Malka Simkovich - "Discovering Second Temple Literature" - John R. Barker

Monday, March 4, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Malka Simkovich

Malka Simkovich discusses Discovering Second Temple Literature : The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the Book: Exploring the world of the Second Temple period (539 BCE–70 CE), in particular the vastly diverse stories, commentaries, and other documents written by Jews during the last three centuries of this period, Malka Z. Simkovich takes us to Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, to the Jewish sectarians and the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus, to the Cairo genizah, and to the ancient caves that kept the secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls. As she recounts Jewish history during this vibrant, formative era, Simkovich analyzes some of the period’s most important works for both familiar and possible meanings. This volume interweaves past and present in four parts. Part 1 tells modern stories of discovery of Second Temple literature. Part 2 describes the Jewish communities that flourished both in the land of Israel and in the Diaspora. Part 3 explores the lives, worldviews, and significant writings of Second Temple authors. Part 4 examines how authors of the time introduced novel, rewritten, and expanded versions of Bible stories in hopes of imparting messages to the people. Simkovich’s popular style will engage readers in understanding the sometimes surprisingly creative ways Jews at this time chose to practice their religion and interpret its scriptures in light of a cultural setting so unlike that of their Israelite forefathers. Like many modern Jews today, they made an ancient religion meaningful in an ever-changing world.

About the Author: Dr. Malka Simkovich is the Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies and director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, as well as a Core Faculty member of Drisha Institute. She earned a doctoral degree in Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism from Brandeis University and a Masters degree in Hebrew Bible from Harvard University. Malka’s articles have been published in such journals as the Harvard Theological Review and the Journal for the Study of Judaism, as well on online forums such as TheTorah.com, The Lehrhaus, and the Times of Israel. Her first book, The Making of Jewish Universalism: From Exile to Alexandria was published in 2016, and her second book, Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism, was published in 2018. Malka is currently completing a commentary to the book of Zechariah which will be published in 2019 by Liturgical Press and co-authored with Fr. Leslie Hoppe, OFM. A native of Philadelphia, Malka lives in Skokie, Illinois, with her husband Aaron and their four children.

About the Interlocutor: John R. Barker, OFM (PhD, Boston College), is a Franciscan friar who has served on the faculty of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago since 2012. His main areas of biblical research relate to the formation and function of biblical texts, particularly in prophetic literature. Barker is the book reviewer for the Old Testament and related topics for The Bible Today, and the author of Disputed Temple: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Book of Haggai (Fortress Press, 2017).

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637