2013 Archives

“The Death of the Gods, or,
When Monotheism was Born, Where Did the Gods Go?”

The Nate and Ann Levine Endowed Lecture in Jewish Studies presents Richard Friedman

October 11, 2013

Professor Richard Friedman, author of the world-renowned Who Wrote the Bible?, will speak on “The Death of the Gods, or, When Monotheism was Born, Where Did the Gods Go?” at SMU on Oct. 23.

Who Wrote the Bible?The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be at 7:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, Room 306 of Dallas Hall, 3225 University Blvd. Free parking is available. For more information, contact Professor Serge Frolov at sfrolov@smu.edu or 214-768-4478.

Friedman will explore what the early Jews, who first developed the idea of a single God, thought about the pagan beliefs shared by the entire world, including their own parents, what happened to the gods that had been worshipped for millennia, and why a religion that is promoting monotheism would picture its God speaking in the plural.

Friedman is the Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia and the Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. His books have been translated into Hebrew, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Turkish, Korean, and French. Who Wrote the Bible? has sold over 250,000 copies, was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, a New York Times Editors’ selection, and was the subject of a three-hour television special.

The Disappearance of God (published in paperback as The Hidden Face of God) was named among the “Best Books of 1995” by Publishers Weekly. The Hidden Book in the Bible was named among the “Best Books of 1998” by Publishers Weekly. It was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, History Book Club, Quality Paperbacks Book Club, and Jewish Book Club. Dr. Friedman’s Commentary on the Torah, with his new translation of the Five Books of Moses, was named among Commentary Magazine Best Jewish Books of 2001.

His The Bible with Sources Revealed was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist of 2005. His newest book is The Bible Now, co-authored with Shawna Dolansky and published by Oxford Press. It relates the Bible to the controversial issues of our day: homosexuality, abortion, women’s status, capital punishment, and the earth.

Friedman has been interviewed by CNN’s Larry King and on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition” and on “Radio Times” and “Talk of the Nation” by Robert Siegal, Ray Suarez, and Derek McGinty. Articles and citations of his work have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Time, New York Daily News, Newsweek, Commentary, Commonweal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Forward, Moment, The Jerusalem Post, Maariv, and Haaretz. He was a consultant for the Dreamworks film “The Prince of Egypt”; for NBC “The Eternal Light”; for A&E, PBS, and “Nova.” He was an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow, member of The Biblical Colloquium, and President of the Biblical Colloquium West. He received three awards for Outstanding Teaching at the University of California. He has delivered hundreds of public lectures in both academic and non-academic settings.

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