Louis Newman, John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies, recently gave two invited lectures at Northeastern University and the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University. The first talk, "Brave New World: Judaism and Genetic Technology," focused on the issue of genetic engineering. The lecture explored how Jewish values deal with the obligation to heal versus the obligation to not remake God’s work and offered listeners different ways to analyze Jewish values to find a balanced approach to these controversial issues.
The second lecture was titled, "To Forgive is Human: Reflections on the Meaning and Practice of Forgiveness in Judaism." The discussion considered the Jewish thought surrounding forgiveness, specifically the contrasting ideas of conditional forgiveness and unconditional forgiveness. Newman analyzed the theological roots of the two moral views, and ended with the possibility that the two may be complimentary, rather than contradictory.