Vanderbilt ethicist Rebecca Epstein-Levi set to speak at Elon

"Textual Intercourse: Present-Day Problems, Rabbinic Sources, and Relational Ethics" will take place on Nov. 3 at 4:30 p.m. in the Isabella Cannon Room at the Center for Performing Arts.

Assistant Professor in Jewish Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Vanderbilt University, Rebecca Epstein-Levi, is set to give her talk, “Textual Intercourse: Present-Day Problems, Rabbinic Sources, and Relational Ethics,” Thursday, Nov. 3 at 4:30 p.m. in the Isabella Cannon Room at Elon’s Center for Performing Arts.

The talk will draw from her book “When We Collide: Sex, Social Risk, and Jewish Ethics,” which explores multifaceted social interactions associated with Jewish sexualities and their effects at the individual and interpersonal levels. The talk will also include a discussion on the development of Jewish sexual ethics and how to look beyond traditional heteronormative relationships that have been presented in Jewish texts.

Epstein-Levi teaches courses on Jewish sexual ethics, Jewish bodies and bioethics, purity in the Abrahamic traditions, argumentation in Jewish traditions, and comparative religious environmental ethics. Elon Associate Professor of Religious Studies Geoffrey Claussen says he is excited to have Epstein-Levi share her research and perspectives on the various overlaps between sex, relationships, and ethics using a Jewish lens.

“Dr. Epstein-Levi is a brilliant scholar,” Claussen said. “Her lecture will provide a wonderful opportunity for us to think critically about Jewish traditions and sexual ethics.”

The program is sponsored by the Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, Jewish Studies, Religious Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies, the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society, the Gender & LGBTQIA Center, Spirit and Pride and the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.