The Leon Levy Foundation Lectures in Jewish Material Culture

  • June 4 - 6, 2024
  • Bard Graduate Center

    38 West 86th Street
    New York, New York 10024
Ticket Price $0.00-$15.00 Register Now

The Leon Levy Foundation Lectures in Jewish Material Culture by Jonathan Ben-Dov (Tel Aviv University)

June 4–6 at 6 pm


38 West 86th Street, BGC Lecture Hall


$15 General | $12 Seniors | Free for people associated with a college or university, people with museum ID, people with disabilities and caregivers, and BGC members


Encounters of Text and Material Culture in Ancient Judea

This three-evening lecture series engages with Judean and later Jewish material culture during the first millennium BCE, mostly at the latter third of this millennium during the Hellenistic-Roman period. This is not an archeological study surveying pottery assemblages and architectural plans. Instead, Jonathan Ben-Dov focuses on particular types of material objects that lend themselves to interaction with texts. The surveyed materials are widely variegated: from monumental rock reliefs that straddle the borders of nature and culture to handheld devices for time measurement. Special attention is dedicated to scrolls, which posit the text-and-matter encounter in a particularly poignant way, and where new paths are trodden today, in the digital age.


June 4: Time Machines in Text and Matter

June 5: The Material of Apocalypses: Rock Reliefs and the Literary Imagination

June 6: Scrolls as Material Artifacts


Bard Graduate Center is grateful for the generous support of the Leon Levy Foundation.


Jonathan Ben-Dov is professor at the Department of Biblical Studies, Tel Aviv University. His fields of interest are biblical literature and the Ancient Near East, Dead Sea Scrolls and apocalyptic literature, ancient astronomy and calendars, time and temporality, history of the biblical text, and more. He has been a member of the Israeli Young Academy, and a fellow at New York University, University of Zurich, Durham University, and the Israel Institute of Advanced Studies. He is codirector of the German-Israeli project Scripta Qumranica Electronica, which aims to enhance the study of Dead Sea Scrolls using digital humanities methods. His recent books are a coauthored monograph, Material and Digital Reconstruction of Fragmentary Dead Sea Scrolls (Brill, 2022), and a coedited book, Afterlives of Ancient Near Eastern Monuments (Brill, 2021). He serves as an editor and board member for various journals and book series.


Image: Aroer plaque, Hebrew Union College.

Date & Time

Jun 4 - 6, 2024

Venue Details

Bard Graduate Center

38 West 86th Street
New York, New York 10024 Bard Graduate Center
Bard Graduate Center

Bard Graduate Center is devoted to the study of decorative arts, design history, and material culture through research, advanced degrees, exhibitions, publications, and events.

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