Rabbi Alan Brill, Ph.D., Cooperman/Ross Endowed Chair of Jewish-Christian Studies, recently received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award. Rabbi Brill is currently on sabbatical in Varanasi, India where he is working on the Fulbright-Nehru Project, A Needed Dialogue and Encounter of Hinduism and Judaism, at Benares Hindu University. His project will focus on teaching a graduate-level course that surveys commonalities between Judaism and Hinduism and on writing a monograph that aims to engage the encounter of Judaism and Hinduism.
While in Varanasi, Rabbi Brill will focus on researching and analyzing the Jewish Hindu encounters of 2007, 2008 and 2009 and their outcomes and will be teaching Judaism to those who have little or no understanding of the basic fundamentals of Judaism. Likewise, he seeks to explain the complexity of Hinduism beyond what most read in introductory American textbooks, which is often based on colonial era presentations, eclectic mixtures of ancient citations, 10th century texts, obscure cults and ethnography of the population.
Rabbi Brill’s research will be the basis for the third companion volume to his books Judaism and Other Religions: Models of Understanding (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010) and Judaism and World Religions: Encountering Christianity, Islam and Eastern Traditions (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012) and has the following three-fold aim: 1) to advance the state of interfaith discussions; 2) to decenter the field from Christian and Buddhist questions to the more ritualistic aspects of religion; and 3) to point out similarities in terms of ritual, textual focus and visualization practice.
Learn more about Rabbi Brill's research and his contribution to the Fulbright-Nehru Project, A Needed Dialogue and Encounter of Hinduism and Judaism, and how to contact him while he’s in India by visiting his blog, The Book of Doctrines and Opinions: notes on Jewish theology and spirituality.
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