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Abraham’s Role in Judaism and Christianity Explored at Duquesne Pascal Day

Author and visiting speaker Dr. Jon Levenson,  will speak at Duquesne University's fifth annual Pascal Day event, interpreting and exploring whether the appearance of patriarch Abraham in Genesis and in certain currents of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism creates a common thread between Judaism and Christianity in antiquity and in modernity.

Levenson, an Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard University's Divinity School, will present Abraham and the Absoluteness of God, on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

The patriarch Abraham plays a significant role as founding father to three primary religions. "Meaningful religious dialogue among Christians, Jews and Muslims is as highly desirable today as it has ever been and it is important that such interfaith conversations take place on the basis of a thoughtful acknowledgement of differences as well as similarities," said Dr. Charles Rubin, associate professor of political science, who has organized the Pascal Day lectures with McAnulty College Dean James Swindal. "Levenson's study of Abraham highlights that while these three faiths share his legacy, they do not see that legacy in the same way."

The lecture also will focus on the importance of the rejection of iconography in ancient Israelite religion and the role this played in the transformation-and philosophical deepening- of monotheism in late antiquity.

Rubin is pleased to have Levenson, one of the world's foremost scholars of the Hebrew Bible, speak at the 5th annual Pascal Day. "We've had speakers who have reflected Pascal's scientific and political interests, but none who have fit in with his theological focus," Rubin said.

Pascal Day, an annual lecture series sponsored by Duquesne's McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, is devoted to exploring issues that cut across science, philosophy and faith.

"I'm confident that the audience will come away with a new sense of the complexity and richness of the question of Abraham's monotheism," Rubin said.

For more information, call 412.396.6485.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.