The Role of Wissenschaft des Judentums in Shaping Jewish Identity

FYI-

Biblical Studies Online

On March 1, 2015, the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) and the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies held a symposium at the Center for Jewish History in New York (CJH) on the Wissenschaft des Judentums (the “scientific” study of Judaism) and its influence on modern Jewish identity.

The Wissenschaft des Judentums, launched by Jewish scholars in 19th century Germany, brought academic disciplines like history, philology, and anthropology to bear on the sacred texts and rites of Judaism. This enterprise not only formed the basis of modern academic Jewish studies, but also shaped the manifold understanding and practice of Judaism as it exists today.

1:30 PM
Introduction (0:00)
Welcome and Presentation of the Leo Baeck Medal by Rabbi Ronald B. Sobel to Prof. Ismar Schorsch (3:10)

1:40 PM
Opening Remarks on the Wissenschaft by Prof. Ismar Schorsch (16:25)

1:50 PM Panel I: Wissenschaft des Judentums and Contemporary Jewish Identity

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The Bee Stings the Jesus Memes

Seemingly unmoved by the clear pronouncement that if he loved Jesus he would share it, stone-hearted man Jeff Bandy reportedly noticed a Jesus meme while checking his Facebook feed early Monday, read it in its entirety, and then continued on scrolling without sharing the image.

Sources report that the Facebook post clearly laid out, over a picture of Jesus, that The Lord Himself had seen Bandy read the meme, and that if he loved Him, he would prove that love by sharing the post with his Facebook following. Despite the meme’s clarity that God Himself was watching intently to note Bandy’s next move, the man’s heart of granite compelled him to scroll right past the image without so much as a “like.”

“If you love Jesus, share this post—it doesn’t get much simpler than that,” lamented Jared Cabrera, the man who created the meme, when reached for comment. “Moments like this separate the sheep from the goats, and this man is clearly a false believer. I pray that God will crack his hard heart, causing him to reconsider this blatant and grievous denial of The Lord.”

The Bee Stings The Silly ‘Church Split’

The Lord seemed to be blessing local church plant Koinonia Fellowship since its founding in 2012—but under the surface, dangerous rifts were deepening among church members, leading to an ugly, public split late last week.

The debate reportedly centered around the optimal way to brew coffee for Sunday morning service, with traditionalists remaining staunchly in favor of the Bunn automatic coffee brewer that had been used for the past three decades, and younger revolutionaries advocating the controversial use of a Keurig pod-based coffee machine.

“Some things are worth fighting for. These young kids don’t know how much blood was shed for the central doctrines of the faith, like the large-volume automatic coffee machine,” long-standing deacon Hank Rollins told reporters. “Plus, brewing all the coffee together in one pot reminds us of the unity purchased for us in Christ.”

“Hank and his supporters just don’t get it,” youth pastor Alexander Jordan said as he sipped a cup of hazelnut-flavored black coffee. “Each Keurig pod brewed is like a snowflake, unique and wonderful—just like each member of the church.”

“It’s a beautiful picture of our mosaic-like unity through diversity,” he added.

The disagreement came to a head Sunday night, as traditional coffee supporters narrowly defeated a resolution to toss the old Bunn machines and replace them with all-new Keurig 2.0 brewers. Voting church members cited a watery, plastic-like taste and a wasteful distribution model as key factors in deciding to remain with the old models.

As expected, the vote rocked the church’s congregants, with Keurig supporters splitting off to launch their own church in a neighboring industrial park, and an even smaller splinter group of pour-over coffee purists to begin their own house church.

At publishing time, church culture commentators had declared the move the beginning of a new “conservative coffee resurgence” within evangelicalism, while detractors labeled the move a “fundamentalist takeover” of denominational coffee beliefs.

I’ve seen churches split over less…

Jeremiah Had One of These At the Entrance of the Temple…

The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, ‘Stand at the gate of the Temple of Yahweh and there proclaim this message. Say, “Listen to the word of Yahweh, all you of Judah who come in by these gates to worship Yahweh. Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Amend your behaviour and your actions and I will let you stay in this place. 

Do not put your faith in delusive words, such as: This is Yahweh’s sanctuary, Yahweh’s sanctuary, Yahweh’s sanctuary! But if you really amend your behaviour and your actions, if you really treat one another fairly, if you do not exploit the stranger, the orphan and the widow, if you do not shed innocent blood in this place and if you do not follow other gods, to your own ruin, then I shall let you stay in this place, in the country I gave for ever to your ancestors of old.  

Look, you are putting your faith in delusive, worthless words!  Steal, would you, murder, commit adultery, perjure yourselves, burn incense to Baal, follow other gods of whom you know nothing? –  and then come and stand before me in this Temple that bears my name, saying: Now we are safe to go on doing all these loathsome things!  Do you look on this Temple that bears my name as a den of bandits? I, at any rate, can see straight, Yahweh declares. (Jer. 7:1-11)

[Image nipped from Ken Leonard on FB]

His Name is Legion…

Noting the significant amount of time and money it has taken to amass such a choice assemblage of theological works, local man Mike Carter announced Thursday that his impressive book collection is entirely ornamental.

“Here’s Calvin’s Institutes, and over here I have Systematic Theology and The Cost of Discipleship,” Carter told reporters. “Look down there—I have a wide array of C.S. Lewis works right next to Augustine’s Confessions. I’ve never read a single one of these. But they look awesome, right?”

The remarkable collection fills a large wooden bookshelf in his office, and he has many more theology books in other parts of his home. “I reserve this bookshelf for only my most important-sounding, impressive titles, none of which I have read,” Carter confirmed.

Legion…

Nationaler ökumenischer Gedenk- und Feiertag

Programm
ab 9.30: Reformiertes Kirchenzentrum, Saal
Kaffee und Gipfeli
Die Cafeteria bleibt den ganzen Tag als Begegnungsort geöffnet.

10.30 – 11.30: Reformierte Kirche
Vortrag: «Nimm alles von mir, was mich hindert zu dir. Was Bruder Klaus und die Reformation verbindet» Josef Lang, Historiker, Bern
Musik: Alois Hugener, Horn/Alphorn

ab 11.30 – 13.00: Reformiertes Kirchenzentrum
Suppenessen: Kappeler Milchsuppe

12.00 – 12.20: Reformierte Kirche
Mittagsgebet Pfr. Andreas Haas, Gemeindeleiter Bernd Lenfers

13.00 – 14.15: Reformierte Kirche
Podiumsgespräch: «Wie (be-)finden wir uns gemeinsam auf dem Weg zur Mitte?» mit Eva-Maria Faber, Prof. für Dogmatik und Fundamentaltheologie TH Chur, Gottfried Locher, Präsident des Rates SEK und + Charles Morerod, Präsident SBK, Hansruedi Vetsch, Präsident Stiftung Bruderklausen-Kapelle Frauenfeld
Moderation: Brigitta Rotach, Haus der Religionen Bern

13.15 – 14.15: Reformiertes Kirchenzentrum
Projektvorstellung «Die Schweiz in Wittenberg»: Zwei ökumenische Projekte im Rahmen der Weltausstellung Reformation 2017 «Tore der Freiheit»:
Bereichstor «Ökumene und Religion»: Jo Achermann, Prof. für plastisches Gestalten BTU Cottbus (Berlin/Kerns)
Pavillon «Prophezei» des SEK und der SBK: Gabriel de Montmollin und Serge Fornerod, SEK (Bern)

14.30 – 15.30: Reformierte Kirche
Referat und Gespräch: «Ein Gutes ergibt stets das andere – Zeuginnen am Abend vor und während der Schweizer Reformation» Rebecca Giselbrecht, Dozentin in praktischer Theologie, Universität Zürich

15.00 – 15.40: Kirche St. Oswald
Musikalische Feierstunde zum Hören und Mitsingen Kammerchor der Zuger Kantorei und St. Johannes-Chor (Ltg. Johannes Meister), Kirchenchor Baar-Steinhausen (Ltg. Christian Renggli); Orgel: Martin Völlinger

16.00 – 17.30: Kirche St. Michael
Ökumenischer Gottesdienst «Gemeinsam zur Mitte» mit Gottfried Locher, Präsident des Rates SEK und Felix Gmür, Bischof von Basel

Uraufführung der Kantate «Gemeinsam zur Mitte» von Erwin Mattmann mit dem Ensemble Ardent Bern (Ltg. Patrick Secchiari); Orgel: Carl Rütti (Kantate), Martin Völlinger

Anschliessend Apéro riche im Pfarreiheim St. Michael

Via