UCL Institute of Jewish Studies


Public Lectures Spring 2012


  • Beyond the Secular-Religious Dichotomy: Four Characteristics of the Religious Enlightenment - Professor David Sorkin
  • From Experience, to Memoir, to History: Henny Brenner in Nazi Dresden, co-sponsored by the Anne Frank Trust
  • Crime and Punishment in the Shtetl - Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern
  • Violence on the Jerusalem-Jericho Road: Readings and Misreadings of the Parable of the Good Samaritan - Amy-Jill Levine
  • Jewish Origins of an American Idea: The Menorah Association and Cultural Pluralism - Dr Daniel Greene
  • Loss and Repair: a Berlin Jewish mixed heritage family - Stephan Feuchtwang, LSE  
  • Calendars in Antiquity, Empires, States, and Societies public lecture and book launch - Professor Sacha Stern, UCL
  • Beyond the Secular-Religious Dichotomy: Four Characteristics of the Religious Enlightenment - Professor David Sorkin
  • "No Fanatic is Easily Capable of Making my Cool Blood Boil!": What Made Moses Mendelssohn Angry? (Leonard Sainer Memorial Lecture) - Shmuel Feiner,  Bar Ilan University
  • From Anti-Judaism to Antisemitism? Comparing the Christian and Islamic cases (Simon Wiesenthal Memorial Lecture) - Guy Stroumsa, University of Oxford
  • Purim papers: fun and fabrication in 18th century - Marion Aptroot, University of Düsseldorf Amsterdam
  • Female Prophets in the Ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible (Raphael Loewe Memorial Lecture) - Jonathan Stökl
  • Jean Racine and the Jews: 'Esther' and 'Athaliah'-  David Maskell, Oriel College, Oxford
  • The Apostle Paul in the Jewish Imagination - Daniel Langton, University of Manchester


(Note: Speaker profiles were accurate at time of lecture series and are not kept up to date)

DANIEL LANGTON is an historian interested in Jewish-Christian relations and modern Jewish thought and identity, in the department of Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester. He is Co-director of its Centre for Jewish Studies, Secretary of the European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS), and co-editor of 'Melilah: Manchester Journal of Jewish Studies'. His major publications include: The Apostle Paul in the Jewish Imagination: A Study in Modern Jewish-Christian Relations (2010); Children of Zion: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on the Holy Land (2008) and Claude Montefiore: His Life and Thought (2002). He is currently working on Jewish engagement with Darwinian theory.

DAVID MASKELL is an Emeritus Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford where he was formerly Fellow and Tutor in Modern Languages. He has published extensively on French Classical drama, especially Racine: A Theatrical Reading (1991). His current research is on the representation of religious and cultural difference in French classical theatre, especially the ways in which Christian dramatists represented Jews and Muslims.

JONATHAN STÖKL. After studying theology in Bielefeld and Berlin, Jonathan Stökl moved to Oxford for his graduate work in 2002. He completed his doctorate on prophecy in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East in 2009. After further research on female prophets in the ancient Near East at St. John's College, Cambridge, Dr. Stökl is now carrying out research on Judean/Jewish priests in the Persian period as part of a project comparing Judean/Jewish and Mesopotamian priesthoods in the Neo-Babylonian and Persian periods.

MARION APTROOT is Professor for Yiddish Studies. She comes from the Netherlands and after finishing a doctorate in Yiddish Studies at Oxford University she was Junior Research Fellow at Queen Mary and taught at Harvard University before taking up the Chair in Yiddish Culture, Language and Literature in Düsseldorf. Her publications on older Yiddish literature and on Yiddish language include Storm in the Community. Yiddish Polemical Pamphlets of Amsterdam Jewry 1797-1798 (2002, with Jozeph Michman) and Jiddisch. Geschichte und Kultur einer Weltsprache (2010, with Roland Gruschka).

GUY G. STROUMSA is Professor of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford and Martin Buber Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research deals with the religious history of late antiquity in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East. He has a particular interest in early Christian thought, Gnosticism, Manichaeism, and the relationship between Jews and Christians. Currently he is working on the late antique formation of the Abrahamic religions. His recent publications include The End of Sacrifice: Religious Transformations in Late Antiquity (2009) and A New Science: The Discovery of Religion in the Age of Reason (2010).

SHMUEL FEINER is Professor of Modern Jewish History at Bar Ilan University, He is also the Chair of the Jerusalem Leo Baeck Institute for the study of German Jewry. In the current academic year he is on sabbatical, and has been a visiting scholar at Frankfurt and Düsseldorf universities in Germany. Among his publications are The Jewish Enlightenment (2002), Moses Mendelssohn, Sage of Modernity (2005), The Origins of Jewish Secularization in Eighteenth Century Europe (2010) and various articles on the Haskalah in Germany and Eastern Europe and on Jewish Secularization.

DAVID CONWAY is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London, specialising in the history and sociology of Jewish music and musicians from the eighteenth century to the present. His book Jewry in Music is the first exploration of how and why Jews came to enter the music professions in Europe, from the time of the Enlightenment to the appearance of Richard Wagner's anti-Jewish tract, Das Judentum in der Musik in 1850. He has also published articles in 'Jewish Historical Studies', 'The Wagner Journal', 'European Judaism' and elsewhere. Since 1991 he has been a Senior Expert for the European Commission in development aid projects in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

SHARMAN KADISH is Director of Jewish Heritage UK. She was educated at University College London, St Antony's College, Oxford and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has taught at the Universities of London and Manchester. Her books include Bolsheviks and British Jews (1992), A Good Jew and a Good Englishman (1995), (ed.) Building Jerusalem: Jewish Architecture in Britain (1996), companion architectural guides Jewish Heritage in England (2006) and Jewish Heritage in Gibraltar (2007) and, most recently, The Synagogues of Britain and Ireland: An Architectural and Social History  (2011). She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

ELIZABETH SCHÄCHTER is Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Comparative Literature and Italian in the School of European Culture and Languages at the University of Kent. She has published widely on Italian literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in particular several seminal studies of the writer Italo Svevo including Origin and Identity: Essays on Svevo and Trieste (2000). More recently her research has focused on Italian Jewry, resulting in the monograph The Jews of Italy, 1848-1915: Between Tradition and Transformation (2011).

STEPHAN FEUCHTWANG is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics. His main area of research has been China. Recently he extended it to the comparative study of the transmission of great events of state violence in China, Taiwan and Germany. This research was published in After the Event (2011). Other recent publications include The Anthropology of Religion, Charisma and Ghosts (2010), (as editor and contributor) Making Place: State projects, globalisation and local responses in China (2004) and (with Wang Mingming) Grassroots Charisma: Four local leaders in China (2001).

AMY-JILL LEVINE - A self-described 'Yankee Jewish feminist', Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies and  Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Science in Nashville, Tennessee. She is also Affiliated Professor, Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations, Woolf Institute, Cambridge.  Her recent books include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus (HarperOne), The Meaning of the Bible: What the Jewish Scriptures and the Christian Old Testament Can Teach Us, co-authored with Douglas Knight (HarperOne), the edited Historical Jesus in Context (Princeton), and the fourteen-volume edited Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings (Continuum) and the Jewish Annotated New Testament, co-edited with Marc Z. Brettler (Oxford)