Saturday, September 10, 2011

Conference: Emerging Normativities: Examining the Formation of Proto-­Orthodox Christianities and Rabbinic Judaisms 200 -­ 800 CE

According to Simon Lasair, the prevalent belief in religious circles for centuries was that Christianity somehow replaced Judaism. More recently, scholars have come to believe that Christianity and Judaism evolved together and in conversation with each another.

That is the topic of a conference being organized by Lasair, who is a special lecturer in Judaic studies at St. Thomas More College. Titled Emerging Normativities, the two-day conference will examine the formative period of Judaism and Christianity from AD 200 to AD 800.

"Some of the issues surrounding this new line of thought emerged about 15 years ago," Lasair says. "The capstone was the release of Borderlines, a book by Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley."

Boyarin will be a lecturer at the conference. "The old view that Christianity replaced Judaism was prevalent until the mid20th century," Lasair says. "It was held primarily by Protestant New Testament scholars, and some believe it contributed to the Holocaust. After (the Second World War), New Testament scholars, as well as Jewish scholars, wanted to see if that was true. The joint effort resulted in this new view when scholars realized that Judaism and Christianity have been in conversation throughout most of history, beginning in the first few centuries after the time of Jesus."

Click here to read this article from the Saskatoon StarPheonix

Click here to read the conference program