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CU Professor Elias Sacks Coming to Steamboat Springs for Two Talks

Does It Make Sense to Be Jewish?
and
Does God Care About Our Prayers?

Friday, August 17, 2018 | 6:00 pm
Saturday, August 18, 2018 | 4:00 pm
Har Mishpacha Spiritual Life Center – Labyrinth Room, 736 Oak Street, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Does It Make Sense to Be Jewish?
Friday, August 17, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We live in a world that often celebrates progress, invention, and innovation: our task, we are told, is to make our own moral judgements, free ourselves from the prejudices of the past, and discover our own individual paths to meaning and personal fulfillment. But in such a world, does it make any sense to be Jewish? Why remain committed to a tradition that emerged millennia ago in settings that bear little resemblance to our own? Indeed, given the potential of religion to generate conflict and strife, why remain faithful to any religious tradition? Why not abandon identities such as “Jew,” “Christian,” and “Muslim” and simply call ourselves “human”? We will explore diverse answers to these questions.

Does God Care About Our Prayers?
Saturday, August 18, 2018 | 4:00 pm

Traditionally, the Jewish High Holidays are a time of introspection, repentance, and prayer. Indeed, for many individuals, holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur involve hours in worship services. But does any of this matter? Does God care about our prayers? Indeed, does God care about anything? Is God a personal being who feels emotions such as love and compassion, or is God an impersonal force that doesn’t feel—or do—very much at all?  As we enter the Jewish High Holiday season, we will explore diverse answers to these questions, encountering ancient and medieval voices that wrestle with the nature of the divine.

Professor Elias Sacks head shot
Professor Elias Sacks

Elias Sacks is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Associate Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. He works on the Jewish tradition, religious thought, Jewish-Christian relations, and religion, ethics, and politics. After receiving his A.B. from Harvard University and studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he earned an M.A. in Religion from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University. He is the author of the book Moses Mendelssohn’s Living Script: Philosophy, Practice, History, Judaism (2017), as well as numerous articles on Jewish thought, texts, and practice.

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