Daniel J. Lasker


Meetings and Invited Academic Lectures (Unpublished):


  Invited Plenary Sessions: 

1.     “Reflections on the Karaite Theory of Prophecy,” Study Day on the Karaite Jews of the East, Ben-Zvi Institute, Jerusalem, June, 1986 (Hebrew).

2.     “Converts and Conversion in the Thought of Judah Ha-Levi,” The Edelman Lectures: Themes in Medieval Jewish Mysticism and Philosophy, New York University, December, 1987.

3.     “When the Winners Write the History: A Case Study of the Karaites,” and “Christianity as Seen Through Jewish Eyes,” The Leonard Wolinsky Lectures at York University, March, 1991.

4.     “Jewish-Christian Polemic in Ashkenaz in the Late Middle Ages,” Ben-Zion Degany Memorial Lecture, Ben-Gurion University, December, 1991.

5.     “Jewish Philosophical Polemics Against Christianity from Medieval Prague,” The Jewish Presence in Europe: The Prague Experience, Prague, July, 1993.

6.     “The Rabbis Meet the Doctors: How Medical Halakhah is Made,” Annual Meeting of the Pacific Northwest Institute for Judaic Studies, January, 1994.

7.     “Saadia’s Polemic Against Christianity,” Saadia Gaon and his Oeuvre, Cairo, Egypt, May, 1995.

8.     “Real Presence, Symbolic Presence or No Presence: The Body of Christ in the Medieval Jewish-Christian Debate,” The Body of Christ in the Late Middle Ages, Rice University, November, 1995.

9.     “The Saadia-Ben Meir Controversy Discovered in the Geniza,” The Cairo Geniza, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, December, 1996.

10.  “Jerusalem in Karaite Eschatology,” Last Stop Jerusalem: The Place of Jerusalem in Eschatological Expectations, Bar-Ilan University, April 1997.

11.  “Jewish Bioethics, Jewish Law and Cloning,” Israel in Asian Bioethics: International Workshop, Ben-Gurion University, June, 1997.

12.  “Judah Halevi as a Philosopher,” Study Day on Rabbi Judah Halevi, Ben-Gurion University, June, 2002.

13.  “Christianity in Rashi's Commentary on Psalms,” Study Day on Rashi's Commentary on Psalms, Ben-Gurion University, March, 2004.

14.  “Tradition and Innovation in Maimonides' Relation to Other Religions,” Maimonides: Conservatism, Originality and Revolution, International Conference on the Occasion of the Eight Hundredth Anniversary of his Death, Jerusalem, May, 2004(video available at http://www.gafni.co.il/media/shazar/170504/Session3_Part1.htm); Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., October, 2004.

15.  “The Love of God in Maimonides’ Philosophy,” Moses Maimonides: His Life and his Love of God, Yale University, September, 2004 (recording available at http://www.library.yale.edu/judaica/maimonides/Audio%20Presentations.htm).

16.  “The Karaites: How Biblical Exegesis Shapes a Community,” Torah Study, Exegesis and Research. International Conference Marking the Centenary of Nehama Leibowitz’s Birth, Jerusalem, January, 2006.

17.  "’Ashkenazic’ Karaism and Science,” Science and Philosophy in Ashkenazi Culture: Rejection, Toleration, and Accommodation, Hebrew University, January, 2008.

18.  ”When Karaites were Jews: Early Modern Eastern European Karaite Intellectuals,” Jewish and Polish Common History and Cultural Heritage, Ben-Gurion University, March, 2008.

19.  “Translations of Medieval Philosophy from Arabic to Hebrew,” The Dream of the Poem, Ben-Gurion University, June, 2008.

20.  Discussant of panel: “From Maimonides to Spinoza,” Political Hebraism Conference, Princeton, September, 2008.

21.  “Karaites in Egypt at the Time of Maimonides and his Descendants,” Retirement Conference for Mordecai Akiva Friedman, Tel Aviv University, May, 2009.

22.  “Latin into Hebrew in the Medieval Jewish-Christian Debate,” Latin into Hebrew. The Transfer of Philosophical, Scientific, and Medical Lore from Christian to Jewish Cultures in Southern Europe (12th-15th Centuries), Paris, December, 2009.

23.      “Rabbanism and Karaism in Conflict through the Generations,” Cultures in Conversation. Lessons Learnt from Hebrew Literature and Jewish History, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, June, 2010.

24.      “Hasdai Crescas’s Polemical Activity in Light of the Medieval Jewish-Christian Debate,” Rabbi Hasdai Crescas, Philosopher and Leader, Jerusalem, January, 2011.

25.      “Joseph ben Nathan's Sefer Yosef Ha-Meqanne and the Medieval Jewish Critique of Christianity,” 13th Century France, Continuity and Change, Jerusalem, February, 2011.

26. “Messianism and the Medieval Jewish-Christian Debate,” Awaiting the Redemption: Jews and Messianism Throughout the Ages,” Yeshiva University, April, 2011.

27. “Christian Concepts/Hebrew Terminology,” Medieval Hebrew Philosophical Terminology in the Making, Institute for Advanced Studies, Jerusalem, December 2011.

28. “Controversy and Collegiality: A Look at Provence,” Religious Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge: The Brighter Side of Inter-Religious Debates in Medieval Europe - Fondation Hardt, Geneva, February 2012.

29. “The Future of Karaite Studies,” “The Study of Karaite Thought,” and “Research and the Karaite Community – A View from Academia,” Karaite Studies – The State of the Field, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, February, 2012.

30. “Eastern European Karaism and Christian Hebraism in the Early Modern Period,” Christian Hebraism in Eastern Central Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, March, 2012

30.  “The Karaite Reception of David Gans’s Work,” David Gans (1541–1613) after Four Centuries: The Legacy of an Early Modern Jewish Polymath, Prague, May 29, 2013.

31. “The Karaite Reception of Gersonides,” “Everyone Contested his Views, No One Denied his Importance." Gersonides Through the Ages, Geneva, Feb. 17, 2014.

32.  “Poetry and Exegesis in Judah Hadassi's Eshkol ha-kofer,” The Interplay of Medieval Jewish Poetry and Bible Exegesis, Frankfurt, August 20, 2014.

33. “Jewish Anti-Christian Polemics in Light of Mass Conversion to Christianity,” Polemical Encounters. Polemics between Christians, Jews and Muslims in Iberia and Beyond, Madrid, September 29, 2014.


 Presentation of Papers at Meetings:

1.     “Will, Or If you Prefer, Say: Wisdom, in Maimonides,” Seventh World Congress of Jewish Studies, August, 1977.

2.     “The Philosophy of Two Karaite Halakhists,” Annual Meeting, Association for Jewish Studies, Boston, December, 1983.

3.     “Philosophical Trends in Non-philosophical Karaite Writings,” Ninth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, August, l985.

4.     “New Perspectives on Karaite Philosophy,” First International Congress of Karaite Studies, Paris, Sept. 1990.

5.     “Who Was Nestor the Priest and Why Did He Say Such Nasty Things About Christianity,” Annual Conference, Association for Jewish Studies, Boston, December, 1990.

6.     “All’s Fair in Love, War and Polemics,” Annual Conference, Association for Jewish Studies, Boston, December, 1992.

7.     “Attitudes Towards Animal Sacrifices Among Rabbanite and Karaite Followers of the Kalam,” Conference of the Institute of Islamic-Judaic Studies, Denver, March, 1998.

8.     “The Study of Other Religions by Means of Polemical Literature,” Annual Conference of the Israel Society for the Study of Religions, Tel Aviv, March, 1999.

9.     “The New Reproductive Technologies in Jewish Law,” and “Organ Transplants and Determining Death in Jewish Law,” Las 2das. Jornadas Latinoamericanas de Ciencia y Judaismo, Montevideo, August, 1999.

10.  “The Jewish-Christian Debate and Medieval Jewish Philosophy,” Annual Conference, Association for Jewish Studies, Chicago, December, 1999.

11.  “It Ain't Necessarily So: The Long Life of the Ancients in Medieval Jewish Philosophy,” Annual Conference, Association for Jewish Studies, Los Angeles, December, 2002.

12. “The European Karaite Intellectual: A Preliminary Profile,” Eighth Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies, Moscow, July, 2006.

13. “Karaite Interpretations of Classical Rabbinic Texts,” Annual Conference, Association for Jewish Studies, San Diego, December, 2006.

14. “Judah Halevi as a Philosopher,” Thirteenth International Conference of the Society for Judaeo-Arabic Studies, Cordoba, June, 2007.

15. “Periphery and Center in the Study of Jewish Thought,” Conference of the Israeli Departments of Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University, March, 2009.

16. “Principles of Religion and Interfaith Polemics,” Conference of the Israeli Departments of Jewish Thought, Hebrew University, June, 2012.

17.  “The Karaite Context of Judah Hadassi's Eshkol ha-kofer,” European Association for Jewish Studies Congress, Paris, July 26, 2014.

18.   “Unapproved Cognitive Methodologies and the Mistakes They Generate in Judah Halevi's Kuzari,” Annual Conference, Association for Jewish Studies, Baltimore, December, 2014.


Seminars at Universities and Institutions:

 1.     “Jewish Philosophy and Christian Trinity,” University of Denver, February, 1978.

2.     “Minority vs. Minority: Jewish-Christian Polemics under Islam,” New York University, April, 1978.

3.     “Medieval Jewish Critiques of Christian Doctrines,” City University of New York, Graduate Center, October, 1980.

4.     “Philosophical Polemics in the Middle Ages,” Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, February, 1984.

5.     “Jewish-Christian Relations in the Middle Ages,” New York University, February, 1984.

6.     “Pluralism in Judaism: The Case of the Karaites,” Hamilton College, May, 1984.

7.     “The Christian, the Muslim, the Karaite, and the Proselyte in Judah Halevi's Kuzari,” Haifa University, March, 1987.

8.     “Issues in Medical Ethics: a Jewish Perspective,” Lafayette College, September, 1987.

9.     “What Can We Learn About Hasdai Crescas' Philosophy from his Polemics?,” Bar-Ilan University, Philosophy Department Colloquium, January, 1988.

10.  “Jewish Bioethics,” Barry University, February, 1990.

11.  “The Jewish-Christian Debate in Italy,” University of Maryland, April, 1990.

12.  “The Theological Problem of the State of Israel,” Gratz College, May, 1990.“

13.  Judaism and Christianity, Philosophy and Polemics - The Last 100 Years in Spain,” Northwestern University, May, 1990.

14.  “The Jewish-Christian Debate in Spain,” Franklin and Marshall College, January, 1993.

15.  “Jew Versus Christian in the Lands of Islam,” Indiana University, January, 1993.

16.  “Who is a Karaite and the Limits of Jewish Pluralism,” Hebrew Union College, January, 1993.

17.  “Medieval Philosophy and the Jewish-Christian Debate,” Vanderbilt University, February, 1993.

18.  “Death and Dying in the Jewish Tradition,” Erlanger Medical Center, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, February, 1993.

19.  “Enlightenment, Holocaust and Jewish Theology,” University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, February, 1993.

20.  “The Jewish Debate with Christianity in the Middle Ages,” UCLA, January, 1994.

21.  “Jewish Philosophical Exegesis in the Middle Ages,” Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, February, 1994.

22.  “Judaism and Islam: An Age-Old Conflict in Historical Perspective,” Ohio State University, February, 1994.

23.  “Jews, Christians and Conversos: The Jewish-Christian Debate on the Eve of the Expulsion,” University of Toronto, February, 1994.

24.  “Recent Trends in Karaite Scholarship,” Yeshiva University, February, 1994.

25.  “Historicity and the Jewish-Christian Debate,” Brandeis University, February, 1995.

26.  “The Beginnings of the Jewish Critique of Christianity in the Middle Ages,” Smith College, February, 1995.

27.  “Mythological Dimensions of the Jewish-Christian Encounter,” University of Chicago, February, 1997.

28.  “Karaite Biblical Exegesis,” York University, October, 1997.

29.  “Transubstantiation in the Jewish-Christian Debate,” Duke University, March, 1998.

30.  “Minority Within a Minority: An Overview of Karaite Judaism,” University of Cape Town, August, 2000.

31.  “Jewish Law and Bioethics,” Rice University, February, 2002.

32.  “Competing Claims for Truth: Medieval Judaism and Christianity in Conflict,” Boston College, February, 2003 (video: www.bc.edu/frontrow/programs/lasker/; transcription: www.bc.edu/research/cjl/meta-elements/texts/cjrelations/resources/articles/lasker.htm).

33.  “Maimonides’ View of Christianity and Islam,” University of Hawaii at Manoa, December, 2004.

34.  “The Jewish-Christian Debate in the Early Modern Period,” Princeton University, February, 2005.

35.  “Spinoza’s Jewish Sources,” University of Nebraska, Lincoln, September, 2005.

36.  “The Jewish-Christian Debate: The Interplay of Philosophy and Polemics in the Middle Ages,” Boston University, September, 2006 (recording available at http://www.buworldofideas.org/shows/2006/10/20061001.asp).

37.  “Rabbi Judah Halevi and Maimonides on Christianity and Islam,” York University, February, 2007.

38.  “Karaites as Cultural Transmitters,” Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University, March, 2007.

39.  “Karaite Studies at the Crossroad: Major Issues in Contemporary Scholarship,” University of Amsterdam, December, 2007.

40.  “The Jewish-Christian Debate in the Middle Ages,” University of Sydney, August, 2008.

41.  “Philosophical Aspects of the Medieval Jewish-Christian Debate,” University of Iceland, August, 2009.

42.      “Eastern European Karaites – A Case Study in Jewish Identity,” Brandeis University, October, 2010.

43.      “The Medieval Jewish Critique of Christianity – In Search of a New Narrative,” York University, October, 2010.

43.      “Judaism and Islam: An Age Old Conflict in Historical Perspective,” Colby College, November, 2010.

44.       “Jewish Sectarianism,” University of Iceland, July, 2014.

Talks which were subsequently published (or accepted for publication) have been given at the Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference, 1976, 1977, 1987, 1989, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010; Conference of the Israeli Philosophical Association, 1979; Annual Conference of the Israeli Departments of Jewish Thought, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989; 1997; World Congress of Jewish Studies, 1981, 1993, 2005; Jewish Theological Seminary, 1982, 2001; Lehigh University, 1984; Conferences of the Institute of Judeo-Islamic Studies, Denver, 1984, 1996; Conferences of the Society for Judaeo-Arabic Studies, 1985, 1987, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005; Annual Meeting, American Academy for Jewish Research, New York, 1989; New York University, 1991; University of Maryland, 1991; Institute of Jewish Studies, University College, London, 1992; Study Day at Ben-Zvi Institute, 1993; University of California at Berkeley, 1993; Spertus College, 1993; Haifa University, 1993, 1996; Oxford University, 1995; University of Memphis, 1995; Tel-Aviv University, 1999; XVIIIth Quinquennial World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, Durban, South Africa, 2000; Orthodox Forum, Yeshiva University, New York, 2000, 2004; Ben-Gurion University, 2000, 2001, 2005; 2006, 2007; 11th International Congress of Medieval Philosophy, Porto, 2002; Creighton University, 2005, 2008; CSIC, Madrid, 2006; Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2007; Staatsbibliothek, Berlin, 2007; University of Bucharest, 2008; Paris, 2009; Boston College, 2011.


Participation in Seminars and Workshops:

1.    Participant, NEH Summer Seminar, “Metaphysical Directions in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy,” Ohio State University, under the direction of Prof. Alfred Ivry, 1976.

2.    Participant, “Workshop on Interreligious Polemics,” Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University of  Jerusalem, under the direction of Prof. Hava Lazarus-Yafeh, 1995.

3.    Lecturer, “Representations of the 'Other': Jews in Medieval Christendom,”NEH Summer Institute, Oxford, England, under the direction of Prof. Irven M. Resnick, 2003, 2006, 2010.

4.    Lecturer, “Defining Heresy: The Shifting Boundaries of Religion,” 2nd Jerusalem Summer School in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion, Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, under the direction of Haym Soloveitchik, et al., July, 2007.

5.    Lecturer, “Polemics and Identity in Cultural Context: Jews, Christians and Muslims,” 3rd Jerusalem Summer School in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion, Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, under the direction of Haym Soloveitchik and Guy G. Stroumsa, July, 2008.

6. Lecturer, “Representations of the Other: Jews in Medieval England, NEH Summer Institute, Oxford, England, under the direction of Prof. Irven M. Resnick, 2014.




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