Workshop in Oxford
01 Dec 2019 – 02 Dec 2019

Hermeneutic Interventions and Practices of Reading: Between Modernity and Antiquity

Venue: University of Oxford, Oriel College, Oxford OX14EW (Great Britain)
Organized by Hindy Najman (Oriel); Daniel Weidner (ZfL); Adriana X. Jacobs (St. Cross); Yael Fisch (Oriel); Rebekah Van Sant-Clark (Oriel)

Co-sponsored by CBH (Centre for the Study of the Bible in the Humanities), OCHJS (Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies) and the Oxford University – Faculty of Theology and Religion

Is a common reading possible across languages, cultures, and disciplines? Under what terms may texts be compared and shared while acknowledging their differences? Revisiting Hartman and Budick’s 1986 volume Midrash and Literature, this conference will examine the continued relevance of the hermeneutical vocabulary by which we bring texts together, but also consider the possibility of new models and approaches. Bringing together scholars whose work and reading practices move between the ancient and modern, we will address the philological, compositional, and literary implications of a common reading.


Sunday, 01 Dec 2019

Session 1: 11.30–13.30
Chair: Tobias Reinhardt (Corpus Christi)


Hindy Najman (Oriel): Hermeneutics as Philology: Reading Practices in Ancient Judaism


Yelena Baraz (Princeton): Fragmenting the Tradition, Rethinking intertextuality


Session 2: 14.30–16.30
Chair: Felix Budelmann (Magdalen)


Constanze Güthenke (Corpus) and Colin King (Sussex): Why Read Boeckh’s Encyclopaedia Now? Revisiting a 19th Century Programme on Philology


Nathan MacDonald (Cambridge): Reading Backwards and Forwards: Revising intertextuality in the Pentateuch and Beyond


Session 3: 17.00–19.00
Chair: Hindy Najman (Oriel)


Yael Fisch (Oriel): Dismembered Bible–Rethinking Midrash and Intertextuality


Adriana X. Jacobs, (St. Cross): Poetry as Afterlife


Monday, 02 Dec 2019

Session 4: 09.00–10.30
Chair: Adriana X. Jacobs (St. Cross)


Rebekah Van Sant-Clark (Theology): Making the Desert Bloom: Between Isaiah and Yehuda Amichai’s Jews in the Land of Israel


Alexander McCarron (Oriental Studies): Enoch at Sinai and the Interpretation of Scripture in the Book of the Watchers 1:3b-5


Olga Fabrikant-Burke (Cambridge): Historical Nemeses or Exegetical Friends? Scribal Hermeneutics and the Invention of False Prophets of Peace


Session 5: 10.45–13.00
Chair: Scott Scullion (Worcester)


Elizabeth Stell (Theology): Interpretations Sought or Received: Dream, Prayer, and Understanding in Early Jewish Texts


Hans Decker (Theology): Retelling Proverbs: Narrative as a New Hermeneutical Model


Annie Calderbank (Theology): Hellenistic Jewish Hermeneutics and Midrash in the Exagoge of Ezekiel


Gal Sela (Haifa): Holy Tapestry: Rav Judah and the Cosmic Hunger


Session 6: 14.00–17.30
Chair: Laura Quick (Worcester)


Yosefa Raz (Haifa): A postrophe, Prophetic Weakness, and the Myth of Primordial Orality: Julius Wellhausen on Ezekiel

Chair: Andrea Schatz (KCL)

Kirk Wetters (Yale): The Law of the Series and the Crux of Causation: Paul Kammerer’s Anomalies


Daniel Weidner (ZfL): Philological knowledge, Historical Experience, Material Hermeneutics. Redescribing Textual Cultures with Szondi

Closing Remarks and Discussion: 17.30–18.30
Chair: Hindy Najman (Oriel)


Sanford Budick (Hebrew University Jerusalem, Emeritus)