JUDAISM AFTERWORK: Judaism and Health – Historical Facts, Opinions, Beliefs and Prejudices by Prof. Robert Jütte

9th March 2023 at 18:00 CET


We continue with Judaism Afterwork – a series of open lectures with an ”afterwork spirit”.

This lecture will focus on Judaism and its relationship to health. Almost no other religion pays so much attention to physical health as Judaism. Discussion about the health advantages of being a Jew which started well before the 19th century contradicts the anti-Semitic equation of sickness and Judaism, both literally and figuratively. Jewish doctors and rabbis participated in this discussion, but so did non-Jews who realized that Jewish preventive health measures not only confirmed new scientific information but also had a certain exemplary character. This meant reducing Mosaic law to practices relevant to daily life that could be scientifically interpreted and justified. A larger goal was also reached in the process: liberating Judaism from the interpretive monopoly of the rabbinate and thereby modernizing it. In this context, the Biblical and Talmudic laws came to be viewed as the archetype of a healthy living.

About the Speaker:
Robert Jütte is Director Emeritus of the Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Foundation and Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Stuttgart. He was visiting professor at the universities of Innsbruck and Zurich. He received the “Doctor of Hebrew Letters” honoris causa in 2018 from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago, and in 2020 the Otto-Hirsch-Medal of the City of Stuttgart for his contribution on Christian-Jewish understanding. He is a social and medical historian and the author or editor of over 35 books, some translated into English, among them a history of the senses. His most recent publication is a book on the history of the Jewish body, published by Penn UP in 2020. He is co-editor of the Jewish history journal Aschkenas and member of the Scientific Board of the German Medical Association.

The event is in English and for free. The event is organized by Paideia, Jewish Community Stockholm and Bajit. 

Please register by March 1.