May 9, 2013

Jeffrey Tigay - "Loose Constructionism: Its Forerunners in Biblical Interpretation, or: 'You are telling Scripture: Be quiet while I interpret.'"

Literalism vs. non-literalism, fundamentalist vs. liberal interpretation, strict construction vs. loose construction – these are well-known issues that arise in interpreting and applying any text, and they arise with particular force when a text is considered authoritative or revealed. One of the first such texts was the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, within Judaism. Not long after its canonization it was subjected to a very free interpretation that often does violence to the text, but that, in its own way, constitutes an early counterpart to the loose constructionism of today. Jeff will present some examples of such interpretations along with criticisms by its opponents and justifications from its advocates.

Jeffrey H. Tigay is Emeritus Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~jtigay .

The luncheon will begin at 12pm on Thursday, May 9, 2013 in the Hourglass Room of the University Club. Cost and University Club details.