ONE OF BRITAIN’S foremost Jewish scholars has given a special lecture to mark his new position as professor at Liverpool Hope University.
Professor Bernard Jackson, who was appointed Professor of Law and Jewish Studies at the beginning of the academic year, took the theme of “prodigal sons” for his inaugural lecture on Wednesday April 28.
The event also recognised and celebrated the inauguration of the Makin Chair in Jewish Studies, made possible by the generous support of Rex Makin, a Freeman of the City of Liverpool and renowned local solicitor.
A local man, Professor Jackson was educated at Liverpool Hebrew Primary School and Liverpool Collegiate School and has held professorships at all three of the city’s universities.
Much published, he is the founder of the Jewish Law Annual. He joined Hope from the University of Manchester where he was co-director of the Centre for Jewish Studies. Professor Jackson has built an inter national reputation as a leading scholar in matters relating to Jewish law and Jewish studies.
The lecture was called “Tales of Two Prodigals: Jewish-Christian Relations in the First and 20th Centuries”. It analysed and compared two narratives of prodigal sons – that in Luke and that of Brother Daniel (in the Israel Supreme Court in 1962).
Both cast important light on the way narratives contribute to the construction of identity, and how identities (Jewish, Christian) necessarily relate to the “other”. This, Professor Jackson suggested, may have wider implications for the teaching mission of Liverpool Hope University.
Professor Jackson’s academic career has included visiting appointments at Oxford and Harvard. A former Professor of Law at Liverpool John Moores University (the Liverpool Polytechnic) from 1980 to 1985, he was also Queen Victoria Professor of Law at The University of Liverpool between 1989 and 1997.