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Sunday, March 19 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
The Book of Esther; Chance, Providence, Prudence?

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Behind its fairy tale tone, the Book of Esther wrestles with fundamental questions of political, philosophical, and theological import. Perhaps its most striking feature is the absence of any reference to God. The tightly constructed plot involves an amazing reversal in which the plan of destruction is turned on the villain himself along with the enemies of the Jews. Is this turnaround, which appears to be a matter of chance, in fact the product of a hidden divine providence? Or is it simply the work of human agents? Can we admire the prudence both Mordecai and Esther display, when it involves concealment of their Jewish identity, deception, and finally ruthless treatment of the adversaries of their people? Are there conclusions to be drawn about the predicament of Jewish life in the diaspora and in the absence of divine guidance?

avatar for Ronna Burger

Ronna Burger

Professor, Tulane
Ronna Burger is Professor of Philosophy, Catherine & Henry J. Gaisman Chair, and Affiliate Professor of Jewish Studies at Tulane. Her scholarly work in the field of Greek philosophy has provided a basis for extending her current studies to Maimonides and the Hebrew Bible. Her courses... Read More →

Sunday March 19, 2023 4:00pm - 5:00pm CDT
JCC Library