Lawrence Wills

Lawrence Wills to Present “The Origins of Jewish Identity in Ancient World”

Lecture to be held Tuesday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Lean Lecture Room

28 February, 2017 by Sarah Stanley

WOOSTER, Ohio – Lawrence Wills, the Ethelbert Talbot Professor of Biblical Studies at Episcopal Divinity School, will present “The Origins of Jewish Identity in Ancient World,” on Tuesday, March 7, at The College of Wooster. Wills’ lecture is free and open to the public and begins at 7:30 p.m. in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.). Light refreshments will be provided.

Wills will explore Jewish identity in the ancient world and Christian identity as the new movement defined itself and gradually split away. He will discuss the origin and use of the terms Yehudi and Ioudaios, which we moderns translate as Jew or Judean, but often without a clear sense of what they communicated. The terms were not very common before the first century, but where they occur they have a high “voltage” for asserting identity.

Wills received his doctorate from Harvard Divinity School and has taught there and at Wesleyan University. His most recent book is Not God’s People: Insiders and Outsiders in the Biblical World, and his Jewish Novels in the Ancient World was named an Outstanding Academic Book of 1995 by CHOICE magazine for academic librarians. His articles in scholarly journals have treated many aspects of ancient Jewish and Christian literature and identity. He is presently co-editor of the Jewish Annotated Apocrypha (in progress), and is also preparing a commentary of the Book of Judith from the Apocrypha.

For additional information, email.