We think of ‘technology’ as our latest gadgets, or the way in which Zoom is changing our interactions. But ‘technology’ has a very broad definition, and religion and culture are forms of ‘technology,’ as well, as they help shape and change the world. Sigal Samuel, who writes on religion and technology for Vox’s Future Perfect, helps expand our understanding of how religion shaped — and is shaped by — technology. With her book Osnat and Her Dove: The True Story of the World’s First Female Rabbi, Sigal introduces us to Osnat Barzani, a 17th-century woman in modern-day Iraq, who was a master of Torah, Talmud, Midrash and Kabbalah, and the first female rabbi. By helping us break out of our narrow cultural worldview, we can find throughlines both in history and our world today that we may have otherwise missed.
Sigal Samuel is a staff writer at Vox, as well as author of The Mystics of Mile End and Osnat and Her Dove: The True Story of the World’s First Female Rabbi.
Next week, March 30th, at 2 PM EST, we will be speaking with Larisa Heiphetz, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University focusing on how children and adults think about their social worlds, in particular investigating how people think about religion.