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CANCELLED! The Pious Werewolf: Confronting Monstrosity in Medieval Jewish Thought
February 17, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm$18
**DUE TO PERSONAL ISSUES, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED**
ABOUT THIS LECTURE: Medieval Jewish mystics, biblical scholars, and even legal decisors were surprisingly preoccupied by monsters and the occult. But why did Jewish thinkers in the Middle Ages devote such extensive attention to zombies, werewolves, and vampires in their writings? Was it simply because they were ignorant and superstitious, mired in the pre-modern “dark ages”? Or might supernatural creatures and occult forces have had more profound theological meaning as well? This session will explore the ways in which reflections on monstrosity helped pre-modern Jews explore the workings and limits of the natural world, of the human body, and of the divine.
ABOUT THIS SPEAKER: Professor David Shyovitz is Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University, and Director of NU’s Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies. His research and teaching focus on pre-modern Jewish history, with particular emphases on Jewish-Christian relations, the history of science, and the development of Jewish law. David received his BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and studied for several years at Yeshivat Har Etzion. He has been a visiting fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is the author of A Remembrance of His Wonders: Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Ashkenaz, and of the forthcoming “O Beastly Jew!” Jews, Animals, and Jewish Animals in the Middle Ages.