In 1979 Tulane established, through the efforts of Father Val McInnes, an endowed fund to support a Chair of Judeo-Christian Studies. As of 2000, thanks to a substantial donation, it became "The Catherine and Henry J. Gaisman Chair of Judeo-Christian Studies."
The Judeo-Christian Studies Chair oversees a series of lectures and seminars on themes related to the Judeo-Christian tradition, with a focus on important religious, moral, and philosophic issues.
The public lecture series has brought prominent scholars to campus since the first event, in 1980, and it is now one of the longest-standing series in the country. There are currently six published volumes of the lectures and two more that will be made available soon. Since 2011, the lecures have been videotaped and made available for viewing on YouTube. The public lectures, which take place in the Rogers Memorial Chapel, offer one of the rare events on campus that bring together faculty, students, and members of the community.
Professor Ronna Burger holds the Catherine and Henry J. Gaisman Chair of Judeo-Christian Studies. Professor Burger’s intellectual path has taken her from an early interest in the Bible and its interpretation to Greek philosophy and most recently to the question of the relation between them. This path is reflected in her scholarly pursuits and her teaching at Tulane, where she has found an intellectual home for over three decades. Read more about Professor Burger's appointment.