The process by which some authoritative scriptures came to be included in the canons of Judaism and Christianity has received much attention. While light has been shed on the importance of scribalism, citation, rewriting, and community understanding, little attention has been placed on the implications in making some scriptures, and not others, authoritative.

The scope of this conference will revolve around the issues of historical, theological and ethical ramifications of canonization. What are the effects in elevating certain writings to the status of “Holy Scriptures”? Some texts have the power to define identity and orthodoxy, to inspire noble actions, and also to justify violence and prejudice. Is the belief in the holiness of certain texts a warrant for their use and misuse?

0900-0915 Welcome
0915-1000 John Collins (Yale University) “Uses of Torah in the Second Temple Period”
1000-1045 Michael Satlow (Brown University) “Bad Prophecies”
1045-1100 Coffee
1100-1145 Manfred Oeming (Universität Heidelberg) “The Way of God: Ethics and Ritual as Birthplaces of Canonicity”
1145-1230 Timothy Lim (University of Edinburgh) “The Insufficiency of Divine Inspiration”
1230-1330 Lunch
1400-1445 John Barton (University of Oxford) “How far does the content of canonical texts matter?
1445-1530 Walter Moberly (University of Durham) “Canonicity and religious truth: What role, if any, should a traditional canon play today?”
1530-1615 Craig Evans (Acadia Divinity School) “Jesus and the Beginnings of the Christian Canon of Scripture”
1615-1700 Tea
1700-1745 Shaye Cohen (Harvard University) “Some Reflections on the Canon”
1745-1800 Closing Remarks

For further information and how to book, please see: