Synopsis

Reflections of a scholar of religion and Jewish studies with a focus in antiquity.

Episodes

  • From Israelite to Jew: 6: The Torah

    From Israelite to Jew: 6: The Torah

    22/12/2010

    In this episode I discuss the historical formation of the Torah, or Pentateuch, and provide an introduction to the documentary hypothesis. I am now receiving technical support from Brown University, and the quality of the audio is improved.The episode can be heard here. More download options can be found here.The podcast can also be heard on iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 22: After the Destruction: A Beginning or and End?

    From Israelite to Jew: 22: After the Destruction: A Beginning or and End?

    21/01/2010

    The Jerusalem Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, a moment that typically is said to mark in Jewish historiography the end of the "second temple period" and beginning of the "rabbinic period." But to what extent did things really change?In this episode, the last of this series, I also reflect more broadly on the series.The episode can be heard here, or on the player below. More download options are available here. It is also available on iTunes and iTunesU.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 20: The First Century

    From Israelite to Jew: 20: The First Century

    23/11/2009

    This episode focuses on the years 6 CE - 66 CE, and the events leading up to the Jewish revolt. This episode includes discussions of Roman administration and the Sanhedrin.The episode can be heard here or on the player below. More download options are here. It can also be found on iTunes and iTunesU.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 19: Josephus

    From Israelite to Jew: 19: Josephus

    03/11/2009

    Without the works of the historian Josephus (36/37 CE - ca. 95) we would know little about the history of the Jews in antiquity. Yet Josephus, as a historian and a man, was a complex figure: was he a Jewish patriot or a Roman toady?The episode can be heard here or on the player below. More download options are here. The episode can also be heard on iTunes or iTunesU.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 18: Jesus and Other Strange Jews

    From Israelite to Jew: 18: Jesus and Other Strange Jews

    13/10/2009

    In the first century CE the area around Jerusalem teemed with small Jewish religious groups, or sects. This episode focuses on three of the most well-known of these groups: Pharisees, Sadducees, and the early followers of Jesus.The episode is available here, or in the player below. Other download options are here. It is also available on iTunes (and now on iTunesU).

  • From Israelite to Jew: 17: The Dead Sea Scrolls

    From Israelite to Jew: 17: The Dead Sea Scrolls

    29/09/2009

    What are the Dead Sea scrolls? This episode discusses their discovery, contents, and meaning.The episode can be heard here or on the player below. More download options are here. The podcast can also be heard on iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 16: Philo

    From Israelite to Jew: 16: Philo

    03/08/2009

    Philo Judaeus is the most well-known Jewish philosopher from antiquity. Living in Alexandria from ca. 20 BCE - 50 CE, Philo produced an astonishing corpus that has often been held up as a signal example of "Hellenistic Judaism." Who was Philo, and what was he up to?The episode can be heard here, or on the player below. More download options are here. It is also available on iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 15: Herod the Great

    From Israelite to Jew: 15: Herod the Great

    21/07/2009

    Was Herod the Great a brilliant ruler or a savage brute? This episode traces Herod's rise to power and his reign, 40 - 4 BCE.The episode can be heard here, or on the player below. More download options are here. It can also be heard on iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 14: Hellenistic Judaism

    From Israelite to Jew: 14: Hellenistic Judaism

    08/07/2009

    The religion of the Jews who lived in the Greek speaking areas of the Mediterranean is commonly called "Hellenistic Judaism". This episode explains why scholars use this term; why it is less useful than it might seem; and how it is that most of these Jews would have worshiped the God of Israel.The episode can be heard here, or in the player below. Other download options are here. It can also be accessed on iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 13: Origins of Jewish Sectarianism

    From Israelite to Jew: 13: Origins of Jewish Sectarianism

    26/06/2009

    On the origins of Jewish sectarianism in the second to first centuries, BCE, with a focus on Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and (if different) the first inhabitants of Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls would be found.The episode can be heard here, or on the player below. More download options are here. The podcast is also available on iTunes.One listener recently alerted me (thank you!) that the audio files continue to not be properly "balanced" between left and right sides. We have figured out the cause for this, and will fix it beginning with the next episode.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 12: The Hasmonean Kings

    From Israelite to Jew: 12: The Hasmonean Kings

    17/06/2009

    A discussion of Judah's consolidation of power around 162 BCE to the last of the Hasmonean kings, in 30 BCE.The episode can be heard here, or on the player below. More download options are here. The podcast is also available on iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 11: The Revolt of the Maccabees

    From Israelite to Jew: 11: The Revolt of the Maccabees

    27/05/2009

    Why did the Maccabees revolt around 165 BCE? This episode explores both the revolt of the Maccabees and the origins of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.The episode can be heard here or on the player below; more download options are available here. The podcast is also available on iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 10: Jubilees and 1 Enoch

    From Israelite to Jew: 10: Jubilees and 1 Enoch

    11/05/2009

    A discussion of two books dating from the third or second centuries, BCE, Jubilees and 1 Enoch. Both books, part of a collection traditionally known as "the Pseudepigrapha," testify to a Jewish understanding of continuing direct divine revelation in the Hellenistic period.The podcast can be heard here, or through the player below. It can also be found in iTunes. More download options can be found here.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 9: Hellenism Arrives

    From Israelite to Jew: 9: Hellenism Arrives

    12/04/2009

    A discussion of Alexander's conquest of west Asia and its aftermath (323 - 200 BCE). What is "Hellenism," and how did the Jews react to it? Particular attention is paid to the Septuagint, Ecclesiastes, and Ecclesiasticus.The podcast can be heard here; more downloading options are here. You can also use the player below: The podcast is also accessible on iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 8: Jews of the Persian Empire

    From Israelite to Jew: 8: Jews of the Persian Empire

    01/04/2009

    This episode discusses two Jewish communities outside of Jerusalem, that represented by the biblical book of Esther, and that of Elephantine, Egypt. It takes place in the fifth to fourth centuries, BCE.The podcast can be heard here; more downloading options are here. You can also use the player below: The episode can also be found in iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 7: Nehemiah

    From Israelite to Jew: 7: Nehemiah

    12/03/2009

    The seventh episode of the podcast, "From Israelite to Jew." This episode deals primarily with the career and reforms of Nehemiah, which lasted from 445 BCE to around 432 BCE. The podcast can be heard here; more downloading options are here. You can also use the player below: You will also find the podcast on iTunes.

  • The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Talmud

    The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Talmud

    13/02/2009

    This is not an installment of "From Israelite to Jew," but is instead a reading of an essay recently published on Zeek, an online journal. The written version is here.This is a meditation on the Talmud as read through Tolstoy, and how such a reading can generate a useful stance in the modern world. Having just written that, I should quickly add that that makes it sound more abstruse than it really is. Check it out and let me know!I'll be back to "From Israelite to Jew" next week or the week after.The podcast can be heard here; download options are here. You can also stream from the player below: .It is also available on iTunes. My thanks to Giovi Roz and the Instructional Technology Group at Brown University for their technical assistance.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 5: Ezra

    From Israelite to Jew: 5: Ezra

    03/02/2009

    The fifth episode of the podcast, "From Israelite to Jew." This episode deals primarily with the career of Ezra, in 458 BCE. I discuss intermarriage in the Bible and the emergence of the Torah as a source of authority in Israel.The podcast can be heard here; more downloading options are here. I am continuing to have some technical problems embedding the player.You will also find the podcast on iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 4: Return

    From Israelite to Jew: 4: Return

    26/01/2009

    The fourth episode of the podcast, "From Israelite to Jew." This episode traces the first two returns from Babylonia to Jerusalem, first under Sheshbazzar and then under the dual leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua, and the building of the Second Temple (539 BCE - 516).The podcast can be heard here; more downloading options are here. I am having some technical problems at the moment embedding the player.You will also find the podcast on iTunes.

  • From Israelite to Jew: 2: Religion of Israel

    From Israelite to Jew: 2: Religion of Israel

    26/01/2009

    This is the second episode of the podcast, "From Israelite to Jew." It focuses on the religion of ancient Israel, as reflected in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and archaeological finds.The podcast can be heard here, or click on the player below. It can also be accessed via iTunes.

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