CORVALLIS - University of Texas professor John Hoberman will lecture Feb. 8 at Oregon State University on ancient Jewish law and tradition that regulated the human body - and how modern anti-Semitism "racialized and stigmatized" the Jewish body.
Hoberman's talk, "The Jew's Body as Religious and Cultural Text," will begin at 4 p.m. in OSU's Memorial Union Room 206. It is free and open to the public.
The lecture is the third in a series of six talks focusing on the theme, "Religion and the Body." The series is sponsored by the Horning endowment at OSU.
In his lecture, Hoberman will explore how ancient Jewish law regulated the human body by prescribing norms regarding diet, ritual purity, the treatment of the dead, corporal punishment, sexual relations, and the corporeal perfection of priests.
Contemporary American Jews still experience the residual effects of a "profoundly hostile racial folklore that estranged Jews from their own bodies," Hoberman says, yet they also retain cultural norms that preserve ancient Hebrew teachings about how Jews should respect the body as God's creation.
Hoberman is a professor of history in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. He previously was on the faculty at Harvard University and the University of Chicago. He is a nationally recognized expert in sport studies and the history and cultural analysis of race.
He has written several books, including "Sport and Political Ideology" and "Darwin's Athletes: How Sport has Damaged Black America and Preserved the Myth of Race."