Wars are highly destructive, cause immeasurable loss of human life and leave all parties (including the winners) devastated. And yet we continue to fight. Why? How do wars begin? What roles do ideology, fear, aggression, resistance to oppression and material need play? During the second University Colloquium at the University of Groningen on 3 March , Professor Steve Mason will present an important case study based on the war that erupted between Jews and Romans in AD 66. This war became the most consequential conflict in ancient times and drastically changed the course of world history. It continued to determine relations between Jews and Christians for hundreds of years, right up until the twentieth century.
The Jewish-Roman conflict serves as a lasting example of how wars evolve. The conflict is often seen as the inevitable climax of a clash between two civilizations, with academics citing various causes: religious, cultural, ideological, economic or sociopolitical differences. But what really went on? Was this war really inevitable? Should we rethink our ideas about how wars begin and evolve?
In his lecture ‘ Why did First-Century Jews go to war with Rome – A Clash of Civilizations?’, Prof. Steve Mason (University of Aberdeen) argues for a realistic and regional approach, prompting a completely different view of this conflict. In his view, the war had nothing to do with an inevitable conflict between two irreconcilable cultures. He focuses on the nature of existing alliances, the primacy of the local and the perils of self-help in times of extreme national stress. This classic example also illustrates the ways in which large-scale military invasion by a great power manufactures enemies that did not exist before.
Three respondents will give their reactions from modern and current perspectives. Prof. Doeko Bosscher (Contemporary History), Prof. Wout van Bekkum (Middle Eastern Studies) and Dr Erin Wilson (Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain) will broach subjects such as Clash of Civilizations, ongoing conflicts in the Middle-East and the influence of religion on political conflicts.
Professor Steve Mason (University of Aberdeen) is the first Dirk Smilde Fellow at the Qumran Institute of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen. He is residing there from January until May 2014. The Fellowship was established thanks to a generous financial donation by Mr Dirk Smilde to the Qumran Institute v ia the University’s Ubbo Emmius Fund. It enables top researchers to spend time working at the University of Groningen.
March 3, 8 p.m. - 9.30 p.m.
8 p.m.: Word of welcome from the chair for the evening, Professor Mladen Popović, Director of the Qumran Institute
8.05 p.m.: ‘Why did First-Century Jews go to war with Rome - A Clash of Civilizations?’, Professor Steve Mason
8.30 p.m.: Response by panel members
8.45 p.m.: Discussion with the audience
Aula of the Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen.Admission free
Charissa Caron, tel. 050-363 5597.
Today, the deans of technology of the four technological universities (4TU) and the University of Groningen have submitted an Integral Sector Plan for Technology to the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science. The plan’s ambition is to...
Ana Guerberof Arenas and Tina Kretschmer of the University of Groningen have been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant. The European Research Council (ERC) awards these personal grants of €2 million to outstanding scientists. With these grants, the...
Erik Heeres is no ordinary scientist. Born in Pekela, the researcher evolved from teenager dabbling with a chemistry set to successful project leader of large Dutch and European research consortia. To this day, the Professor of Chemical Engineering...
The UG website uses functional and anonymous analytics cookies. Please answer the question of whether or not you want to accept other cookies (such as tracking cookies).
If no choice is made, only basic cookies will be stored. More information