Jocelyn Burney: Digging into the lives of ancient Jewish communities

Jocelyn Burney: Digging into the lives of ancient Jewish communities
 

Religious studies Ph.D. student Jocelyn Burney relishes the public humanities aspect of her graduate work — from contextualizing a pottery exhibit in Carolina Hall to teaching the Hebrew Bible at a Raleigh women’s prison to supervising the work of undergraduate students at an archaeological dig in Israel.

Jocelyn Burney is used to getting up early. Really early. For the last 10 years, her summer mornings have begun promptly at 4 a.m. as an area supervisor for an archaeological dig at Huqoq in Israel’s Lower Galilee.

Burney is a Ph.D. student in religious studies who got hooked on archaeology as a 19-year-old undergraduate at Carolina when Kenan Distinguished Professor Jodi Magness first took students to Huqoq. (Magness is now her dissertation adviser.)

After traveling to the site and setting up shade tents, work begins around 5 a.m. to avoid the blistering heat. There’s a morning respite for breakfast at 8 a.m., then another fruit/hydration break affectionally called “elevensies” at 11 a.m. Burney supervises a group of students — teaching them, taking photographs, helping to document the excavation — as the team continues to unearth nearly 1,600-year-old mosaics in an ancient Jewish synagogue. It’s intense, physical work that wraps up around noon each day. Afternoons for students involve lectures and lab work — washing and cleaning pottery — while Burney spends the time writing up reports of the day…

To read more of this article CLICK HERE!

Posted in News & Events on April 12, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Professor David Lambert on Podcast “The Bible for Normal People” hosted by Peter Enns

Professor David Lambert on Podcast “The Bible for Normal People” hosted by Peter Enns
 

David Lambert, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible in its Ancient Near Eastern environment, recently appeared on an episode of the well-known podcast The Bible for Normal People. In this episode entitled “Is the Bible ‘Scripture'” Professor Lambert talks with hosts Peter Enns and Jared Byas about how scholars define “scripture,” how communities throughout history have changed the meaning and nature of biblical texts, and whether or not the Bible can ever be universally understood as scripture.

CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast as they explore the following questions:

  • What do we mean by “scripture”?
  • What kind of assumptions do people make about scripture?
  • What do scholars think about how and when the Hebrew Bible became viewed as sacred text?
  • How did ancient people throughout history understand what was going on with the books and writings that are now known as the Bible? How does that connect or relate to how we talk about it now?
  • How can we move toward a hermeneutic or a view of scripture that allows for a diversity of assemblages?
  • What does David mean by scripture being a “colonial project”?
  • What does David mean by the phrase “the tyranny of canonical assumptions”?
  • For religious communities moving into the future, or people who read the Bible devotionally, what does it mean if the Bible is (or isn’t) actually scripture? How does that change how people interact with the Bible?
  • Will there ever, or can there ever, be a universal understanding of what the Bible is?

Lambert         The Bible For Normal People

Posted in News & Events on April 5, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Professor Bart Ehrman on NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross

Professor Bart Ehrman on NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross
 

Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor in Early Christian History, has recently appeared on NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross. In this episode, Professor Ehrman discusses his new book Armageddon: What the Bible Really Says about the End (Simon and Schuster, 2023).

As Terry Gross states, “Bible scholar Bart Ehrman says interpretations of the Book of Revelation have created disastrous problems — from personal psychological damage to consequences for foreign policy and the environment.”

You can read the transcript and listen to the episode by CLICKING HERE!

Ehrman     NPR - Wikipedia     Armageddon

Posted in News & Events on April 5, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Witch Please Podcast: Holocaust Studies, Prof Andrea Cooper

Witch Please Podcast: Holocaust Studies, Prof Andrea Cooper
 

Professor Andrea Cooper, Leonard and Tobee Kaplan Scholar in Modern Jewish Thought and Culture, has recently appeared on an episode of Witch Please.

In this episode we bring in a guest, Andrea Dara Cooper (she/her), to talk about Holocaust Studies. Andrea is Associate Professor and Leonard and Tobee Kaplan Scholar in Modern Jewish Thought and Culture at UNC-Chapel Hill — and she is the author of Gendering Modern Jewish Thought (Indiana University Press, 2021). Tune in for a conversation about the function of allegory in Harry Potter. When does it work in this series? When does it fall short? What are the political implications of relying on the Holocaust to make new meaning in a fantasy world both chock full of stereotypes and severely lacking in diversity? If you enjoyed our episodes on Animal Studies, Eugenics, and Werewolves as Metaphor (just to name a few!), this is required listening!

Check out the podcast here!

Cooper

Posted in News & Events on March 30, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Summer 2023 Classes!

Summer 2023 Classes!
 

Check out a few of our upcoming course offerings for the summer. For a complete list, click here!

Posted in News & Events on March 26, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Podcast: Gendering Modern Jewish Thought, Prof Andrea Cooper

Podcast: Gendering Modern Jewish Thought, Prof Andrea Cooper
 

Professor Andrea Cooper, Leonard and Tobee Kaplan Scholar in Modern Jewish Thought and Culture, has recently appeared on a podcast discussing her book Gendering Modern Jewish Thought (Indiana University Press, 2021).

Check out the podcast here!

The idea of brotherhood has been an important philosophical concept for understanding community, equality, and justice. In Gendering Modern Jewish Thought (Indiana UP, 2021), Andrea Dara Cooper offers a gendered reading that challenges the key figures of the all-male fraternity of twentieth-century Jewish philosophy to open up to the feminine.

Cooper offers a feminist lens, which when applied to thinkers such as Franz Rosenzweig and Emmanuel Levinas, reveals new ways of illuminating questions of relational ethics, embodiment, politics, and positionality. She shows that patriarchal kinship as models of erotic love, brotherhood, and paternity are not accidental in Jewish philosophy, but serve as norms that have excluded women and non-normative individuals.

Gendering Modern Jewish Thought suggests these fraternal models do real damage and must be brought to account in more broadly humanistic frameworks. For Cooper, a more responsible and ethical reading of Jewish philosophy comes forward when it is opened to the voices of mothers, sisters, and daughters.

Gendering Modern Jewish Thought (New Jewish Philosophy and Thought) by [Andrea Dara Cooper]

Posted in News & Events on March 24, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

UNC Mediahub article featuring Jodi Magness: “Reshaping the way we think about Judaism”

UNC Mediahub article featuring Jodi Magness: “Reshaping the way we think about Judaism”
 
Jodi Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism, serves as the director of the Huqoq Excavation Site in Israel. She and a cohort of students are working to uncover ancient mosaics at the ancient Galilee village to decipher whether Judaism declined or flourished during the rise of Christianity. Magness is challenging long-held opinions about Jewish history.
“What Jodi is doing with this excavation is reshaping the way we think about Judaism in this historical period,” said Robert Rhinehart, a rising junior at Carolina. Rhinehart has spent two summers in Huqoq and now plans to pursue a career in archaeology because of Magness’ influence. He said it feels “crazy to think that you’re a part of her historically changing research.”
To read more of this story, please click the links below:
Posted in News & Events on March 1, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, Grad Student Career Roundtable

Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, Grad Student Career Roundtable
 
Carolina Center for Jewish Studies
Grad Student: Career Roundtable
March 1, 2022, 4:30pm, Hyde Hall Incubator Room. Hybrid Event.

Tine Rassalle, a graduate of our department, will be sharing her experience regarding career opportunities. This will be a valuable opportunity for grad students to learn more about the job market beyond tenure track jobs.

“The Center’s grad student network event for 2022-23 will feature a panel of our alumni, and our recently hired faculty member, in a variety of academic and academic-adjacent positions to discuss career opportunities and job hunting skills with current Carolina grad students and alumni of the Center. Dinner will be provided for those attending in-person.”
Posted in News & Events on February 28, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.

More Than Just Mosaics: The Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee

More Than Just Mosaics: The Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee
 

Mark your calendars for this exciting event on March 1, 2023! Prof. Jodi Magness will deliver a lecture on Zoom entitled “More Than Just Mosaics: The Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee,” to benefit the Miller Fund for Graduate Students. No gift required to attend. We hope to see you there!

 

Posted in Faculty News, Graduate Student News, News & Events on February 23, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.