Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pharisees and Sadducees - From Israelite to Jew

The excellent series From Israelite to Jew has its latest chapter named Jesus and other strange Jews and one must be warned in advance: this issue is mostly about Pharisees and Sadducees with a small addition about followers of charismatic Jews such as Jesus.

At the time, that is during the historic period this podcast is discussing here, the followers of Jesus were a distinct group among Jews, but far from one developing into a different religion nor a stream of social and political importance such as the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Therefore it is only right that host Michael Satlow delves into these two groups and attempts to juxtapose them and hardly takes on the others. And the subjects according to which the division is made is around theology (the existence of angels, of free will, of fate, of soul, of afterlife and such) as well as around ritual and the authority to interpret the holy script.

A part of the historic background that would complement this depiction, would be a description of the social economic reality of the time and it seems Satlow is about to embark on such a track. However, he will first of all discuss the major source for this period: the historian Josephus. That will be then ext episode of the podcast. I expect that the title will be much more indicative than it was this time.

More FITJ:
The Dead Sea Scrolls,
Herod the Ambiguous,
Jewish varieties,
Jews in the Hasmonean era,
The Maccabee Uprising.

Biological invasions and transformations - EEH

One of the sources for content to the Exploring Environmental History Podcast are the conferences that host Jan Oosthoek attends. Frequently he manages to get several of the presenters on the conferences to sit down with him and do an interview. The recordings then make it to the podcast.

Thus, Oosthoek attended a one-day conference was held at the University of Oxford entitled "Invasions and Transformations" in September this year. The participants of this meeting examined and discussed the histories of alien species and biological invasions in different parts of the world. Oosthoek first interviewed Glenn Sandiford, a postdoc researcher at the University of Illinois about his paper entitled "Nineteenth century narratives on the introduction of carp in America". Then he spoke with Bernadette Hince of the Australian National University on the history and impacts of invasive species on sub-Antarctic islands.

The interviews are framed within an explanation delivered by Jan Oosthoek. This approach works quite well for the podcast. It gives a good feel of what is currently going on in the field. Complementary to these issues are those that define the field of Environmental history. Oosthoek just finished a series addressing the defining questions and they comprise about the last five issues before this very last one.

More Exploring Environmental History:
Environmental history: an applied science,
Defining Environmental History with Marc Hall,
Defining Environmental History - Paul Warde,
Defining Environmental History - Donald Worster,
Natural Disasters.