Center for Judaic Studies
Advancing knowledge of Jewish history, thought and culture through learning, intercultural dialogue, and social action.
The Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) is a vibrant source of in-depth Jewish learning on campus and across Colorado.
Our faculty are research and teaching experts in a wide range of interdisciplinary areas of Judaic Studies. Their work is internationally recognized, and they offer an impressive annual lineup of undergraduate and graduate courses in fields of Jewish history, religion, language, literature, philosophy, film, and culture.
In addition to being home to our own faculty experts, CJS hosts annual visiting scholars, performing artists, authors, poets and filmmakers from around the world.
We offer a minor in Judaic studies, and a number of joint MA and PhD degrees with programs across campus. We are home to the Holocaust Awareness Institute, the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site and The Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society. We also serve the broader community through many annual events and co-sponsored activities across Colorado.
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Local Student Artwork displayed at CJS' 11th Annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture
We were privileged to display select pieces of artwork from students at Ponderosa High School in Parker, Colorado at the 11th Annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture on October 27th
. The students were involved in curriculum units involving the study of genocide and the holocaust which employed aesthetic representations of testimony. One of several pieces of artwork at the event, the above photo shows one student's artistic responses to the study.
The students worked under the direction of teachers, Mark Thorsen, Patty Hayes, and Kyle Roberts. Dr. Mark Thorsen is a Social Studies teacher and a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellow. Patty Hayes and Kyle Roberts are art teachers at Ponderosa High School and colleagues of Dr. Thorsen's.
For more information about CJS events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prof. Jeanne Abrams' New Book
Prof. Jeanne Abrams
recently published a book with NYU Press--Revolutionary Medicine:The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health
(NYU Press, 2013). For the founders, republican ideals fostered a reciprocal connection between individual health and the "health" of the nation. Studying the encounters of these American founders with illness and disease, as well as their viewpoints about good health, not only provides us with a richer and more nuanced insight into their lives, but also opens a window into the practice of medicine in the eighteenth century, which is at once intimate, personal, and first hand. Perhaps most importantly, today's American public health initiatives had their roots in the work of America's founders, for they recognized early on that government had compelling reasons to shoulder some new responsibilities with respect to ensuring the health and well-being of its citizenry. The state of medicine and public healthcare today is still a work in progress, but these founders played a significant role in beginning the conversation that shaped the contours of its development." Find this book on Amazon.
CJS Visiting Scholar, Karin Nisenbaum
Karin Nisenbaum is a 2012-13 Leo Baeck Fellow from the University of Toronto's Department of Philosophy and Centre for Jewish Studies. She holds degrees in Continental Philosophy from University College Dublin and in Philosophy from the University of Chicago.
Karin will be teaching PHIL/JUST 3701 this Winter entitled, "Special Topics: Kant, Maimon, Cohen, and Rosenzweig: Perfectionism and Idealism in German and Jewish Philosophy," on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00pm-5:50pm.
Karin: "The course that I will teach will be devoted to two interrelated tasks. First, we will study the conception of selfhood and the account of moral judgment that Hermann Cohen and Franz Rosenzweig provide. To do so, we will consider how these two thinkers appropriated or criticized central aspects of Kant's philosophy of religion, and we will situate their thought within the tradition of Moral Perfectionism. Second, I will offer an interpretation of Kant's transcendental idealism that is informed by Salomon Maimon's critique of Kant's central arguments in the Critique of Pure Reason. What will emerge will be a clearer view on the performative and first-personal nature of Kant's method of philosophical argumentation—the method of transcendental argumentation.
In addition to teaching, I am working on two research projects: one draws on German Idealism, Phenomenology, and Existentialism to offer a response to recent Anglophone objections to the method of transcendental argumentation; the other develops a conception of selfhood, and provides an account of moral judgment, informed by Kant, Schelling, Rosenzweig, and Cavell." Karin is also the founder of
The University of Toronto Journal of Jewish Thought.
Support HAI with The Chanukah Card Project
Thank you to local Holocaust Survivor and artist Paula Burger for providing the artwork once again for a special Chanukah fundraiser for the Holocaust Awareness Institute. Check your mailbox in the coming weeks for a new set of cards featuring a new stunning menorah artwork for Chanukah 2013. To order a complete package of 9 cards, visit www.alumni.du.edu/Chanukah2013
. For more information on Paula’s art inspiration, visit her website at www.paulaburger.com
Prof. Sarah Pessin's New Book
Congratulations to Prof. Sarah Pessin
on her brand new book, Ibn Gabirol’s Theology of Desire
(Cambridge University Press, 2013). The first full-length treatment of Ibn Gabirol's philosophy in English, this study completely reinvents the medieval author of the Fountain of Life or Fons Vitae (known to many in the history of philosophy by his Latinized name, Avicebron). Developing Ibn Gabirol's vision in terms of a "Theology of Desire," the book rescues the voice of the eleventh-century Jewish poet-philosopher from centuries of misreadings as it sets out to examine the role of love, desire, and ethical self-transformation in medieval Jewish Neoplatonism. In the Denver area? Join Prof. Pessin at her book talk here
. Find this book on Amazon
Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society Exhibit Now Showing!!
A new exhibit—opening Nov. 15 at the Anderson Academic Commons—offers insight into how Denver's celebrated Lowenstein family not only survived the Holocaust but came to find meaning through art and creativity. Read the University of Denver Magazine article.
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Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions Conference, July 10-12, 2013