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Symposium examines Jewish ethics and race

A symposium, "Race with Jewish Ethics," will be held Wednesday, Oct. 14, and Thursday, Oct. 15, in Room 162 of Emory’s Center for Ethics.

The keynote, "The Age of Race: Judaism, Ethics, and the Invisible Seductions of Racism" will be presented Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Oxford Presentation Auditorium of the Oxford Road Building at the Emory bookstore.

Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, gives this 7th Annual Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild Memorial Lecture. A reception will follow the lecture.

Heschel examines three aspects of racism: its ability to conceal itself, its tenacity over time and geography, and how it intertwines with religion, or even becomes a form of "secularized" religion.

She will illustrate her argument with two examples: Christian theological support for Hitler during  the Nazi era, and recent Jewish religious support for an end to the state of Israel and establishment instead of a Jewish kingdom ruled by Jewish law.

Heschel will conclude by reclaiming resources within Jewish religious tradition that oppose racism.

"Race with Jewish Ethics" will convene scholars to explore Judaism’s diverse conceptualizations of race, the (bio)-ethical dimensions of constructing race concepts, and the pragmatic issues of relations between Jews and other minority communities.

Sander Gilman, professor in the Institute of Liberal Arts, and  Nichole Renee Phillips, assistant professor of religion and human difference in the Candler School Of Theology, will participate from Emory.

All sessions are free and open to the public; lunch will be provided for those who register in advance.

For more information about the workshop program, schedule and keynote lecture, see the Tam Institute website.

Hosted by Jonathan K. Crane, Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar in Bioethics and Jewish Thought, the symposium is presented by the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and the Center for Ethics at Emory and cosponsored by the Hightower Fund, the Laney Graduate School, the Graduate Division of Religion and the departments of Anthropology, Religion and Sociology.

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