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College of Arts & Sciences
Jewish Studies Program

2016 Solomon-Tenenbaum Lectureship

“Salvador Dali’s ‘Aliyah: The Rebirth of Israel'”

Date:     28 January 2016
Time:     7:30 p.m.
Place:    The Campus Room, Capstone Conference Center, University of South Carolina


David R. Blumenthal, Ph.D. 

Jay and Leslie Cohen Professor of Judaic Studies

Department of Religion, Emory University


Lecture Description:

“Salvador Dali’s ‘Aliyah: The Rebirth of Israel'”

In 1968, Salvador Dali, the best-known surrealist painter of the 20th century, painted 25 gouaches to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. From the gouaches, 250 suites of 25 lithographs each were printed and sold as “Aliyah: the Rebirth of Israel.” What scenes did Dali pick to illustrate this theme? How accurate is his depiction? More interesting: What prompted Dali, a Spanish Catholic with right-wing nationalist views, to undertake a “Jewish” work? Were there other “Jewish” works? Equally as interesting: “Aliyah” is not very “dali-esque,” though it certainly bears his stamp. What is the role of this suite in Dali’s oeuvre? Professor David R. Blumenthal, owner, with his wife, of one of the suites, will give a slide lecture that discusses most of the individual lithographs and proposes answers to some of these questions. 

 Guest Lecturer:

Dr. David R. Blumenthal, is Jay and Leslie Cohen Professor of Judaic Studies in the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and the Department of Religion at Emory University. He teaches and writes on constructive Jewish theology, medieval Judaism, Jewish mysticism, and holocaust studies. His previous published works include numerous scholarly articles, reviews, and eleven books including the two volume Understanding Jewish Mysticism(1978, 1982), God at the Center (Harper and Row, 1988; reprinted Jason Aronson, 1994, translated as Dieu au coeur, 2002), Facing the Abusing God: A Theology of Protest (Westminster / John Knox, 1993), and The Banality of Good and Evil: Moral Lessons from the Shoah and Jewish Tradition (Georgetown University Press: 1999). His most recent book is Philosophical Mysticism: Essays in Rational Religion (2007). Professor Blumenthal is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Religion. He is also the winner of the Emory Williams Award for Distinguished Teaching. 


 Refreshments will be provided and a book signing will be held immediately following the lecture.

For more information on David R. Blumenthal, click on this link




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