Dangerous Ideas: Censorship Through a Jewish Lens
October 24–December 19, 2022
1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
All sessions will be held on Mondays.
YOU CAN FIND LINKS TO DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EACH SESSION HERE
About the Series
Throughout Jewish history, certain texts and ideas have been deemed too dangerous to circulate—whether by outsiders who banned Jewish writings, or Jewish leaders who suppressed ideas considered heretical or beyond the pale. In this series, JTS scholars will examine efforts to control knowledge from ancient to contemporary times, exploring the ways in which censorship both reflects and shapes broader ideological struggles. They will discuss the varying motivations for controlling or revising narratives, and consider whether and under what circumstances it might make sense to suppress certain ideas. These discussions will illuminate past struggles and help us understand the battles over censorship and free expression playing out today.
Topics will include ancient scribes revising biblical verses, the removal of passages about Jesus from the Talmud, the excommunication of Spinoza, the banning of Hasidic texts, controversial redactions of Anne Frank’s diary, the Hollywood blacklist, and more.
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At JTS, we are committed to providing the Jewish community with outstanding classes in Judaic studies. We hope you will partner with us so that we can continue to do so. Did you know that you can sponsor a learning session to honor a loved one, celebrate an occasion, or commemorate a yahrzeit? You can find sponsorship information here. Questions? Contact email@example.com
Written in Stone?
Writing and Rewriting the Bible
with Dr. Benjamin Sommer
(Not So) Hidden Anti-Gospels: Suppressed Talmudic and Medieval Polemics Against Jesus
with Rabbi Eliezer Diamond
Persecuting Ideas: The Case of Maimonides
with Dr. Alan Mittleman
The Danger of Spreading the Word:
Censorship and the Print Revolution
with Dr. David Kraemer
Intra-Jewish Censorship: The Case of Spinoza
with Dr. Jonathan Ray
How Should a Jewish Philosopher Read the Bible? Hermann Cohen’s Reinvocation of the
Ban on Spinoza
with Dr. Shira Billet
Censoring the Holocaust:
How Books Shape Our View of a Painful Past
with Dr. Edna Friedberg
The Hollywood Blacklist and the Whitewashing of American Culture
with Ellie Gettinger
Where Do We Draw the Line?
The Importance of Highlighting Multiple Perspectives in Jewish Education
with Dr. Meredith Katz