Guy Stroumsa, "Beyond Utopia: Avatars of the Promised Land"

Pearl and Jack Mandel Lecture in Jewish Studies 

The concept of the "promised land" finds its roots in the divine promises to Abraham in the book of Genesis, through the prophets of Israel and up to the Letter to the Hebrews. The Promised Land plays an important role in the eschatological expectations of Late Antiquity, among both Jews and Christians, and is echoed in some Qur'an passages. Among Jews, Christians and Muslims, however, we can detect highly different conceptions of the "promised land." Throughout history, these conceptions evolved in different, though always interrelated ways: messianism, realized eschatology, relocation, either in heaven or upon earth. This interplay of religious conceptions between the Abrahamic religions, and the activation of dreams of old, represent the background of the modern attempts to reclaim the "promised land" as a political project. The lecture will seek to throw some light on the complex interdependence between the transformation of religious ideas and the evolution of political conceptions in history.

Guy Stroumsa is Martin Buber Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Emeritus Professor of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions at the University of Oxford.


This event is free and open to the public. No registration required. Please be advised that seating is limited. 

Date & Time
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Jackman Humanities Building, Room 100, 170 St. George Street