University of South Carolina

Power of Rabbinic story is focus of annual Solomon-Tenenbaum Lectureship

Contact: Peggy Binette 803-777-5400

Rabbinic stories – ancient tales in Jewish oral tradition used to convey ethical, moral and theological lessons – will be the focus of this year’s Solomon-Tenenbaum Lectureship Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the University of South Carolina.

Rabbi Burton Visotzky
Rabbi Burton Visotzy
Rabbi Dr. Burton L. Visotzky, a scholar from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, will discuss the history of the stories, their power to tug at the heart and test human values and what people can learn from them today.

The main lecture, titled “Sage Tales: The Power of Rabbinic Story and What It Can Teach Us Today,” will take place at 8 p.m. in the campus room at USC’s Capstone House.

Earlier that day, Visotzky will join scholars from USC and Emory University for a symposium titled “On the Academic Study of the Ancient Story.” The panel will take place from 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. in Rutledge Chapel on USC’s Horseshoe.

The lecture and the symposium are free and open to the public.

Moderated by Dr. Elise Blackwell, novelist and director of the MFA Program in English at USC, the panel will take a broad look at the significance of ancient stories in various cultures. Panelists and their topics are:

Dr. Federica Clementi, assistant professor of Jewish studies, English and comparative literature at USC, “Holocaust and Myth: How Tales Help us Speak;”

Dr. Michael Hill, assistant professor of Chinese and comparative literature at USC, “Ancient Tales and Modern Chinese Thought;”

Dr. Paul Allen Miller, Carolina Distinguished Professor of Classics, “Stories in Plato and Cicero;”

Dr. Gordon Newby, professor Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Emory, “Tafsî Isra îliyât and Midrash: A Shared Tradition in Islam and Judaism;” and

Rabbi Burton Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies, “The Turn from History to Literature and the End of Wissenschaft des Judentums.”

Visotzky directs the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he has taught since his ordination as rabbi in 1977. He has been a visiting professor at top universities in the United States as well as in England, Russia and Rome, and he has written 10 books and more than 100 articles. He is involved in Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue in the United States and abroad.

The Solomon-Tenenbaum Lectureship in Jewish Studies is funded by Judith and the late Melvin Solomon of Charleston and Samuel and Inez Tenenbaum of Columbia. Speakers have included Elie Wiesel, Thomas Cahill, Deborah Lipstadt and Thomas Friedman. It is one of the premiere lectureships sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Jewish Studies Program and the university.

For more information on the Solomon-Tenenbaum Lectureship, visit the website – – or call Ann Cameron at 803-777-9201.


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Posted: 09/01/11 @ 2:15 PM | Updated: 10/13/11 @ 1:34 PM | Permalink



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