January 9, 2020


‘Reading Noah’s Ark in the Age of Climate Change’

Feb. 25 Julia Watts Belser lecture considers human hubris and the politics of survival

The Theological Commons at MTSO welcomes Georgetown University Associate Professor of Jewish Studies Julia Watts Belser for a public lecture, “Reading Noah’s Ark in the Age of Climate Change: Jewish Stories on Gender, Disability, and the Politics of Survival.” The lecture begins at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Alford Centrum on the MTSO campus, 3081 Columbus Pike in Delaware. It is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Video of the event will be streamed live and archived on MTSO's Livestream page.

Belser’s talk grapples with disability and climate change, reading Jewish traditions about Noah and the biblical flood into conversation with queer feminist ethics, disability studies and environmental justice work. Through the ambivalent portrait of the man and his ark, as well as tales of individuals who survive the flood and those who are left behind, Jewish tradition reckons with questions of human hubris and the politics of survival.

In addition to her teaching position, Belser is a senior research fellow at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. She is the author of two scholarly books, Rabbinic Tales of Destruction: Gender, Sex, and Disability in the Ruins of Jerusalem and Power, Ethics, and Ecology in Jewish Late Antiquity: Rabbinic Responses to Drought and Disaster.

Belser earned her Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley, a master’s degree from the Academy for Jewish Religion and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. She has held faculty fellowships at Harvard Divinity School and the Katz Center for Advanced Jewish Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. As a rabbi and a longtime advocate for disability and gender justice, she is passionate about bringing feminist, queer and disability culture into conversation with Jewish tradition.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio provides theological education and leadership in pursuit of a just, sustainable and generative world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, the school offers master’s degrees in counseling, practical theology, social justice and theological studies, along with a Doctor of Ministry degree.


Danny Russell, communications director
drussell@mtso.edu, 740-362-3322