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Sermons and Addresses-bookcover

By: Marc Saperstein

Sermons and Addresses

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When a respected scholar with a career at three major American universities moves to a position as principal of an important institution in UK, there is likely to be considerable interest in what he has to say not only to his students, but to many others as well. The two most important formats for such communication were the sermon and the academic lecture. Historically, the sermon has been an extremely important form of communication, first as verbal communication to a specific group of listeners, and then as a written text made available to many more readers. Marc Saperstein was a member of Beth Shalom Reform Congregation in Cambridge, where religious services were directed and sermons delivered not by the rabbi of the synagogue – which never had a rabbi – but by members of the congregation. During the five years from 2006-2011, Marc Saperstein delivered 29 sermons in Beth Shalom. He also was asked to deliver sermons at 15 other congregations. The texts of these sermons are now accessible in the book.

Marc Saperstein served as professor of Jewish Studies from 1977 to 2006 at Harvard Divinity School, Washington University in St Louis, and George Washington University in DC before moving to the UK for five years as Principal of Leo Baeck College in London. He continued teaching one course at LBC each autumn semester after moving to Cambridge. Author of 10 books and more than 100 academic articles, his primary interest is on the sermon as substance for Jewish history, literature and thought.

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