The Cytron Lecture with Dustin Atlas (Queen’s University)

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Memorial Union (800 Langdon St, Madison WI)
@ 4:00 pm

The 2024 Phyllis W. and Rabbi Barry D. Cytron Lecture in Jewish Studies

“We’re Going to Need a Bigger Ark:
Jewish Thought and the Ecological Apocalypse”

Dustin Atlas (Queen’s University)

Thursday, February 22
Memorial Union, Old Madison Room
This event will also be livestreamed, via Zoom. To receive the link, please register in advance by clicking here.

What does Jewish thought have to say about the ecological catastrophe we are living in? This talk will examine ways Jewish philosophers have responded to this crisis by finding images in traditional texts to guide their thinking. In particular, we will examine the image of Noah’s ark and its strange history and see what we can still learn from it. We will explore the work of Hans Jonas, Mara Benjamin, and Martin Buber, and dip into Genesis Rabbah guided by the following claim: Jewish philosophy best responds to ecological crises when it does not attempt to provide an ecological ethics “out of the sources of Judaism.” Instead, we will explore an element of Jewish thought which attempts to think in terms of enclosures and protect small but important things in the midst of disasters.

Dr. Dustin Atlas is the Director of Jewish Studies and Assistant Professor in the School of Religion at Queen’s University. A specialist in contemporary and 18th-century Jewish thought, he has just finished a book project entitled Buber Talks: Jewish Dialogue and the Nonhuman World.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Culture, History, and Environment

For a downloadable PDF of this poster, click here