Are All Religions Equally Valid? The Aims of Interreligious Dialogue

Monday, April 4, 2005
3:45 p.m.
Mendelson Convocation Center
The Jewish Theological Seminary

In his lecture, Dr. Levenson will critique the assumptions and practice of Jewish–Christian dialogue as it has been conducted for the past half century, arguing that Jews and Christians must be more forthright about their differences. He will offer the perspective that the cause of truth has often not been well-served by over-emphasis on alleged commonalities between religious traditions.

Dr. Levenson began teaching at Harvard in 1988, having previously taught at the University of Chicago and Wellesley College. He specializes in the reinterpretations of texts in the Hebrew Bible itself and in the "rewritten Bible" of Second Temple Judaism, as well as rabbinic midrash and medieval Jewish commentary. He has a strong interest in the philosophical and theological issues involved in biblical studies, especially the relationship of premodern modes of interpretation and modern historical criticism.

Much of his work centers on the relationship of Judaism and Christianity, both in the times of the early church and in modernity, and he has long been active in Jewish–Christian dialogue. His interests in Jewish theology include the contemporary period.