Jason Hensley, Ph.D.
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The Narrative of the Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible contains a wealth of cultural and historical information, providing a foundation for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It many ways it has shaped history, but it’s largely a collection of stories — stories of drama, intrigue, courage, failure and tenacity. This talk will unearth some of those stories, exploring the depth of these ancient narratives and the ability they still have to capture our attention.
Rescue from the Holocaust
The Holocaust was a time in which great darkness overtook many areas of the world. Yet, amid this destruction and suffering, there were people who refused to give in to the darkness. This talk explores rescue during the Holocaust, focusing specifically on the Kindertransport and the difference that this act made in the lives of thousands of children.
Christianity's Debt to Judaism
Judaism and Christianity are two of the world’s major religions. Many people are familiar with one of these religions or the other — but generally do not consider the relationship that exists between Judaism and Christianity. In the first century, Christianity developed out of Judaism and, for many years, Christians saw themselves as Jews. Because of this shared heritage in which Judaism serves as the root of Christianity, the two religions have much in common. This talk will seek to go back in time to see the foundations of Judaism and the foundations of Christianity — acknowledging what these two faiths have in common and how they can learn from one another.
Remembering the Holocaust
There's a difference between history and memory. Memory is crucial to how we, as humans, process events and interpret them. This talk will explore the importance of remembering the Holocaust, its victims and survivors, and how this remembering can aid in understanding the event and in learning for the future.
Anti-Judaism in the Gospels?
This talk examines specific passages in the New Testament — "His blood be on us and on our children" in the Gospel of Matthew, as well as the phrase "the Jews" in the Gospel of John. While these passages have historically been interpreted as anti-Jewish, this talk, through historical sources and Biblical references, establishes that the Biblical text was fully situated within Judaism itself and was not intended to promote anti-Judaism.
Women of the Bible
Many Bible stories center around the hero. But what about the heroines? The Biblical tradition emphasizes both the actions of men and women — so this talk specifically stresses the amazing actions of women. It considers the stories of Ruth and Abigail, two Biblical women who are hailed for their faithfulness, their attitudes in difficult circumstances, and their flexibility.
Jason Hensley, PhD, regularly writes and teaches about the Holocaust, Christianity, and Judaism throughout North America. He is a fellow of the Michael LaPrade Holocaust Education Institute of the Anti-Defamation League, a member of Civic Spirit's teacher education cohort, and the award-winning author of 10 books. His work has been featured in The Huffington Post as well as the BBC, and he has served as the historical advisor for a documentary about rescue during the Holocaust.