As I mentioned a month ago, I am now at the "Modern Orthodoxy 1940-1970" conference taking place at the University of Scranton, co-sponsored by Edah and the University of Scranton and organized by Dr. Marc Shapiro and Dr. Rabbi Alan Brill. Menachem, who is also here at the conference, has also reported a bit on the conference beforehand here and initially here (look for him to blog as well about the conference's proceedings).
I decided to attend mainly because as a Modern Orthodox (or Open Orthodox) rabbinical student, it is important that I get a sense of the history behind it, even if it is from several decades ago. Such that, as a rabbi (or even as a rabbinical student), I can get better understand it not only on its own terms, but also to be able to answer questions concerning the movement (not only to members, but also to those on the left and the right).
As my Greyhound bus (the first one of the day) arrived near noon, I arrived only to catch the very end of the first session, giving the background to everything on "Religion in the Post-War Era." Then came lunch, which entailed food and now blogging. Another reason I about which I had apparently forgotten for coming (well, really, about all conferences and conventions) is making connections or at least meeting people. For instance, I've already met Dr. Alan Brill, Dr. Rabbi Lawrence Kaplan, and Dr. Steven Fine. There are other academics and rabbis here, which is pretty neat ("birds of a feather flock together"). At least a third reason, which I started realizing as well, was that I appreciate academic discourse - both the expanded lexicon as well as the employment of concepts (something which I think I started appreciating in my last semester (or maybe my second-to-last semester(?)) of college) and this is certainly a place where this elevated discourse is occurring.
However, one handicap I have is a lack of knowledge concerning the subject matter, having read very little on the subject matter. Hopefully, by being exposed to the information, I will have a much improved sense of what is significant here.
Tags: Modern Orthodoxy, Modern Orthodoxy Conference, Edah, University of Scranton, rabbinical student