Back to All Events

Book Talk: Pious Irreverence: Confronting God in Rabbinic Judaism with Dov Weiss

  • The Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies 1140 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

Judaism is often described as a religion that tolerates, even celebrates arguments with God. Unlike Christianity and Islam, it is said, Judaism endorses a tradition of protest as first expressed in the biblical stories of Abraham, Job, and Jeremiah. In Pious Irreverence, Dov Weiss has written the first scholarly study of the premodern roots of this distinctively Jewish theology of protest, examining its origins and development in the rabbinic age. Join IIJS for a lively conversation with Dr. Weiss as we discuss his latest book, the winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award for scholarship that has been called “not only a scholarly but also a theological gift" by Reviews in Religion & Theology.

Dov Weiss is an Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed his PhD at the University of Chicago Divinity School as a Martin Meyer Fellow in 2011 and was the Alan M. Stock Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies in 2012. Specializing in the history of Jewish biblical interpretation and rabbinic theology, Dov’s first book, Pious Irreverence: Confronting God in Rabbinic Judaism (University of Pennsylvania Press),won the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Scholarship. His recent articles include "Sins of the Parents in Rabbinic and Early Christian Literature" [Journal of Religion 97:1], “Divine Concessions in the Tanhuma Midrashim” [Harvard Theological Review (108:1)] and “The Sin of Protesting God in Rabbinic and Patristic Literature” [AJS Review 39:2].

Additional Information: Seating will be available on a first-come first-served basis. Doors open at 6:45 pm.

For additional questions, please contact

Co-sponsored with Columbia University’s Department of Religion.