Welcome to our conference website! Here you will find the conference schedule, hotel and transportation information, and the registration form. We hope you will join us in New Haven, October 6 – 8.
About the Conference
An important philological method involves the reconstruction of multiple sources for what has been received as a unitary text. In the absence of the original sources, disunities within the received text -- narrative or argumentative incoherence, duplication, variation in nomenclature, etc. -- serve as indicators of the “seams” between sources. What presuppositions do source critics make concerning the unity of genuinely unitary texts? Might these presuppositions be challenged by reflection on single-authored texts that also exhibit these supposed symptoms?
Another important method involves the placement of a single text within a larger tradition or, to use Walter Benjamin's term, within a “constellation” of texts and/or cultural objects. How should we think about the relationships between texts and larger unities? When is it illuminating to place a text in the context of a larger unity, and when is it wrong to read a text, so to speak, in its own right?
We aim to bring together a number of scholars working on ancient Jewish, rabbinic and modern Jewish texts and traditions, with a number of philosophers working on texts that, in virtue of both their content and their form, raise questions about unity. Some of the philosophical texts we have in mind are Kant’s Critiques, Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption, and Benjamin’s Arcades project.