Schusterman Lecture Designed To Enhance Knowledge of Judaism

March 1, 2000

Students at Oklahoma Baptist University will have the opportunity to learn about the Jewish faith from a leading theologian on Judaism during the Schusterman Lectureship in Religious History and Tradition Thursday, March 30, on the OBU campus.

Dr. Jacob Neusner, distinguished research professor of religious studies at the University of South Florida, will present the lecture, titled "How Judaism Reads the Bible," at 7:30 p.m. in Yarborough Auditorium, on the lower level of OBU's Raley Chapel.

Neusner, who also serves as research professor of religion and theology at Bard College, is an internationally noted scholar and author.

The Schusterman Lectureship is intended to promote an understanding of the traditions common to Jewish communities, to promote an understanding of the Jewish traditions which became foundational to Christian traditions and practices, and to foster an appreciation for the contributions of Jewish peoples in religious life, in the preservation of Biblical text and history, and in the body of religious, ethical, and philosophical thought.

The lecture will also acquaint students with respected Jewish scholars and scholarship and enhance the quality of the universitypis various courses in Old Testament studies.

Having written more than 800 books and articles, Neusner is the most published humanities scholar in the world. With nine honorary degrees and fourteen academic medals, he also is among the most honored.

He received a bachelor of arts degree from Harvard College in 1953, and completed graduate studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; as a Henry Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford University; and as a Fullbright Scholar at Hebrew University. He completes his Ph. D. degree from Columbia University in 1960.

Before moving to USF in 1990, he founded the department of Hebrew studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, held a post-doctoral fellowship at Brandeis University, and taught at Dartmouth College and Brown University.

Neusner has served as president of the American Academy of Religion and was a member of the founding committee of the Association for Jewish Studies. He founded the European Association of Jewish Studies in 1980. He also served as a member of the National Council on the Humanities, by appointment of President Carter, and as a member of the National Council on the Arts, by appointment of President Reagan.

He is editor of the Encyclopaedia of Judaism, The Annual of Rabbinic Judaism, and the Brill Reference Library of Judaism. He also was editor for the Judaism sections in the Dictionary of Religion, the Encyclopaedia of Religion, and the most recent revision of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

He and his wife Suzanne, live in St. Petersburg, Fla. They have four children and two grandchildren.