What’s He Doing Here? Jesus in Jewish Culture.
Centro Primo Levi hosts the Nextbook Festival of Ideas.
Jesus was a Jew, but Jews do not accept his divinity. In What’s He Doing Here? Jesus in Jewish Culture, an all-star lineup of writers, critics, filmmakers, and scholars explores the legacy of this paradox from the Gospels to medieval martyr stories to the paintings of Chagall to Woody Allen and Sarah Silverman.
Notable the appearance of Rav Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome in conversation with Susannah Heschel. Moderated by Federica Francesconi.
In the Gospel According to Luke, we find the 12-year-old Jesus “in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” This scene hints at things to come: the long, tangled relationship between Jesus and the leaders of Rabbinic Judaism, a relationship marked by admiration and acrimony, by disputations, self-censorship, and occasional violence. Susannah Heschel and Rav Riccardo Di Segni look at how rabbis have responded to the figure of Jesus from the Talmud to the Crusades to the modern Jewish embrace of Jesus as one of their own.
SUSANNAH HESCHEL holds the Eli Black Chair in Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College. Her numerous publications include Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus, which won a National Jewish Book Award, and a forthcoming book, The Aryan Jesus: Christians, Nazis and the Bible. She edited On Being a Jewish Feminist: A Reader and co-edited Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism, with David Biale and Michael Galchinsky.
RICCARDO DI SEGNI received his medical degree from the University of Rome La Sapienza and his rabbinical ordination from the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano, both in 1973. Since then, he has pursued a dual career as a physician specializing in radiology and a rabbi. He has taught at the Collegio Rabbinico since 1974 and was named director in 1999. In 2001, he was elected Chief Rabbi of Rome. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Jewish subjects, including Talmudic literature, liturgy, Jewish-Christian relations, and the anthropology of ritual. His book Il Vangelo del Ghetto (The Ghetto’s Gospel), explored Jewish Legends on the origin of Christianity.