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David B. Ruderman

What Is The Early Modern Period and Why Should We Care? - RESCHEDULED

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

6:00 pm Reception with book sale & signing
7:00 pm Lecture

Due to inclement weather, this program has been rescheduled for January 29.  If you pre-registered, you are automatically registered for the new date.  If you can no longer attend, please contact us at or 215-923-3811 ext. 136. 

The early modern period—spanning roughly from the late fifteenth through the late eighteenth centuries—is distinguished by several remarkable developments that are often associated with the modern world: it was an age of scientific discoveries, of the unprecedented dissemination of ideas through the newly-invented printing press, of the emergence of new national political structures, and of the breakdown of traditional sources of authority. Jews and Christians alike were transformed by these dramatic changes. Jews traveled and migrated more frequently and farther than ever before; boldly challenged the authority of their rabbis; used the press to spread Hebrew books, new and old, to ever wider-audiences; and mingled with Christians and others in unforeseen ways.

In the 2014 Penn Lectures in Judaic Studies, Moving into Modernity: The Shaping of Jewish Culture in Early Modern Europe, Katz Center fellows will explore many different aspects of this fascinating period. In this opening lecture, David B. Ruderman, a master historian of this period and dynamic lecturer, will survey the exciting history of the early modern Jewish world and make its significance clear. He will set the stage for the rich program to come over the course of the spring.

Light reception including book sale and signing of Ruderman's Early Modern Jewry: A New Cultural History at 6:00 pm. Please note that books will only be sold and signed before the lecture. Purchase your copy today!

Registration required

Reserve Member tickets
Reserve Non-member tickets

In partnership with the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania

David B. Ruderman is the Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History and Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to Pennsylvania he taught at the University of Maryland and at Yale University. Professor Ruderman is the author of many books and articles, including Kabbalah, Magic, and Science (1988); A Valley of Vision (1990); Jewish Thought and Scientific Discovery in Early Modern Europe (1995); Jewish Enlightenment in an English Key: Anglo-Jewry’s Construction of Modern Jewish Thought (2000); Connecting the Covenants: Judaism and the Search for Christian Identity in Eighteenth Century England (2007); Early Modern Jewry: A New Cultural History (2010); and A Best-Selling Hebrew Book of the Modern Era: The Book of the Covenant of Pinhas Hurwitz and Its Remarkable Legacy (forthcoming). He has also edited or co-edited five other volumes and co-edited two popular textbooks. He is a past president of the American Academy for Jewish Research. The Teaching Company has produced two of his Jewish history courses. In 2001, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture honored him with its lifetime achievement award for his work in Jewish history.

Event type:Lectures & Discussions