Leading Jewish scholar to deliver lecture in memory of Aberdeenshire laird

Leading Jewish scholar to deliver lecture in memory of Aberdeenshire laird

One of the world’s leading authorities on the Hebrew Bible will speak in Aberdeen as part of a bequest to promote a greater understanding and knowledge of the history and culture of the Jewish people, and to combat anti-Semitism.

Professor Jon D Levenson, the Albert A List Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard University, will deliver the 2010 Hay of Seaton Memorial Lecture at the University of Aberdeen on Tuesday, February 16.

Malcolm Hay of Seaton was a distinguished historian and the last Laird of Seaton in Aberdeen.

The massacre of the European Jews during the Second World War deeply disturbed him and ignited a lifelong quest to highlight the history of anti-Semitism and the Jewish race.

After his death, his widow, Alice Ivy Hay of Seaton, left a bequest in her own will in 1981 to the University of Aberdeen to establish a memorial lecture series.

To date, there have been six previous Malcolm Hay lectures; delivered by Thomas Stranksy, Rector of Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, former Israeli Ambassador of the United Nations Abba Eban, Johannes Cardinal Willebrands, President of the Vatican Commission for the Promotion of Religious Relations with the Jews, Professor David Novak, Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Toronto, The Right Reverend Richard Harries, The Bishop of Oxford, and Professor Zygmunt Bauman, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds.

Professor Levenson’s work concentrates on the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible and has a strong interest in the philosophical and theological issues involved in biblical studies, especially the relationship of pre-modern modes of interpretation to modern historical criticism.

Much of his work centres on the relationship of Judaism and Christianity, both in antiquity and in modernity, and he has long been active in Jewish-Christian dialogue.

His book Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life (Yale University Press, 2006) won a National Jewish Book Award and the Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Award in the category of Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible published in 2005 or 2006.

To reserve seats for the Aberdeen lecture, which will be held at the King’s College Auditorium at 5.30pm, please contact Will Gibb, College of Arts and Social Sciences, on 01224 272084 or at w.gibb@abdn.ac.uk.

Professor Levenson will also be giving this lecture in London (in association with the Institute for Jewish Policy Research) on Wednesday, February 17 at 6.30pm at the Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1