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Pluralism, Exclusivism, and the Boundaries of Biblical Theology

Four-part series led by Benjamin Sommer exploring the limits and opportunities of pluralism.
Benjamin Sommer is a Senior Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. He is also Professor of Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Previously he taught at Northwestern University, where he was Director of the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies. An overarching concern of Dr. Sommer’s scholarship involves the close and manifold relationships between biblical thought and later Jewish theology, or, to use the Hebrew phrasing, between

Pluralism, Exclusivism, and the Boundaries of Biblical Theology

What are the boundaries of pluralism? The Bible offers a rich plurality of ideas about core theological, social, and legal issues.

Benjamin Sommer will explore the limits and opportunities of pluralism using Biblical case studies of divine punishment, divine presence, and monotheism. In addition, we will discuss the paradox of the Bible’s pluralistic treatment of figures like Jeremiah who reject pluralism in the first place.

Session 1
Recorded on December 1, 2021

Session 2: What is Holiness? A Debate Inside the Torah
Recorded on December 8, 2021

Session 3: Monotheism and Polytheism
Recorded on December 15, 2021

Session 4: Pluralists and Anti-Pluralists: Biblical Theology Encounters Modern Judaism
Recorded on December 22, 2021

This series is part of Ideas for Today, a yearlong offering of curated courses led by leading scholars addressing the compelling contemporary Jewish issues of the day.

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