Monday, June 27, 2016

Benefits of Membership in the Society of Biblical Literature

The associate professor for rabbinic literature and Jewish studies of late antiquity at the University of Michigan, Yaron Eliav is also a member of the Society of Biblical Literature.

The largest and oldest organization of its kind in the world, the Society of Biblical Literature was founded in 1880 and is dedicated to the critical investigation of the Bible. Founded on ten core values, ranging from accountability and professionalism to inclusivity and scholarly integrity, the society has over 8,000 members and sponsors both an annual meeting and an international meeting. Open to professional scholars, students, and members of the public who are interested in the study of Biblical literature, the society offers a number of benefits at every membership level.

Some of these benefits include receiving the Journal of Biblical Literature, access to De Gruyter subscriptions, and discounts at different vendors. The society also offers membership with the International Cooperation Initiative. This initiative was established in 2007 to bring together international and multidisciplinary scholars for a variety of projects as well as pooling resources to benefit people who otherwise might not have access to them. Its teaching collaboration and mentoring program, for instance, connects institutions, scholars, and students through two databases around the world.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Three Breathtaking Roman Ruins to Visit in Europe

As an associate professor of Rabbinic Literature and Jewish History of Late Antiquity in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, Yaron Eliav is the author of God's Mountain: The Temple Mount in Time, Space, and Memory. With an interest in Graeco-Roman history as well as the field of Jewish studies, Dr. Yaron Eliav has traveled extensively through Europe, where many breathtaking feats of Roman engineering and architecture are still standing.

1. Pont Du Gard - This Roman aqueduct was built sometime around 500 AD. Located in what is presently southern France, the Pont Du Gard aqueduct was constructed to carry water to the ancient city of Nemausus, now known as NĂ®mes. The bridge was built of limestone and stands 50 meters high, stretching over France’s Gardon river.

2. The Pantheon - Residing in Rome, Italy, the Pantheon originated as a temple and now stands as one of the best-preserved Roman historical buildings despite having been built around 25 BC. The building boasted the largest dome in the world until the Duomo of Florence beat it out in 1436. The dome is still the biggest unreinforced dome in the world, with a height and diameter of 43.3-meters.

3. Roman Baths - The Roman Baths in the aptly named Bath, England were first constructed in 60 to 70 AD as a temple. Over the next 300 years, the existing bath was built up around the temple and England’s sole mineral hot spring. While the baths themselves are no longer suitable for use, they speak to the staying power of Roman engineering. The water still flows through the original lead pipes put in by the Romans.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Kelsey Museum Brings Ancient World to University Campus

Dr. Yaron Eliav is an award-winning Judaic studies author and associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. Dr. Yaron Eliav leads Jewish studies students through hands-on exploration of ancient cultures in partnership with the Kelsey Museum.

The Kelsey Museum has a collection of more than 100,000 ancient artifacts from cultures of the Mediterranean and the Near East. Roman sculptures, Greek pottery, and an Egyptian mummy coffin are among the objects on permanent display at the museum. Curators set up exhibits to give context to the artifacts, to show how they were integrated into everyday life, and to demonstrate how different cultures were influenced by one another.

A new exhibit opening at the Kelsey Museum in the fall of 2016 is called Less Than Perfect. It will include failed and flawed objects that still teach researchers a lot about the tools and techniques ancient artists and craftsmen used. Other objects are believed to be deliberately imperfect or asymmetrical. Objects that were pieced back together will also be on display.

The Kelsey Museum is on the Central Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Students have the opportunity to take guided museum tours that are specific to their coursework, such as Judaic studies, Germanic languages, history of art, architecture, or even business.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Students Get Chance to Hold History in Their Hands

Dr. Yaron Eliav is an associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. An award-winning Judaic studies author, Dr. Yaron Eliav researches ancient Judaism in the Roman Mediterranean.

University of Michigan students interested in Jewish studies can enroll in The Land of Israel/Palestine through the Ages, a course Dr. Eliav created. The goal of the course is to find new ways to get students interested in studying the ancient world of the Mediterranean. The course involves hands-on experience with archaeological artifacts at the Kelsey Museum. Students get to examine objects left behind by ancient people to learn about their culture. Students also review video clips, maps, art and books from the region.

The course is still evolving and in fall 2015 included a pilot portion with Moscow State University that allowed students in Russia to discuss the issues with students at the University of Michigan. The program may also eventually include a study trip to the Middle East.