Yudit Kornberg Greenberg

Professor of Religious Studies (Jewish Studies), Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida (USA)

Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
May–July 2018

Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
»Dharma and Halacha: Contemporary Jewish-Hindu Interreligious Encounters«

Project outline:
In this research project, I will examine a new modality in interreligious dialogue and comparative religion stemming from recent and ongoing encounters between Jewish and Hindu faith leaders and academics. A central theme in Hindu-Jewish encounters is that the teachings and practices of Hinduism and Judaism are grounded in and aim to preserve the history, land, and language of these two ethno-religious groups and traditions, unlike other traditions that are missionizing and therefore aim towards absorbing other cultures. The Sanskrit dharma (»uphold«, »support«, »nourish«) encompasses the religious and moral law which governs human conduct. Likewise, the Hebrew halacha, (»go« or »walk«) comprises the »way« a Jew is directed to behave in every aspect of life. Dharma and Halacha represent an important principle that link Judaism and Hinduism, namely, the primacy of performing religious actions such as purity regulations and conduct in every aspect of daily life. Jewish and Hindu orthopraxy does not diminish the significance of personal beliefs, philosophy, and theology; rather, these are shaped by, and follow the performative dimension and daily worship and practices in these traditions. This modality provides an alternative to the more dominant paradigm of comparative religion, which privileges certain categories of analysis such as belief, faith, and theology over others, such as rituals.
Furthermore, I will evaluate the recent interreligious encounters of Jewish and Hindu faith leaders that led to historical declarations by the Jewish representatives affirming that Hindus accept One Supreme Being, and denying that the physical representations of deities used in worship are idols. (Yudit Kornberg Greenberg)

Research partner:
Yudit Kornberg Greenberg follows an invitation of Christian Wiese (Professor for Jewish Philosophy of Religion at Frankfurt University and Goethe Fellow at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften) and the University's research center »Religiöse Positionierung. Modalitäten und Konstellationen in jüdischen, christlichen und islamischen Kontexten« (»Religious Positioning: Modalities and Constellations in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Contexts«).

Scholarly profile of Yudit Kornberg Greenberg

Dr. Yudit Kornberg Greenberg is the George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Endowed Chair of Religion and Founding Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Her fields of teaching and research include modern and contemporary Jewish thought, comparative religion, women and religion, and cross-cultural views of love and the body.

Please find more information about Yudit Kornberg Greenberg here.

Main areas of research:
Modern and contemporary Jewish thought; comparative religion; women and religion; cross-cultural views of love and the body

Selected publications:
  1. Better than Wine: Love, Poetry and Prayer in the Thought of Franz Rosenzweig, Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press 1996.
  2. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions 2 Bde., Santa Barbara, Cal. : ABC-CLIO 2008.
  3. (with Ze'ev Levi), From Spinoza to Levinas: Hermeneutical, Ethical, and Political Issues in Modern and Contemporary Jewish Philosophy, New York, NY: Peter Lang 2009.
  4. The Body in Religion: Cross-cultural Perspectives, London et al.: Bloomsbury 2018.