Workshop on the Reception of Josephus in the 20th and 21st Centuries

This fourth workshop covered the Jewish reception of Josephus in the 20th and 21st centuries. Participants were invited to examine the role of Josephus in the wide spectrum of Jewish politics, culture, religious life, scholarship, and education from the early 20th century through the foundation of the State of Israel to the present, raising questions such as:

  • How does Josephus figure in Zionist thought? How did Liberals, Orthodox Jews and Bundists use his works and image in debates about Jewish nationalism?
  • What use was made of the writings of Josephus by Jews during the Shoah and in its aftermath?
  • What was the role of Josephus’s descriptions in interpreting the archaeology and geography of the land in the early years of the State of Israel?
  • How has Josephus’s work been re-evaluated in the late twentieth century and today in debates about post-Zionist reassessments of the foundation and ideologies of the State of Israel?
  • How do Jews in Europe and the United States refer to Josephus in discussing the conditions and meanings of Jewish life in the diaspora?
  • How is Josephus depicted in children’s literature, educational material, museums, and popular culture?

The workshop was held at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in Yarnton Manor on 16-17 June 2014.

Full Programme of Speakers (Download PDF)

Compiled Workshop Abstracts (Download PDF)