The Ben Zion and Baruch M. Bokser Memorial Lecture:

"Can the Torah Make Its Peace With Modern Biblical Scholarship?"

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

January 21, 2009, New York, NY

Dr. James L. Kugel, director of the Institute for the History of the Jewish Bible at Bar-Ilan University and noted author of How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now, will discuss the topic, “Can the Torah Make Its Peace With Modern Biblical Scholarship?” at the Ben Zion and Baruch M. Bokser Memorial Lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 18.

The event will take place at The Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City.

Over the last century, university scholarship has fomented a "quiet revolution" in the understanding of the Bible. Archeologists, ancient historians, linguists, and text scholars have joined forces to reexamine every chapter of Scripture, in the process illuminating the historical background of various biblical figures and events as well as biblical traditions about the authorship of different books and the time of their composition.

But has all this scholarship killed the Bible in the process? More specifically, is it still possible for the Torah to occupy its central place in Judaism when modern scholars have done so much to throw into question its unity and historical accuracy?

A specialist in the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, James Kugel is also Starr Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University. He is the author of some fifty research articles and eleven books, including On Being a Jew, The God of Old, and How to Read the Bible, which was awarded the National Jewish Book Award for the best book of 2007 and which the New York Times called one of the best books that year. Dr. Kugel is editor in chief of Jewish Studies: An Internet Journal.

Admission is free, but reservations are required. Those attending the lecture should arrive at least fifteen minutes early to allow sufficient time for registration, and have photo ID available. To RSVP or for further information, please call (212) 280-6093 or email.