Violence and Non-Violence in Ancient Judaism - Fourth Annual Levy Event
Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 10:30am to Monday, April 15, 2019 - 12:30pm
Violence and Non-Violence in Ancient Judaism - Fourth Annual Levy Event

Symposium of Scholars of Ancient Judaism in the Pacific Northwest

Presented by the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at Portland State University with the support of the Lawrence Levy and Pamela Lindholm-Levy Judaic Studies Program Fund.


April 14-15, 2019 | Free admission to all sessions


Please join us for this two-day meeting of scholars who specialize in the study of ancient Jews and Judaism. Symposium participants include history, religion and Jewish studies faculty from universities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Rather than reading papers or delivering pre-prepared lectures, participants and presenters will meet as a group in a fishbowl format in front of an audience to discuss some of the ancient Jewish texts and artifacts that feature in their current research. All three panel sessions will be free and open to the public. Titles of presentations and biographical details about our presenters are available on the event site:

The highlight of the symposium will be our keynote address, Sunday April 14, 7:30 PM, featuring Dr. Seth Schwartz (Columbia University). The lecture, which will also be free and open to the public, will address one of the most cataclysmic events in Jewish history - the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE. Professor Schwartz will ask what the loss of the Jewish temple and the transformation of Judaea into a Roman province really meant for Jewish life.


Schedule of Events:


Sunday April 14th

Session 1- Gender, Violence and the Divine in the Bible and Midrash

10:30 am - 12:30 pm, Lincoln Hall room 221

  • Gender, Sex, and Angels in Ancient Judaism - Mika Ahuvia
  • Sexual Assaults in Biblical Interpretation - Deborah Green
  • Scholars fishbowl discussion


Session 2- Violence and Masculinity in Second Temple Judaism

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Lincoln Hall room 221

  • When is Violence Impious? Examples from the Life of Josephus - Loren Spielman
  • Blood, Guts, & Foreskins: Manly Self-Control and Violent Ethnogenesis in Second Temple & Rabbinic Texts - Kevin Yiftach Osterloh
  • Scholars fishbowl discussion


Keynote Lecture

7:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Lincoln Hall room 75

"Life after 70 CE: The Impact of the Destruction of the Second Temple on Ancient Jewish Society" - Dr. Seth Schwartz, Columbia University


Monday April 15

Session 3- Catastrophe and Commemoration

10:30am -12:30pm, Smith Memorial Student Union "Browsing Lounge" (SMSU 238)

  • The ‘Fate’ of the Temple Vessels in Late Antique Judaism - Gregg Gardner
  • Writing in a World on Fire: Catastrophe and the Book - Eva Mroczek
  • Scholars fishbowl discussion


All sessions, including the keynote lecture, are free and open to the public.


View full schedule of sessions, scholars presenting, and the logistics for the day: