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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

'Time and Space: The Jewish dimensions of time' Seminar

17 May 2016
Lecture Theatre C Avenue Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email The Parkes Institute at .

Event details

Part of the Parkes Research Seminar Series 2015/2016

“What is time?” is a question that has long been central to human thought about life and finitude. An individual living in the 21st century might be well aware that there is no such thing as a “time” per se, and that time is a cultural and conventional notion. He or she might even know that the term comes from the Latin “tempus,” or “measure”. Understood as an objective measure of movement, time is both a scientific and philosophical concept, independent and autonomous from the way it is perceived. But as a human perception, time is a complex blend of cultural, social and religious properties which allows the intertwining of the sacred and the secular into the social network of groups and societies. Social sciences (history, sociology, anthropology etc.) have made up "time" as one of their key notions to analyze the social fabric, turning the way people and groups perceive and inhabit the flow of time into a matter for empirical study, and accounting for the invention of the many tools societies have devised to handle the phenomenon (astronomical engines, clocks, almanacs, calendars, rituals, etc.) in domains such as religion, sports or politics.

Now as in the past, how groups inhabit and use their own calendars in the multiple registers of time is a way of self-identifying and of communal distinction. With their particular timing Jews, like other dispersed minorities, join together by sharing a common temporality wherever they might be across the world. This “timing” stems from centuries of calculation, theological and scientific controversies and theoretical reflection. That is what this lecture “Time and Space -The Jewish dimensions of Time” will be all about.

Speaker information

Professor Sylvie-Ann Goldberg , EHESS. Paris

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