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Yael Hirsch Speaks at Loyola University New Orleans, "The Last Marranos: Examining 20th Century Jewish Converts-to-Christianity in Light of the Holocaust"

Education & Schools, History, Literary Scene, Religion & Spirituality

January 4th, 2012

Loyola University New Orleans’ College of Humanities & Natural Sciences’ Jewish Studies Lecture Series presents Dr. Yael Hirsch from the Paris Institute of Politicial Studies. Dr. Hirsch comes to Loyola to discuss her current research which focuses on the shifting identities of European Jews who converted to Christianity. Her lecture is entitled, “The Last Marranos: Examining 20th Centurey Jewish Converts-to-Christianity in light of the Holocaust.”

DATE AND TIME: Thursday, February 2nd, 7pm with a reception before the lecture at 6:15pm. This event is free and open to the public, with free parking in the West Road Garage during the lecture. LOCATION: Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 Saint Charles Avenue, in the Nunemaker Auditiorium on the the 3rd floor of Monroe Hall

ABOUT THE LECTURE: Dr. Hirsch examined the lives and the writings of thirty Jewish intellectuals who converted (or were pressured to convert) to Christianity, as well as thirty children who were born Jewish, but had to hide and convert to Christianity in order to survive the Second World War. Her work argues that despite exhibiting a deep Christian faith, all these converts still considered themselves Jews after baptism. Hirsch asks why they couldn’t leave their Jewish identity behind and investigates why they felt Jewish even after they stopped observing Judaism. Using interdisciplinary approaches combing history, sociology, psychology, and literary critique, she questions the bond remaining between the Christian converts and their Jewish identity after baptims, in order to find new approaches to this very old issue. Her book project on this subject will be published in French in 2012.

ABOUT THE LECTURER: Yael Hirsch earned her degree in Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne and received her Ph.D. in Political Theory from Sciences Po, Paris in 2009 (the Paris Institute for Political Studies.) Her research includes religious conversion, relations between Jews and Christians, and the relationship between literature and politics.

The College of Humanities & Natural Sciences’ Jewish Lecture Series is organized by the Department of Religious Studies, and is sponsored by Susan and Bill Hess, Julian Feibelman, Jr., and The Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana.

For more information about events and programs in the Department of Religous Studies, please see

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For further assistance, please call 504 865 3943

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