Jewish Thought & History
Jon LevensonHarvard University
Jon Levenson is the Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard Divinity School. He began teaching at Harvard in 1988, having previously taught at the University of Chicago and at Wellesley College. His work concentrates on the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, including its reinterpretations in the “rewritten Bible” of Second Temple Judaism and rabbinic midrash. He also teaches a seminar in the use of medieval Jewish commentaries for purposes of modern biblical exegesis. He has a strong interest in the philosophical and theological issues involved in biblical studies, especially the relationship of premodern modes of interpretation to modern historical criticism. Much of Professor Levenson’s work centers on the relationship of Judaism and Christianity, both in antiquity and in modernity, and he has long been active in Jewish-Christian dialogue. His interests and courses in Jewish theology include the modern period. His book Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life (Yale University Press, 2006) won a National Jewish Book Award and the Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Award in the category of Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible published in 2005 or 2006. His most recent book is Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Princeton University Press, 2013). In all his work, Professor Levenson’s emphasis falls on the close reading of texts for purposes of literary and theological understanding.