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MemberBenjamin Steele-Fisher

Benjamin Steele-Fisher is a doctoral student in the study of religion with a designated emphasis in critical theory at the University of California, Davis. His main research areas broadly are modern Jewish thought, Jewish-Christian relations, and secularization. He holds a MA in religious studies with a concentration in philosophy of religion from the University of Denver and a BA in theology from Colorado Christian University. Prior to UC Davis he worked as a research and teaching assistant in philosophy at the University of Denver. In the past he has also published book reviews in various publications and presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion.

MemberDustin Nash

Dustin Nash’s research straddles disciplinary boundaries through its exploration of the nexus between religion, politics, and identity in the formation of the Hebrew Bible, and the repercussions of scribal engagement with these categories in the development of Judaism. Dustin received his B.A. in 2004 from Luther College of Decorah, IA.  He was a visiting graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 2004-2005, received an MTS from Harvard Divinity School in 2007, an MA in Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University in 2011, and his PhD from the same institution in 2015.  He is currently Assistant Professor of Religion Studies at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.  His courses there include “Jewish Traditions,” “Paths in Jewish Thought,” “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” “Reading Biblical Hebrew,” “Rabbinic Texts and Traditions,” “Speaking with the Divine: Divination, Shamanism, and Prophecy,” and “Myth, Religion, and Creation.”

MemberGeoffrey Claussen

…Ph.D., Jewish Thought, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2011.

Rabbinic Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2007.

M.A., Jewish Philosophy, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2006.

B.A., Classical Languages, Carleton College, 2001….
…Books:

Modern Musar: Contested Virtues in Jewish Thought (Jewish Publication Society/University of Nebraska Press, forthcoming).
Sharing the Burden: Rabbi Simhah Zissel Ziv and the Path of Musar (SUNY Press, 2015).

Articles and Book Chapters:

“Musar and Jewish Veganism.” In Jewish Veganism and Vegetarianism: Studies and New Directions, ed. Jacob Labendz and Shmuly Yanklowitz (SUNY Press, forthcoming, 2019).
“‘I will be with them’: God at the Burning Bush as an Ideal of Compassion for all Creatures.” In Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, ed…

https://hcommons.org/members/gclaussen/

MemberErin D. Graff Zivin

Erin Graff Zivin’s research and teaching interests focus on constructions of Jewishness and marranismo in the Luso-Hispanic Atlantic, aesthetic representations of torture and interrogation, the relationship between ethics, politics and aesthetics (particularly in the context of Latin American literary and cultural studies), and the intersection of philosophy and critical theory more broadly. She is the author of “Figurative Inquisitions: Conversion, Torture and Truth in the Luso-Hispanic Atlantic” (Northwestern University Press, 2014) and “The Wandering Signifier: Rhetoric of Jewishness in the Latin American Imaginary” (Duke University Press, 2008), and the editor of “The Ethics of Latin American Literary Criticism: Reading Otherwise” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). In addition, Graff Zivin has published articles in Modern Language Notes (MLN), SubStance, CR: The New Centennial Review, Politica Comun: A Journal of Thought, the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Variaciones Borges, the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, Chasqui, the Journal of Jewish Identities and Modern Jewish Studies.

MemberMichael Miller

…Books

2015 The Name of God in Jewish Thought: A Philosophical Analysis of Mystical Traditions from Apocalyptic to Kabbalah (Routledge)

Refereed Journal Articles

2018 “Allowing the Fly to Leave: The Chance Meeting of Wittgenstein and Bunuel at a Mexican Dinner Table (with James Batcho) Film-Philosophy 22.3 (forthcoming 2018)

2016 “Kaplan and Wittgenstein: Atheism, Phenomenology, and the Use of Language” Melilah 12 (2015): 70-83

2016 “The Evolution of the Patriarch Enoch in Jewish Tradition” Distant Worlds 1.1 (2016): 128-1…

I’m a researcher and teacher, in the broad area of philosophy and religion. Slightly narrower, my specialism is Judaism, and narrower still I focus on Jewish mysticism and modern Jewish philosophy (usually of the more ‘secular’ flavour: Benjamin, Rosenzweig, Levinas, et al). However I’m stubbornly interdisciplinary and usually try to cross the boundaries between different aspects of philosophy and speculative thought as well as trying to keep up with current research in scientific, linguistic and psychological fields which connect with my interests. Keeping it broad helps to revitalise intellectual disciplines and keep them exciting. The other area I’m increasingly focusing on in my research and teaching is Black Judaism, especially the Hebrew Israelite movement. I’m also very interested in experimenting with the forms of research, writing and teaching – making these practices more accessible, more artistic, more willing to think outside the usual boxes.

MemberRebecca J. Epstein-Levi

I am a practical ethicist who  examines questions of sexual, biomedical, and environmental ethics    through a Jewish lens. My dissertation  used Mishnaic ritual purity discourse as  a model for a Jewish ethics of sex and  public health. My current project, which expands upon many of the core themes in my dissertation, examines the moral and textual implications of treating sex as one species of social interaction among many. I’ve also written about the ethics of genetically engineered crops,  the tensions between autonomy and community in Jewish and feminist thought, the duty to vaccinate, and the ways practical ethicists deploy classical rabbinic texts. I teach courses among many of these same lines. I have taught or am in the process of developing courses on Jewish sexual ethics, Jewish bodies and bioethics, purity in the Abrahamic traditions, argumentation in Jewish traditions, and comparative religious environmental ethics, as well as introductions to Judaism and to religious studies. I make a concerted effort to diversify my syllabi in all these areas, with substantial representation from scholars who are women, LGBTQIA+, people of color, disabled, or otherwise marginalized. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in Jewish Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Previously, I was a visiting instructor in Religion and Jewish Studies at Oberlin College. I received my Ph.D from the University of Virginia in 2017. In my copious free time, I enjoy drawing and painting (the header image is my own work), horseback riding, cooking overly complicated meals, and sharpening my ever-growing collection of kitchen knives. I live with my wife, Sarah, and my cat, Faintly Macabre.

MemberJonathan Sarna

Jonathan D. Sarna is spending this year as a fellow of the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies.  Ordinarily he serves as University Professor and the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, where he chairs its Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. He also is the past president of the Association for Jewish Studies and Chief Historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.  Author or editor of more than thirty books on American Jewish history and life, his American Judaism: A History won six awards including the 2004 “Everett Jewish Book of the Year Award” from the Jewish Book Council. Sarna is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Academy of Jewish Research. His most recent books are When General Grant Expelled the Jews and Lincoln & the Jews: A History (with Benjamin Shapell), which has just appeared in a Hebrew edition. 

MemberJosef Meri

Born in the United States Prof. Meri hails from a Jerusalemite family. Meri is presently a faculty member of the College of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar. He is also Faculty Associate (non-resident) at the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations, Merrimack College, U.S.A. From 2014-2015 he was Visiting Professor in the Department of Studies of Islam in the Contemporary World at the University of Jordan. During the 2013-2014 academic year Meri served as 8th Allianz Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at the Ludwig Maximilians-University of Munich. From 2011-2014 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre of Islamic Studies, Cambridge University. From June 2010-March 2013 he was Fellow of St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University and served as Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations, Woolf Institute, Cambridge. He has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East and Europe and has lived in Oxford, London, Cambridge, Munich, Amman, Cairo, Damascus and Jerusalem. From 2005-2010 he lived in Amman, where he oversaw a major Qur’anic exegesis project at the Jordanian Royal Court. He previously held visiting appointments at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London and the University of California at Berkeley. Prof. Meri is a historian of interfaith relations in the Middle East in past and present, a historian of religions, and a specialist in medieval Islamic history and civilisation. Prof. Meri’s research interests include: Muslim-non-Muslim relations in the medieval and modern Middle East, Pilgrimage and the Veneration of Saints and Relics in Islam, Judaism and Christianity; Ritual in Islam and Judaism; Popular Religion; History of the Jews of Arab Lands. His teaching interests include: Ritual in Islam and Judaism; Pilgrimage in Islam and Judaism; Medieval Islamic History and Civilisation; Travel, Hajj and Ziyara; History of Sacred Places in the Middle East; the Jewish communities of the Islamic World; Bibliographic Methods in the Study of the Abrahamic Religions, Autobiographical Writings of Middle Eastern Jews, Christians and Muslims. Prof. Meri served as Editor of the Routledge Handbook of Muslim-Jewish Relations (2016), a major academic resource for the academic study of Muslim-Jewish Relations. His publications include: (ed.) Jewish-Muslim Relations in Past and Present: A Kaleidoscopic View (Leiden: Brill, 2017), (ed.) Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, 2 vols. (reissue with updated bibliographies and new preface) (Abingdon, Oxon. and New York: Routledge, 2017), and a new revised translation of Al-Ghazali, The Correct Balance (2019). His forthcoming publications include: Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in Islam (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press) and A History of Interfaith Relations in the Middle East and Mediterranean (Toronto: University of Toronto Press). He previously served as Founding Advisory Board Member (Islamic Studies), Oxford Bibliographies On-line (2008-2010), General Editor of Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia (2002-2005), Series Editor of the Great Tafsirs of the Holy Qur’an series (Fons Vitae Publishers, USA with Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan)(2005-2010), Section Editor (Islam) of Wiley-Blackwell’s Religion Compass (2005-2010) and Book Review Editor (Medieval Islamic and Jewish Studies), Speculum, published by the Medieval Academy of America (2007-2012) and Founding Editor of Intertwined Worlds (2010-2013), an e-platform dedicated to the academic study of Muslim-Jewish and Muslim-Jewish-Christian Relations.

MemberWojciech Tworek

I am a Ray D. Wolfe Postdoctoral Fellow at the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. Previously, I held a postdoctoral position at the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Wrocław. My forthcoming book Eternity Now (SUNY 2019) explores the teachings of Shneur Zalman of Liady, the founding rebbe of Chabad. My current research project concerns Hasidism in interwar Poland.  From 2013 to 2018, I served as the workflow coordinator and Yiddish translator for the Ringelblum Archive Translation Project carried out under the auspices of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Since 2019, I have been involved in the collaborative project entitled A Canon of Memoir Literature by Polish Jews (University of Wrocław).