Dr. Nadav Shifman Berman

UCSIA/IJS Chair for Jewish-Christian Relations 2023-24

The UCSIA/IJS Chair for Jewish-Christian Relations will be held by Nadav Shifman Berman, PhD in the academic year 2023-24.

Dr. Nadav Shifman Berman is currently a Research fellow at the Faculty of Law, University of Haifa. He recently completed a Kreitman postdoctoral fellowship at the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where he examined Jewish Thought vis-à-vis the Christian Agape. Prior to that, Nadav was a postdoctoral associate at Yale University’s Jewish Studies Program and the Department of Philosophy. His doctoral work investigated philosophical links between Pragmatism and Jewish Thought.

He will talk about:

Philosophies of Love between Judaism and Christianity

public lecture by dr. Nadav Shifman Berman, with response by prof. dr. Willem Styfhals, on 5 March 2024

This lecture aims to provide a basic scheme for examining philosophies of love in Judaism, vis-à-vis Christianity, and Abrahamic religions more broadly (i.e. Islam). Here we address the influential typology provided by Anders Nygren (1890-1978) in his magnum opus Agape and Eros. Nygren, a prominent theologian and Bishop of Lund, Sweden, ultimately contended that the fundamental motif of Judaism is Nomos, of Hellenism – Eros, and of Christianity – Agape or love that is universal, impartial, and disinterested. After presenting Nygren’s thesis, and reviewing critical Christian responses to it, we ask how his model may help in thinking about modern Jewish philosophies of love, and about pre-modern Jewish tradition (Biblical, Rabbinic, and Medieval), and especially its early formations.

Response by Willem Styfhals, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven. At the Institute of Philosophy, he is a member of the Centre for Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of Culture. He is the author of No Spiritual Investment in the World: Gnosticism and Postwar German Philosophy (Cornell UP, 2019) and Apologie van het Schrift (Grafische Cel, 2022).

Date & Time

Tuesday 5 March 2024
8.00 – 9.30 p.m.
Followed by a reception.


Universiteit Antwerpen – Hof van Liere
W. Elsschotzaal
Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen


Free entrance.
Please register online before 1 March 2024.

Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber on Divine and Human Love

reading seminar on 7 March 2024

After presenting the Nomos/Eros/Agape scheme, and asking how it may shed light on early Judaism, we move in this reading seminar into the modern era. Here we consider the views of Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber, both explicit and implicit, about Agape. We will read select sections from Rosenzweig’s book The Star of Redemption, and from Buber’s book Two Types of Faith. Discussing them, we will see how Rosenzweig and Buber were concerned, though in different ways, about strict or non-pragmatist versions of Agape. We hence ask if there could be found a Jewish-Christian (and broader Abrahamic, or even pan-religious or humanistic) common cooperative ground, and whether such pragmatist religious understanding may help humanity in searching constructively for a better future.

Date & Time

Thursday 7 March 2024
1.00 – 3.00 p.m.


Universiteit Antwerpen
City Campus – Room S.D.013
Grote Kauwenberg 18, 2000 Antwerp


Free entrance
Please register online before 4 March 2024.


Institute of Jewish Studies

interdisciplinary research centre for the scientific study of Judaism


University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp

Register now!

Free entrance, but don’t forget to register in advance! Registrations close on 4 March 2024.


Koningstraat 2
B-2000 Antwerpen
Tel. +32 (0)3 265 49 60

Voorlopige locatie tijdens de renovatiewerken:
Blindestraat 14, 2000 Antwerpen