With the annual Jewish Book Week upon us, the team at James Clark & Co. have the pleasure of exploring the dynamic history of the oldest literary festival in the UK.
2016 marks the sixty forth year of showcasing the most exciting, diverse and colourful works of contemporary Jewish culture at Kings Place. First founded by the Jewish Book Council in 1952, the festival was initially intended to span a temperate four day period, which has since grown to a nine day celebration of literature, ideas and a culture rich in literay endeavour. The Festival plays host to discussions, scheduled talks and musical performances, featuring special guests from the worlds of academia and media in delivering a series of events which are sure to entertain.
Festival Director Lucy Silver has been working alongside Co-Chair Gail Sandler since 2014 in ensuring the event is a success, promising to ‘bring you some of the most exciting figures in contemporary culture from all over the world to talk about their theories, their lives, their creations and their passions.’
The talks pose topics of variety; we are introduced to the relationship between the Greeks and the Jews, whether art and religion have a shared future, and even where modern physics will take Einstein’s theories of space-time and gravity! Alongside revolutionary ideas, the Festival also includes revolutionary authors. We are introduced to new works by writers such as Tracy Chevalier, Esther Freud and Professor Ian Morris, much like the authors of distinction seen in our own extensive backlog!
At James Clark & Co. we begin with Jiri Langer’s Nine Gates. Growing up in Prague of Jewish parentage, Langer’s work allows an individual perspective into the Chassidic tales from Central Europe, providing a fascinating introduction to this mystical Jewish tradition. Likewise, in linguistic exploration, Jarvis J. Williams’ Christ Died for Our Sins: Representation and Substitution in Romans and their Jewish Martyrological Background studies the atonement of the Romans in explaining the roots of Paul’s theology of Jesus’ sacrifice, locating them in the cultic language of the martyrological narratives of Second Temple Judaism.
In conjunction with the diversity the Jewish Book Festival provides, Alana M. Vincent probes the intersections between past and present, memory and identity, religion and nationality through sources from the Hebrew Bible through to Commonwealth war graves in her most recent title, Making Memory: Jewish and Christian Explorations in Monument, Narrative, and Liturgy.
Jewish Book Festival runs from the 18th-28th February, for further information, tickets and programmes, follow this link: http://www.jewishbookweek.com/