The Berlin Center for Intellectual Diaspora
Workshop on Talmud and Contemporary Thought
The Politics of Not Speaking
October 20-23, 2022

The Workshop on Talmud and Contemporary Thought is an annual intellectual encounter which explores how the Talmudic tradition of text can offer a medium for contemporary thought, in the sense of thought that engages issues of contemporary social, political, and cultural concern.

Through readings in Talmudic passages, this year’s workshop seeks to explore various questions, conceptual challenges, and historical examples concerning the politics of not speaking. A common characterization of Talmudic intellectual culture emphasizes its dialogical, conversational, polemic nature. Nevertheless, foundational Talmudic narratives also contain crucial moments of not speaking – of silencing, of limiting or restricting the conversation, of excommunication and banning, of repression and death of logos, of logoclasm. In this year’s workshop we will read and re-read some of these well-known passages in an attempt to contemplate the practice of not speaking. 

Participants: Menachem Lorberbaum, Dana Hollander, Agata Bielik-Robson, Annabel Herzog, Arthur Cools, Ivan Segré, Yakir Paz, Ulrika Björk, Quentin le Gurun, and Elad Lapidot.