Workshop Program: Ancient Jewish Cosmology – Sacred Time and Order (Jerusalem, June 15-16)

CSTT Workshop in Jerusalem, 15‒16 June 2015, at the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem, co-sponsored by the Finnish Institute in the Middle East (FIME)


Cosmology is here broadly understood to deal with the cosmic world order and origin, but also matters related to acknowledging, finding out, and living out this cosmic order in everyday life. The aim is to identify forms and mechanisms of change in the notions and practices relating to Jewish cosmology: the origin, nature, and fate of the universe. Also ritual practices can be related to this theme: e.g., which beliefs are transmitted through ritual practices, prayer and divination; how the understanding of the divine is reflected in the earthly sphere (architecture, collective practices, calendar, correct prayer times, etc.) Cosmology plays a role in the way in which societies structure themselves and communities select and cherish their values and moral systems. Of special interest is the influence of Hellenistic philosophy and practices on Jewish thought.


Monday 15 June

13:30-14:00 Words of welcome and refreshments
14:00‒15:30 Keynote: Prof. Wayne Horowitz, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
“Noah’s Rainbow and The Gwich’in Boy in the Moon: Traditional Narrative in the Bible, Ancient Near East, and The Canadian Arctic”
15:30‒16:15 Dr. Drew Longacre, University of Helsinki
“The Dominion Mandate in Genesis 9:7”
16:15‒16:30 Coffee/tea break
16:30‒17:15 Dr. Eshbal Ratzon, Tel Aviv University
“The Path of the Moon in the Astronomical Book”
17:15‒18:00 Dr. Elisa Uusimäki, University of Helsinki
“Cosmic Elements in the Life of the Sage according to Ben Sira”

Tuesday 16 June

9:15‒9:30 Words of welcome
9:30‒11:00 Keynote: Dr. Jonathan Ben-Dov, University of Haifa
“Time and Temporality in Early Jewish Apocalypticism”
11:00‒11:15 Coffee/tea break
11:15‒12:00 Dr. Yehoshua Granat, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
“Noetic cosmos and the preexistent Torah: Philo, Midrash, Piyyut”
12:00‒13:30 Lunch
13:30‒14:15 Dr. Jeremy Penner, University of Helsinki
“Apocalyptic Cosmologies and Prayer at Qumran”
14:15‒15:00 Dr. Miryam Brand, Albright Institute, Jerusalem
“Demons and Dominion: Forcing Demons into the Cosmic Order in Jubilees and the Dead Sea Scrolls”
15:0015:15 Coffee/tea break
15:15‒16:00 Dr. Florian Lippke, Bibel+Orient Museum, Freiburg
“The sky in a nutshell: Worldviews reflected in the iconographic artifacts from the Palestine/Israel in biblical eras”
16:00‒16:45 Dr. Sami Yli-Karjanmaa, University of Helsinki
“Souls from the Ether: Reading Josephus and Philo”