Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Linda Weiser Friedman on Jewish Humor (Encore Presentation)

Yep, we’re still on summer break, but please enjoy a laugh or two and learn something about Jewish humor with Linda Weiser Friedman as she talks about her book “God Laughed,” co-written with her husband Hershey Friedman. In such serious times when our ability to joke has seemed to fade, this interview is a great reminder the role that humor can play in our spiritual and secular lives.

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Linda Weiser Friedman on Jewish Humor

A Jewish statistician walks into a podcast … and hilarity and enlightenment ensues thanks to Linda Weiser Friedman, the co-author (along with Hershey Friedman) of “God Laughs: Sources of Jewish Humor.” We talk about why Jews are so funny, the types of humor Jews employ (including Holocaust humor), and how comedy can be found in sacred texts if one looks closely. We also discuss the boundaries of religio-ethnic humor and how religion can bring us closer to God.

Find some additional bits of humor from the Friedman’s book on our Facebook Fan Page.

Christopher Grenda on Religious Satire during the Enlightenment (and Today)

Can satire be used to prompt religious reform? Prof. Chris Grenda (CUNY) discusses the role of humor, parody, irony, and satire in the changing religious landscape of the English Enlightenment (circa 17th and 18th centuries). We discuss the nature and role of satire in society and review a number of major historical satirists including Jonathan Swift and Thomas Paine, as well as the lesser known figures such as Ralph Wallis, Charles Blount, and Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the Third Earl of Shaftesbury. All of these satirists used their wit to advance the frontiers of religious toleration in an environment of growing religious pluralism and institutional corruption. How the “powers that be” — both ecclesiastical and secular — react to being the focus of ridicule is also discussed. We further bring the discussion into the contemporary era with references to Mark Steyn, Monty Python, and George Carlin. Prof. Grenda provides a number of interesting observations on what is happening to the rhetorical device of satire in our contemporary era.

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