Understood as an objective measure of movement, time is both a scientific and philosophical concept, independent and autonomous from the way it is perceived. But as a human perception, time is a complex blend of cultural, social and religious properties which allows the intertwining of the sacred and the secular into the social network of groups and societies. Social sciences (history, sociology, anthropology etc.) have made up “time” as one of their key notions to analyze the social fabric, turning the way people and groups perceive and inhabit the flow of time into a matter for empirical study and accounting for the invention of the many tools societies have devised to handle the phenomenon (astronomical engines, clocks, almanacs, calendars, rituals, etc.) in domains such as religion, sports or politics.
Jews have a particular understanding and regulation of time, and, like other dispersed minorities, Jews share a common temporality wherever they might be across the world. This Jewish sense of “timing” stems from centuries of calculation, theological and scientific controversies and theoretical reflection.
This lecture presents some aspects dealt with in Sylvie Anne Goldberg’s book Clepsydra.
Please enjoy the video link to her lecture.