Mini-Series: Three Looks at Jonah | Jewish Perspectives with Natalie B. Dohrmann

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Date / Time

  • October 16, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States

Sea monsters in Jewish tradition bear with them always tales of the beginning of time, and its end.  Jonah, riding in the belly of his great fish, is carried uncertainly between them. Jonah has baffled Jewish interpreters for centuries, and ignited a wide range of conflicting interpretations. The rabbis said the eyes of the whale were like windows though which Jonah could observe the foundations of creation – we’ll look back through at him to try to get a hold on what has made this short book such a fathomless riddle for Jews.

About the Speaker

Natalie B. Dohrmann is a scholar of ancient Judaism with a focus on law and Roman imperialism in the Eastern provinces. She teaches in the departments of Religious Studies, History, Classics, and NELC at the University of Pennsylvania, and serves as the associate director of Penn’s Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. She has published widely on rabbinic literary and legal culture in the Roman world of the 1st to 4th centuries. She earned her PhD from the University of Chicago.

About the Three Looks at Jonah Mini-Series

From Father Mapple’s sermon to the very premise of the whale, the Biblical figure of Jonah hovers throughout Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. The ancient story of Jonah is a shared text that has influenced literature and religion across cultures and centuries. In conjunction with The Rosenbach’s exhibition American Voyager, scholars and faith leaders from Philadelphia will explore the importance of the prophet Jonah to understandings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Sponsored by Liza & Jon Seltzer and Ellie & Peter Nalle


Join the Conversation

A series of informal, intimate talks given by literary and cultural luminaries, In Conversation With The Rosenbach delves into fascinating histories, intellectual curiosities, and inspiring ideas. Each program offers audience members a chance to join the conversation after the talk and share their own thoughts and questions. In Conversation With The Rosenbach is supported by a grant from the Christian R. & Mary F. Lindback Foundation.

Seating is limited; advance registration is strongly recommended.