New Department of Jewish Thought
At the end of the current semester, UB will launch the Department of Jewish Thought in the College of Arts of Sciences. The highly interdisciplinary department will be dedicated to the academic study of the Jewish intellectual tradition in the development of Western civilization. It will foster inquiry, knowledge and understanding through innovative scholarship and teaching which explore the rich philosophical and spiritual contributions of Jewish culture from antiquity to the present and will be oriented toward theory and philosophy with an emphasis on ethics, the central and unifying feature throughout the long and diverse history of Judaism. The new department builds on the foundation of the University’s Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage (IJTH).
“We are deliberately being called the Department of Jewish Thought because that is our particular orientation of Jewish studies,” says Richard Cohen, professor of philosophy and director of the IJTH. “There are many departments of Jewish studies engaged primarily in history and philology, but at UB as a department within the humanities, we’re highlighting ethics, which relates us to philosophy and to some of the greatest philosophers of the last 150 years, such thinkers as Henri Bergson, Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig and Emanuel Levinas.”
“Creating this department is a testament to the continuing support of UB for the humanities and a desire for the campus to be a leader across the spectrum of humanities scholarship,” adds Dean E. Bruce Pitman.