15 November 2021
Photo: UHH/SUB HH
We would like to invite you to a Maimonides Lecture on Scepticism on 15 November 2021, at 18:00. Konrad Schmid (Universität Zürich) will talk about "How to Read the Torah: Linguistic and Hermeneutical Reflections on an Ambiguous Text."
How to Read the Torah: Linguistic and Hermeneutical Reflections on an Ambiguous Text
The Torah is traditionally ascribed to Moses, but it is in fact an anonymous work by scribes who produced it as a written text between the ninth and fourth centuries BCE. Its oral traditions reach even back further, into the second millennium BCE. The complex result of this long composition history is an ambiguous, often contradictory, yet readable text, as its long reception history, foremost in Judaism and Christianity, demonstrates. If read closely, the linguistic shape of the Torah reveals an interesting set of checks and balances between its theological positions. It seems that its authors were not primarily concerned with narrative or legal consistency, but rather with creating a literary universe that includes a variety of theological perspectives. The historical hermeneutics that drove the redaction and composition of the Torah were geared towards retaining its ambiguity and actively soliciting the reader’s affirmative, critical, and/or sceptical imagination, not to eliminating its material difficulties and making the task of reading as easy as possible.
Konrad Schmid is a professor of the Hebrew Bible and ancient Judaism at Universität Zürich.
15 November 2021, 18:00
Hybrid (in-person/Zoom). Please contact MCAS for further information and registration.
Contact and registration