Fairfield University Bennett Center Lecture on fascinating study of Jews and their translations of the Bible by Creighton University scholar


Image: L GreenspoonJewish translations of the Bible provide important evidence for how different Jewish communities understood, interpreted, and made use of the Hebrew Bible. 

On Tuesday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m., Leonard Greenspoon, Ph.D., professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Creighton University, will speak at Fairfield University on this intriguing topic and provide perspective on how Jews viewed the Christian majorities in most of the lands in which they lived. "Everything, from the format of the Bible, its title page and cover, to its wording and the way it is printed on the page, reveals another piece of evidence in this fascinating study of Jews and their translations of the Bible," said Dr. Greenspoon, an authority on religion and popular culture.

Sponsored by the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, the lecture, free and open to the public, is entitled, "Textually Speaking: How and Why Jews Translate the Bible." It will take place in the Dolan School of Business. 

In his talk, Dr. Greenspoon will briefly look at the entire history of Jewish Bible translations and then emphasize editions that have been produced over the last hundred years or so. Most examples will come from translations from Hebrew into English. He also will shed light on a topic that has not yet attracted as much attention as it should: Jews have continued to translate the Hebrew Bible, from efforts in antiquity through contemporary times.

Dr. Greenspoon holds the Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton, a Jesuit Catholic institution in Omaha, Neb., where he has taught for the past 14 years. For most of those years, he chaired the department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies. 

He writes and lectures on a variety of topics related to Bible translation, especially Jewish translations, from the earliest to the most recent. He is especially interested in the social, political, cultural, historical, and religious contexts in which translators operate. He sponsors an annual Klutznick Symposium (now called the Klutznick-Harris Symposium) each fall, which likewise attempts to "translate" the work of specialists in certain fields into language that can be understood by an educated general audience. 

Dr. Greenspoon, who has edited or authored 15 books, has received fellowships and grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Oxford University, among others.

He taught for nearly 20 years at Clemson University. He earned a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University.

Seating is limited for the lecture so call the Bennett Center to reserve a seat at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066. For more information, visit the website.


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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 12, 2010

Vol. 42, No. 265

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