2017 Batchelder Conference

Archaeologists and biblical scholars from around the world will unveil their latest findings at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in November.

UNO’s Religious Studies Program will host the Batchelder Conference for Archaeology and Biblical Studies Thursday, Nov. 9 – Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Thompson Alumni Center.  Now in its 19th year, the annual conference is free and open to the public with no pre-registration required.

Rami Arav, associate professor in UNO’s Religious Studies Department, and Richard Freund, director of the University of Hartford Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, will open the conference Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 P.M.

Arav will deliver a lecture titled “The First 30 Years of Excavations at Bethsaida,” followed by a response from Freund.

Arav has been the director of excavations and the Consortium for the Bethsaida Excavations Project since its founding in 1987. Freund is also a founding member of the consortium and serves as project director for Bethsaida Excavations Project. Together, Arav and Freund have edited four volumes of “Bethsaida, A City by the Northern Shores of the Sea of Galilee” and numerous other books on archaeology and biblical studies. They have also appeared in a number of television documentaries.

David Gurevich, a senior partner on the Bethsaida Excavations Project and postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Archaeology at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, will deliver the conference’s second featured address Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 P.M. His talk is titled “Water and Society: The Water Installation at Jerusalem in the Late Second Temple Period.”

Twelve other scholars will present during the day on Friday and Saturday. The full conference schedule will be available on UNO’s Religious Studies website at a later date.

The annual Batchelder Conference is named in honor of Clifton B. Batchelder and his wife, Anne Stuart Batchelder, former Nebraska political leaders and longtime trustees of the Omaha community. The couple gave an endowment for the conference to ensure that it would be supported annually.

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