Is Judaism good or bad for animals? Beth Berkowitz brings us beyond this reductive question, with its frequent focus on the first two chapters of Genesis and Jewish dietary laws, to offer instead a more complex approach to the animal in Judaism and to spotlight some less predictable Jewish texts. Professor Berkowitz, the Ingeborg Rennert Chair of Jewish Studies in Barnard’s department of religion, discusses the emerging field of scholarship called animal studies and considers how this discipline might cross-pollinate with Jewish studies (specifically rabbinics) in order to provide a heightened understanding of both fields.

This lecture was recorded on October 17, 2013 at Barnard College in New York City.

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