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Judaism and the Environmental Crisis

November 19, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


A virtual session led by Professor Hava Tirosh-Samuelson





ABOUT THIS EVENT: We live in the midst of a massive eco-crisis that challenges not only the future of human life but the future of life itself on Earth.  The eco-crisis has challenged all world religions to reexamine their attitudes toward nature and reinterpret their tradition in response to the crisis.  Since the 1970s in the diaspora and in Israel, Jews have become more environmentally aware and concerned, giving rise to Jewish environmental movement.  This lecture highlights the ethics of care and responsibility that undergird Jewish environmental activism.  The Sabbath, the Sabbatical Year (Shemitah), the prohibition on wanton destruction (Bal Tashchit), the concern for the welfare of animals (Tza`ar Ba`aley Hayim), and the laws of Kashrut offer the inspiration for Jewish religious environmentalism that links concern for the environment to worship of God and to social justice.  The lecture highlights leading Jewish environmental organizations in the US,  explores the relevance of environmentalism for Jewish moral education, and encourages interfaith activism.


ABOUT THIS SPEAKER: Hava Tirosh-Samuelson is Regents Professor of History, Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor of Modern Judaism, and Director of Jewish Studies at Arizona State University.  She holds a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University in Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism (1978) and a BA from SUNY-Stony Brook (1974) in Religious Studies.  Prior to joining ASU in 1999, she has taught at Indiana University, Emory University, Columbia University, and Hebrew Union College-New York.  In addition to over 50 peer-reviewed essays, Professor Samuelson is the author of the award-winning, Between Worlds: The Life and Work of Rabbi David ben Judah Messer Leon (1991), Happiness in Premodern Judaism: Virtue, Knowledge and Well-Being (2003) and Religion and Environment: The Case of Judaism (2020).  She is also the editor of Judaism and Ecology: Created World and Revealed Word (2002), along with several other edited volumes, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers (2013-2018), a set of 21 volume that features outstanding Jewish thinkers.


November 19, 2020
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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