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.
Thyria Wilson, Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society staff member, celebrates 15 years of service to DU
Thyria Wilson has spent her career at DU working in Special Collections and Archives, working with texts, photographs, and local histories to help tell the story of the Rocky Mountain region. Read an interview with Thyria here.
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Now Accepting Vinnik Israel Study Fellowship Applications through March 14th!!
The Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) at the University of Denver (DU) is accepting applications for the 2014 Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel, marking the award's 25- year anniversary. The application deadline for the fellowship is March 14, 2014. Community members from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including educators and students who are working in Judaic Studies, religion and interfaith studies or pursuing ministerial or rabbinic degrees.
Click to find more information about the Vinnik Fellowship and how to apply.
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.
Judaic Studies Minor, Wendy Low, recognized for Social Justice Work
This month, Judaic Studies minor, Wendy Low, was featured in the University of Denver Magazine for her work in Social Justice on and off campus. Low, a former Vinnik scholar and President of "Never Again!," is known for her passion for promoting awareness of the Holocaust and the atrocity of genocide. Click to read the DU Magazine article.
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.
Click here for upcoming CJS events!
Click here for past CJS events!
Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions Conference, July 10-12, 2013