Law & Spirituality



This inaugural year’s seminar marked the transition from the Annenberg Research Institute to the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. David M. Goldenberg, who had been the president of Dropsie College, served as acting director for the transition. The weekly seminars, which had been a feature of the Annenberg Research Institute since its inception, were at that time intimate sessions attended only by the fellows. The youth of the Center is evident in that the Gruss Colloquium and the Meyerhoff Lecture did not yet exist, there were no named fellowships, and the year produced no volume. These were still to come.  

The fellowship gathered historians, linguists, legal scholars, and scholars of text to explore the multivalent relationship between law and spirituality in Ancient Near Eastern, biblical, and Jewish contexts. This diverse group brought a wide range of expertise to bear on the questions of how law and spirituality relate to one another in a variety of cultural contexts, how these elements define religious civilizations, and how they determine relationships within and among cultures, religions, and societies.