Exile and Restoration in the Psalms
11 May 20:00-21:00
We are deeply honoured to welcome Professor Adele Berlin, Robert H. Smith Professor Emerita of Hebrew Bible at the University of Maryland, USA, to lead a session of the Psalms in Interfaith Contexts Reading Group.
Topic: Exile and Restoration in the Psalms
Abstract: The Babylonian conquest of Judah and its aftermath—the destruction of the Temple and the exile of a significant portion of its population—left a mark throughout the Bible, including the book of Psalms. Even after the return of some of the exiled Judeans and the rebuilding of the Temple, the restoration was, in the eyes of those Judeans, never complete, for Judah was no longer a sovereign nation and the Davidic dynasty did not continue. This lecture will look at a few psalms in which the themes of exile and restoration are prominent. Among them we find a nostalgic look back to the First Temple, a “memory” of the exilic experience, praise to God for rebuilding Jerusalem, and the hope for the restoration of Davidic kingship.
Speaker: Professor Adele Berlin, Robert H. Smith Professor Emerita of Hebrew Bible at the University of Maryland, USA.
Speaker’s biography: Professor Adele Berlin is the Robert H. Smith Professor Emerita of Hebrew Bible at the University of Maryland, where she has served as Director of the Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, and Chair of the University Senate. Professor Berlin is a Fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research and a past President of the Society of Biblical Literature. She has held fellowships at Institutes for Advanced Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Hebrew University, and Tel Aviv University. Berlin’s interests lie primarily in the narrative and poetry of the Hebrew Bible and how they have been interpreted. An interpreter herself, she has written commentaries on the books of Zephaniah, Lamentations, and Esther. She co-edited, with Marc Brettler, The Jewish Study Bible, now in its second edition, and co-edited, with Jeffrey Tigay, the recently published The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, Volume 1: Ancient Israel, from Its Beginnings through 332 BCE. Her commentary on Psalms 120–150 will soon be published in the JPS Bible Commentary series (Jewish Publication Society and University of Nebraska Press). She is now at work on a commentary on Song of Songs.