonian Talmud. In 2005-6 he received a grant from the Wellcome Trust to work on ancient Babylonian medicine and is now working on a book on Ancient Jewish Medicine.

Register for the lecture on Eventbrite:

Wednesday 10 February 2021, 18:00-19:00h GMT:

Prof. Miriam Shefer Mossensohn, Tel Aviv University:

“Medical Reform and Jewish Reform: Two Ottoman-Jewish Physicians Around 1700”

The lecture will focus on two Jewish physicians of the Ottoman period. Refael Mordekhai Malki (d. 1702), a rabbi and physician in Ottoman Jerusalem, composed in the 1690s a vast Torah commentary in Hebrew, calling for medical reform. Tobias Cohen (d. 1729), a physician at the Ottoman Sultan’s court, published his Ma’aseh Tuviyya, “The Work of Tobias”, in Venice in 1708. It is a medical compendium with a new mechanical understanding of the human body.The lecture will investigate the mind-set of these two rather conservative and cautious scholars who, on the threshold of modernity, advocated profound changes along two axes, the Jewish-communal and medical-universal realms.

Miriam Shefer Mossensohn is Professor of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University and Head of the Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies. She is an early-modern Ottomanist, focusing on Islamicate medicine, health and wellbeing. Her publications include  After Ottoman Medicine: Healing and Medical Institutions 1500-1700 (State University of New York Press, 2009) and Science among the Ottomans: The Cultural Creation and Exchange of Knowledge (the University of Texas Press, 2015). Her current research explores how medicine was managed, organized, and supervised in the Ottoman Empire of the early modern period. 

Register for the lecture on Eventbrite:

Wednesday 24 February 2021, 18:00-19:00h GMT: 

Prof. Susan L. Einbinder, University of Connecticut:

“Writing Plague: Jewish Accounts of the Great Italian Plague (1630-31)”

Lecture summary: Historians have long noted the abundance of literary responses to the Great Italian Plague of 1630-31, but little attention has been paid to Jewish sources. Nonetheless, Hebrew narrative, poetic, homiletical, and liturgical testimony exists and is important.  These texts document efforts – administrative, medical, spiritual, practical – to meet the challenge of a pandemic. But pandemic also created a textual challenge, exposing conventions of self-representation under extraordinary stress.  This talk examines several examples, asking how their authors met the challenge of “writing plague,” and how those challenges echo in our writing, too.    

Susan L. Einbinder is Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut. Among her publications are After the Black Death: Commemoration and Plague among Iberian Jews(Philadelpha: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) and “Prayer and Plague: Jewish Plague Liturgy from Medieval and Early Modern Italy” in: Death and Disease, ed. Lori Jones and Nükhet Varlik (York Medieval Press; forthcoming). She is currently working on a book entitled, Writing Plague: Jewish Responses to the Great Italian Plague (1630-31).

Register for this lecture on Eventbrite:

Wednesday 3 March 2021, 18:00-19:00h GMT:

Dr. Daniel Staetsky, Woolf Institute, Cambridge:

“Jews and Coronavirus: The Global View of Phase 1 of the Pandemic”

The lecture surveys the impact of the first phase (March to May 2020) of the Coronavirus pandemic on Jews worldwide, comparing statistics about infection and mortality rates amongst Jews in different countries. Religious, socio-economic, and other factors that stand behind the statistics will be evaluated.

Daniel Staetsky is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR). He specialises in Jewish, Middle Eastern, and European demography and social statistics, especially with regard to religious and ethnic minorities. His publications include “Jewish Mortality Reconsidered” (Journal of Biosocial Science 2015), “Jews and Coronavirus in England and Wales: What the ONS Study of Covid-19 Mortality Comparing Different Religious Groups in England and Wales Tells Us About British Jewish Mortality” (JPS 2020).

Register for the lecture on Eventbrite:

Wednesday 17 March 2021, 18:00-19:00h GMT:

Prof. Joshua Teplitsky, Stony Brook University:

“Dilemmas of Disease: Jews and the Plague in Prague in the Eighteenth Century”

The lecture will examine competing pressures on Jews at the time of the plague, such as health policy, economic pressure, and the impulse to conceal disease from the civic authorities. These competing pressures appear in a variety of instances during the early modern period, and invite an investigation into the spaces of both Jewish commonality and distinctiveness, as well as Jewish self-perception during the plague, and questions of compliance vis-a-vis the state and social norms — issues that are exceedingly relevant again nowadays.

Joshua Teplitsky is Associate Professor of History at Stony Brook University, New York. His work focuses on Jewish life in the Habsburg Empire in the early modern period (16th–18th centuries), with an emphasis on the city of Prague. His publications include “Plague, Passover, and Perspectives on Social Distancing”, Magazine of the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies Spring 2020; “A Conversation Between Joshua Teplitsky and Magda Teter about Epidemics, Disease and Plagues in Jewish History & Memory” (April 22, 2020).

Register for this lecture on Eventbrite:


The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded and is run by Dr Katharina Keim and Dr Karin Zetterholm at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University. Don’t forget to sign up to our blog to receive the latest news from the Network in your email inbox. You are always welcome to get in touch with us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

Event announcement: “Antisemitism or Anti-Judaism? Jews and non-Jews in Interwar Poland”, Sunday 22 Nov (online via zoom)

This Sunday 22 November Magdalena Dziaczkowska, a doctoral student at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University and a visiting research fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, will present an online seminar on “Antisemitism or Anti-Judaism? Jews and non-Jews in Interwar Poland.”

For further details, including the zoom link, see the poster below.

The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded and is run by Dr Katharina Keim and Dr Karin Zetterholm at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University. Don’t forget to sign up to our blog to receive the latest news from the Network in your email inbox. You are always welcome to get in touch with us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

Event Announcement: Lunch with Jewish Studies, Lund University (online via zoom)

On Friday 2 October at 12:00 CET Lund will be holding a ‘Lunch with Jewish Studies’ event.

The organisers welcome all staff and students at Lund University, as well as interested future students from across the Nordic region, to join us for an hour to learn about Jewish Studies as a discipline.

Lund University has 10 staff affiliated with Jewish Studies in the Faculty of Language and Literature and in the Humanities-Theology Faculty. Our members teach and research in a range of Jewish Studies sub-disciplines including religious studies, theology, ancient, medieval and modern history, art history, and language and area studies.

Through ‘Lunch with Jewish Studies’ we will introduce our sub-disciplines, highlight courses we offer including study abroad opportunities, and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Advance registration is not required. Join the event via zoom.

For further information, contact Karin Zetterholm and/or Rakel Nihlén.

The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded and is run by Dr Katharina Keim and Dr Karin Zetterholm at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University. Don’t forget to sign up to our blog to receive the latest news from the Network in your email inbox. You are always welcome to get in touch with us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

We welcome news from our members!

The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded earlier this year to connect scholars in Jewish Studies and related fields from across the Nordic region. Our aim is for the Network’s website to become a hub of activity that brings people with an interest in Jewish Studies and related disciplines into conversation with one another.

We want to build a community to share information about new and ongoing research, courses in Jewish Studies (broadly considered), and events taking place throughout the Nordic region. This is not just for our benefit as a collective in terms of keeping us all informed, but also to increase the visibility of Jewish Studies as a discipline and to advocate for the discipline in our local and national contexts.

To that end, we welcome news from our members!

Do you have:

  • an ongoing research project you’d like to showcase?
  • a call for papers to share?
  • a pedagogical tool or innovation you’d like to share?
  • an announcement about a new publication? or, would you like to review a recent publication?
  • an announcement or reflection relating to a public engagement event or initiative?
  • an event to advertise?
  • a course to advertise?

If so, please have a look at our posting guidance and contact us with the relevant details so we can share the information with the Network as a whole.

We look forward to hearing from you and sharing your news!

The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded and is run by Dr Katharina Keim and Dr Karin Zetterholm at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University. Don’t forget to sign up to our blog to receive the latest news from the Network in your email inbox. You are always welcome to get in touch with us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

Course Announcement: “Från Jesus till rabbinerna”, Lund University.

A new course is offered at Lund University in the spring semester of 2021 entitled “Från Jesus till rabbinerna”.

Course description: Kursen behandlar judendomens utveckling från första århundradet fram till och med den rabbinska judendomens framväxt och konsolidering. I fokus står den rabbinska judendomen och dess relation till tidigare former av judendom, inklusive den tidiga Jesusrörelsen. Kursen ger en översikt av Jesusrörelsens framväxt inom första århundradets judendom och av den rabbinska judendomen, de viktigaste rabbinska texterna, deras tillkomsthistoria, innehåll, karakteristika och sociala kontext.

The course will be offered in Swedish as a distance learning course through the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies. Registration closes on 15 October.

More information can be found on the course flyer and on the Lund University website.

Does your University offer courses in Jewish Studies? We would be glad to share news of new and ongoing Jewish Studies courses with our colleagues across the Nordic region. Our aim as the Nordic Network for Jewish Studies is to raise the profile of the discipline, and to share information amongst our members. If you have a course you would like to publicise, please contact us.

The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded and is run by Dr Katharina Keim and Dr Karin Zetterholm at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University. Don’t forget to sign up to our blog to receive the latest news from the Network in your email inbox. You are always welcome to get in touch with us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

Course Announcement: Study Abroad opportunity for Lund University students

Students of the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology at Lund University are eligible to study abroad as part of their programmes. We would like to highlight that this opportunity includes the chance to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with which Lund has an exchange agreement. Students can take courses at the faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Hebrew University as well as at the Rothberg International School.  

If you would like to know more about study abroad as a Lund University student, including eligibility and how to apply, see the Utbytesstudier pages for more information. Lund also provides information about the study abroad arrangements with Hebrew University as well as a general information sheet for exchange students to Hebrew University.

Applications must be received between 5 September and 5 October 2020 for the academic year 2021.

Does your university have exchange agreements with other universities that Jewish Studies students and staff can benefit from? We would love to advertise exchange arrangements via the Network to increase the visibility of international cooperations in our disciplines. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded and is run by Dr Katharina Keim and Dr Karin Zetterholm at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University. Don’t forget to sign up to our blog to receive the latest news from the Network in your email inbox. You are always welcome to get in touch with us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

Event: The First Nordic Postgraduate Forum in Ancient and Early Medieval Jewish History and Literature, Lund University (22–23 September 2020)

This is our first blog post since the summer break, and we hope that you are all having a safe and healthy start to the new academic year.

We are pleased to announce that in two weeks today Lund University will be hosting the first Nordic Network for Jewish Studies event! It will take the form of a Postgraduate Forum in Jewish Studies and will take place over two half-days on 22-23 September 2020.

Papers will be presented by six current doctoral students from around the Nordic region working on projects that relate to the study of ancient and medieval Jewish history. Each paper will be presented in brief followed by comments from a respondent and general discussion. The programme also features a masterclass in reading Talmudic texts by Prof Philip Alexander (FBA, Emeritus Manchester) entitled, ‘“If they are not prophets, they are sons of prophets”: Tosefta Pesahim 4:13-14 and its reception in the Yerushalmi and the Bavli.’ The programme can be found here.

You are welcome to join us for part or all of the programme. Please register your interest in attending through our Google Form. NB: Due to present Covid-related room capacity restrictions, we are only able to accommodate attendees via zoom.

The papers will not be circulated as they are works in progress. However, you are welcome to use the contact information provided in the programme to write to the presenters directly if you would like to request copies of their papers.

We are grateful to the European Association for Jewish Studies for supporting this event.

If you have any questions about the event, you are welcome to contact us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded and is run by Dr Katharina Keim and Dr Karin Zetterholm at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University. Don’t forget to sign up to our blog to receive the latest news from the Network in your email inbox. You are always welcome to get in touch with us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

Course announcement: Study trip to Jerusalem, 19-28 October 2020 (NNJCI)

It has been a while since we have posted a blog, in which time you will all have felt the effects of Covid-19 in your teaching, research, and personal lives. We hope that you are as well as you can be, and wish you all a safe and joyful midsommar.

Before we go into the summer break, we wanted to share the re-issued call for applicants to the doctoral course and study trip, entitled “Jerusalem in History and Imagination.” The course is organised by Anders-Christian Lund Jacobsen and Kasper Bro Larsen at Aarhus University on behalf of the Nordic Network for the study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the First Millennium, and remains scheduled for 19-28 October 2020.

The deadline for applications has been extended until 10 August, with no deposit or application fee required. A final decision on whether the trip can go ahead amid coronavirus-related developments and travel advice will be taken on 15 August.

For further details and to register your interest see the NNJCI website.

The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded and is run by Dr Katharina Keim and Dr Karin Zetterholm at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University. You are welcome to get in touch with us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

Online course announcement: Classic Rabbinic Texts, Lund University

Course title: Classic Rabbinic Texts (TRVN13)

Host institution: Lund University

Abstract: This course offers a study of a selection of texts from classical rabbinic literature from the Mishnah to the Babylonian Talmud. After a brief survey of the emergence of the rabbinic movement and the political, cultural and linguistic context in which it developed, the main part of the course is devoted to close readings of a selection of rabbinic texts in Hebrew/Aramaic with a translation. To enable the inclusion of a larger number of texts in order to display the various genres included in rabbinic literature, some texts will be read only in translation. In addition to acquiring and developing skills in rabbinic Hebrew, students will gain insights into rabbinic thought and culture, and acquire a basic knowledge of the scope, style and characteristics of rabbinic texts. The main focus will be on the Mishnah (early 3rd century), the Mekhilta (late 3rd century), Genesis and Leviticus Rabbah (early 5th century) and the Babylonian Talmud (300–700 C.E).

Format: The course is taught online over the entire semester (September–December with the exam due in the second half of December). It also includes a 2-day seminar in Lund, November 4–5, 2020, which is a very important part of the course.

Language of instruction: English.

Context: The course is part of the joint Religious Roots of Europe MA programme, which is shared between the universities of Lund, Copenhagen, and Oslo. The course can be taken as part of this programme, but can also be taken as a stand-alone course.

Deadline: The deadline to apply for fall courses is April 15, 2020. For information about key dates and the application process, see https://www.lu.se/studera/anmalan-och-antagning/viktiga-datum.

NB: More general information in English is to be found through the general university admissions pages, but you will have to apply in the Swedish system since the deadline for international students has already passed (but this should be no problem for Scandinavian students).

For more information, please see https://www.ctr.lu.se/kurs/TRVN13/HT2020/. You are also welcome to contact Dr Zetterholm directly.