COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

Politicizing the Wives of Abraham

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
4:30 p.m.

Abernethy Reading Room, Axinn Center

Professor Carol Bakhos explores the roles Sarah and Hagar play as matriarchs in the founding family of Abraham and considers contemporary readings of their story. Modern readers are moved by the desire for the children of Sarah and Hagar—Arabs and Jews, Israeli Jews and Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims—to live in peaceful co-existence. Bakhos will argue that reading the Genesis story in order to illumine political and social issues often ignores or distorts the narrative’s framework.

Carol Bakhos is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. She is the Chair of the Study of Religion program and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion. Her research interests include rabbinic literature, late antique Judaism and comparative Jewish, Christian and Muslim scriptural interpretation. In addition to many scholarly articles, she is the author of Ishmael on the Border: Rabbinic Portrayals of the First Arab, and editor of several books including Judaism in its Hellenistic Context, Current Trends in the Study of Midrash and the co-edited work, The Talmud in its Iranian Context.  Her most recent publication, The Family of Abraham: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Interpretations (Harvard University Press) came out this summer. Professor Bakhos currently serves on the Executive Board of the Association for Jewish Studies.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Religion, Ross Commons, The Department of English and American Literatures, the Jewish Studies Program, and the Middle Eastern Studies Program.




Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life

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