British Association for Jewish Studies: Conference 2012: “The Jews and the Sciences”



Wednesday 27th—Friday 29th June 2012


Papers are invited for the forthcoming annual conference of the British Association of Jewish Studies, which will take place at UCL,London, from 27—29 June 2012.


The conference theme will be ‘The Jews and the Sciences’. The term ‘science’ is open to interpretation because of the wide range of meanings it has been given in different cultures and in different periods of history. Even today, ‘science’ (or its counterpart in other languages) means different things inBritainand in other parts ofEurope. For the purposes of this conference, ‘science’ will be taken in its widest sense. In ancient and medieval contexts, for example, it may include the disciplines of magic, astrology, and alchemy. For all periods of history, it may include philosophy, linguistics, literary theory, sociology, psychology, and other human sciences.


The theme of ‘The Jews and the Sciences’ can be approached, therefore, in several ways. Participants may present papers, for example, on the contribution of Jews and Judaism to the sciences, or conversely, on the contribution of science to Jewish culture, literature, and Judaism. They may consider Jewish attitudes to science, the historical involvement of Jews in scientific inquiry, the production of scientific literature for Jewish audiences and in Jewish languages, or the historical and contemporary impact of sciences on Jewish culture and Jewish society.


The 2012 BAJS conference will immediately follow another conference at UCL on the more narrow theme of ‘Time, astronomy, and calendars in Jewish tradition’, from Monday 25th—Wednesday 27th June 2012. This conference will be hosted by the UCL AHRC-funded research project ‘Medieval Monographs on the Jewish Calendar’ and theInstituteofJewish Studies. It will be open to the public, and we would like to encourage BAJS Conference participants to attend this conference too.


This call for papers for the 2012 BAJS Conference is being issued at an earlier date than usual, because the forthcoming Olympic Games inLondon(July 2012) make it necessary for our conference to be planned well in advance. A further, final call for papers will be issued in November, but we would appreciate submissions already at this stage, if at all possible.


For further information go to Please send proposals for individual papers (including title and a short, max. 300-word abstract) or panels to the President, Sacha Stern ([email protected]). We look forward to your submissions.