Frontiers in Jewish Studies: The Clever Ox, the Escaping Elephant, and Other Talmudic Animals

Beth Berkowitz

The Clever Ox

Is Judaism good or bad for animals? Beth Berkowitz hopes to bring us beyond this reductive question, with its frequent focus on the first two chapters of Genesis and Jewish dietary laws, to offer instead a more complex approach to the animal in Judaism and to spotlight some less predictable Jewish texts.

Professor Berkowitz, newly arrived Ingeborg Rennert Chair of Jewish Studies in Barnard’s department of religion, discusses the emerging field of scholarship called animal studies and considers how this discipline might cross-pollinate with Jewish studies (specifically rabbinics) in order to provide a heightened understanding of both fields. Reception to follow.

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