Levenson to give Nate and Ann Levine Lecture March 16

Jon D. LevensonJon D. Levenson, the Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard Divinity School, will give SMU’s Nate and Ann Levine Endowed Lecture in Jewish Studies at 7:30 p.m. March 16, 2009 in McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall.

Levenson’s lecture, “The Binding of Isaac and the Crucifixion of Jesus,” traces the path of development between the story of Isaac’s near-sacrifice of his son in Genesis 22 and the New Testament narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus. Levenson will demonstrate some unrecognized continuities between the two stories and the two religious traditions.

Considered one of the pre-eminent Jewish theologians of our time, Levenson has published dozens of articles and such widely acclaimed books as Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews (2008), Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel (2006), The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son (1995), Creation and the Persistence of Evil (1994), and Sinai and Zion: An Entry Into the Jewish Bible (1987).

Much of Levenson’s work centers on the relationship of Judaism and Christianity, both in antiquity and in modernity, and he has long been active in Jewish-Christian dialogue. His work concentrates on the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, including its reinterpretations in the “rewritten Bible” of Second Temple Judaism and rabbinic midrash. He also teaches a seminar in the use of medieval Jewish commentaries for purposes of modern biblical exegesis. He has a strong interest in the philosophical and theological issues involved in biblical studies, especially the relationship of premodern modes of interpretation to modern historical criticism.