David Kraemer will be coming to speak at the Seminar in Cultural History on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. His talk is entitled “Legislating Space and Re-placing God: Rabbinic Spatiality after the Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple.”

In 70 CE, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by Roman forces, demonstrating the power and fury of Roman domination of the “Holy Land” and disrupting what had been the sacred center of Jewish practice and identity for centuries. In the aftermath of the destruction, and arguably in response thereto, the early rabbis formulated a Judaism that was meant to survive this displacement (of God and people). Using critical theory, Kraemer will examine emerging elements of rabbinic spatiality and argue that the legislating of space in text was the central rabbinic response to the catastrophe.

David Kraemer is the Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and his master’s degree and doctorate from The Jewish Theological Seminary. Kraemer has published extensively on rabbinic Judaism and the Jewish family. His current research projects are primarily focused on literary analysis of rabbinic literature, rabbinic ritual, and the social and religious history of Jews in late antiquity. His most recent book, Jewish Eating and Identity Through the Ages (Routledge, 2007), explores the evolution of Jewish eating practices through the centuries.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required. PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.