Jewish and Islamic Traditions in Tandem: The Torah and the Quran
Lecture Series 2017–2018
This series is an attempt to examine the mutual literary and historical relations between the Jewish and Islamic traditions from various perspectives and to understand their meeting points as well as their similarities and differences. We will examine descriptions of key figures from the Torah and the Quran, patterns of interpretation, and mutual influences. In a time of increasing tension between Jews and Muslims, we hope to contribute to the creation of a broad framework of knowledge that presents various aspects of the Jewish-Islamic discourse in the past and the present.
Throughout the history of Judaism and Islam there was a productive dialogue between them, and broad connections were forged between the two traditions. However, in recent decades the Arab-Jewish national conflict has been depicted increasingly in religious terms, and the extremism on both sides is growing. Therefore, it is of supreme importance to try to trace the shared root of the two religions and to re-establish a dialogue between them.
In this series we will examine texts from the Torah and the Quran in a similar historical context and will propose ways of thinking about them and new perspectives for understanding them. Each meeting will deal with a particular issue arising from an examination of Jewish and Islamic texts on the topic so as to generate a comparative discussion and a shared discourse. The close relations and mutual influence of the two religions will be explored partly by focusing on historical figures, key events, and central ideas.