Work of Louis Jacobs is to be Oxford subject

By Simon Rocker, January 12, 2012

Scholars from around the world are to be invited to Oxford next year to study the work of Britain's most renowned rabbinical scholar, Rabbi Louis Jacobs.

The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies will devote one of its two special research projects to the legacy of the New London Synagogue founder.

The centre has already raised one-third of the £150,000 cost of hosting nine-to-10 scholars over the course of the year.

Shortly before his death in 2006, Rabbi Jacobs donated his vast library of nearly 14,000 volumes to the centre.

Meanwhile, a new bibliography of 550 of his own books, pamphlets and articles has just been produced by the Friends of, which publishes his writings online.

The introduction to the bibliography was written by Miri Freud-Kandel, lecturer in modern Judaism at the Oxford Centre. She explained that the aim of the centre's research programme was to "examine the principles and rabbinic texts upon which Jacobs built his theology and to study the reasons behind the reticence of contemporary Orthodox Judaism to accept a number of these views.

"An analysis of contemporary Orthodoxy will assess the current state of Orthodox Judaism, changing approaches to understandings of Torah min Hashamayim [Torah from Heaven] and questions regarding Orthodoxy's openness to ideas, to other Jews and to society at large."

Last updated: 1:07pm, January 12 2012