Jon D. Levenson
Academic year 2019–20
- AB, Harvard College
- MA, PhD, Harvard University
Jon D. Levenson, Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies, 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. In addition, one of his courses deals with the use of medieval Jewish commentaries for purposes of modern biblical exegesis, and another focuses on central works of Jewish theology in the twentieth century.
Professor Levenson 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 his 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 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. Choice, a publication of the American Library Association, listed Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Princeton University Press, 2012) as one of the Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013. His new book is The Love of God: Divine Gift, Human Gratitude, and Mutual Faithfulness in Judaism (Princeton University Press, 2015).
In all his work, Professor Levenson's emphasis falls on the close reading of texts for purposes of literary and theological understanding.
- Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Princeton University Press, 2012)
- Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews (with Kevin J. Madigan; Yale University Press, 2008)
- Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life (Yale University Press, 2006)
- The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity (Yale University Press, 1995)
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