London’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas

Past Events

Divine Women in Judaism and the Ancient World
Bettany Hughes, Chair: Laura Janner-Klausner
Sunday, 3 March 2013

Experience the event as it happened:

Gallery Audio

Bettany Hughes’ BBC2 documentary, Divine Women examined the pivotal role of goddesses and women in many religions and asked why these stories have been nearly invisible in the official histories of so many cultures. Here, Hughes, along with Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, focussed on the divine feminine within the Jewish religion and other ancient belief systems.

Submerged with layers of ancient Jewish history are feminine aspects of god and rites for women which no longer exist. Discover these and the crucial shift in the role of women when sacrifice was replaced with prayer after the destruction of the second Temple.

Bettany Hughes is widely acknowledged as the best of the new generation of TV historians. She is a research fellow at Kings College, London and her most recent book ,The Hemlock Cup: Socrates Athens and the Search for the Good Life, was selected as Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4

Laura Janner-Klausner is the Movement Rabbi for the Movement for Reform Judaism. She has broadcast on BBC 1’s The Big Questions and is a regular contributor of BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.

The JBW Newsfeed

Be sure to save the date to book your tickets for the launch of JBW17. We have a stunning line-up for you. All festival events for both...
Thursday, 20 October 2016
Become a Friend of JBW to help support us to continue our vital work in producing the world’s foremost Jewish literary festival and...
Thursday, 20 October 2016
The political career of Shimon Peres lasted almost as long as a normal lifetime – three score and ten years.The secret of such longevity was his...
Thursday, 29 September 2016


Unable to appear at a scheduled event, Etgar Keret sends his best to Jewish Book Week.