Audio online here: http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/yqqxh
Throughout much of the 20th century, the Ten Commandments loomed large in the United States – but more as a series of gentle cautions and helpful hints than as divine writ. Brought down from on high and thrust into the center of daily life, the ancient biblical code took on a new set of meanings and applications in the New World. How and why that came to pass is the subject of Jenna Weissman Joselit’s illustrated talk: a sneak peek at her forthcoming book, Set in Stone: America’s Embrace of the Ten Commandments, which is to be published next month.
Jenna Weissman Joselit, the Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies & Professor of History at The George Washington University, as well as the director of two graduate programs in Jewish cultural arts, is an historian of the everyday and of U.S. culture. A former Senior Fellow at Princeton’s Center for the Study of American Religion, she has most recently been a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress’s John W. Kluge Center. Her publications include The Wonders of America, A Perfect Fit, and A Parade of Faiths. In addition to her academic pursuits, she has been a longtime columnist for The Forward as well as a frequent contributor to Tablet, the Jewish Review of Books, The New Republic and TNR Online.