Dangerous Ideas: Censorship Through a Jewish Lens

By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary / 5783 | Censorship Through A Jewish Lens Monday Webinar

Mondays, October 24–December 19, 2022
1:00–2:30 p.m. ET 

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. 

View detailed sessions descriptions.

Written in Stone?
Writing and Rewriting the Bible
with Dr. Benjamin Sommer
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(Not So) Hidden Anti-Gospels: Suppressed Talmudic and Medieval Polemics Against Jesus
with Rabbi Eliezer Diamond
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Persecuting Ideas: The Case of Maimonides
with Dr. Alan Mittleman
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The Danger of Spreading the Word:
Censorship and the Print Revolution

with Dr. David Kraemer
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Intra-Jewish Censorship: The Case of Spinoza
with Dr. Jonathan Ray
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How Should a Jewish Philosopher Read the Bible? Hermann Cohen’s Reinvocation of the
Ban on Spinoza
with Dr. Shira Billet
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Censoring the Holocaust:
How Books Shape Our View of a Painful Past
with Dr. Edna Friedberg
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The Hollywood Blacklist and the Whitewashing of American Culture
with Ellie Gettinger
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Where Do We Draw the Line?
The Importance of Highlighting Multiple Perspectives in Jewish Education

with Dr. Meredith Katz
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