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May First Friday: “Prophesy and Madness”

Prophecy and Madness: A Jewish Perspective

Presented by Naomi S. S. Jacobs, Ph.D.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel has argued that prophets are not the same as “psychotics.” Was he correct? This talk will explore the close link between prophecy and “madness” in the Hebrew Bible, including the origins and development of the term “prophet,” references to prophets who go mad, and the story of King Saul and will provide a gentle correction to Rabbi Heschel.

Dr. Naomi S.S. Jacobs received her B.A. at the University of Chicago and Ph.D. at Durham University in the UK. She has taught at Durham University, Washington University, and in the greater Boulder Jewish Community and writes scholarly articles in the field of Hellenistic Judaism. She is also an artist, bipolar activist, and novelist and lives with her husband David Schwartz in Lafayette.

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