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Re-Staging the Judean ‘Nation’: The Rise of the Neighborhood in Roman Palestine
This lecture, “Re-Staging the Judean ‘Nation’: The Rise of the Neighborhood in Roman Palestine” by Professor Charlotte Fonrobert (Stanford), is part of the CMRS-CEGS Research Seminar graduate course for Spring 2023, Persecution and Defiance: Religious Minorities in the Roman World 200-700 CE (History201B).
Professor Fonrobert will focus on one particular ritual innovation that the rabbinic movement instituted in the context of the ancient norms circumscribing the Sabbath, an innovation that turned the Sabbath into a ritual of neighborhood and a tool of the ritualization of neighborhood. Drawing on one of the most well-known Judean/Jewish practices in the late ancient world – i.e., the Sabbath – the rabbinic movement re-staged Jewish collectivity in the urban infra-structure of Roman Palestine, and later of other diaspora contexts, in courtyards, streets, and alleyways, where Jews lived not only with each other, but with others. By re-staging Jewish collectivity in the neighborhood, the rabbis rethink the nature of territory and borders that allow a collectivity to persist, defying Empire and nation-state.
“Persecution and Defiance: Religious Minorities in the Roman World 200-700 CE” is a Spring 2023 graduate course designated as a CMRS Center for Early Global Studies Research Seminar which provides funding for guest scholars to lecture and work closely with students. Taught by Professor Greg Woolf (History), this Research Seminar looks at the treatment of Christians, Jews, Manichaeans, heretic and pagan minorities in the later Roman empire, roughly from the second century to the seventh CE, the age when empires stretched across much of Eurasia. Most contained minority populations identifying themselves in religious terms, subject alternately to episodes of persecution and periods of fruitful cohabitation.
Co-sponsored by UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies.