Judaism

Faculty: Elizabeth Shanks Alexander, Jessica Andruss, Asher Biemann, Jennifer Geddes, Greg Schmidt Goering, Martien Halvorson-Taylor, Peter Ochs, Vanessa Ochs

Affiliated Faculty: Gerard Alexander (Politics), Gabriel Finder (German), Zvi Gilboa (MESALC), Jeffrey Grossman (German), Daniel Lefkowitz (Anthropology), James Loeffler (History), Caroline Rody (English), Joel Rubin (Music)

UVa’s graduate program in Judaism trains students in the methods of literary, ethnographic, philosophical, socio-cultural and historical analysis to explore Jewish religion, thought, and literature, with attention to the diverse cultural and intellectual environments in which Jewish communities have flourished.

Students are encouraged to shape a program that reflects their own interests with faculty within the department of Religious Studies and within the interdisciplinary Jewish Studies program (see http://jewishstudies.as.virginia.edu/faculty). Graduate work in Judaism at both MA and PhD levels prepares students for teaching and advanced research in the academy and beyond—including careers in museums, publishing, foundations, Jewish education, communal work and archives.

Areas of study include:

Textuality: The study of Jewish texts—from ancient and foundational sacred writings to literary, exegetical, and religious-philosophical texts of later eras—in their historical context and in the context of their transmission, reception, and interpretation. This sub-area attends to the languages and literary genres of Jewish texts, as well as to their historical contexts.

Practice: The study of Jewish practice, learning, culture, literature, ethics, art and material culture. This sub-area focuses on how the practices of Judaism are transmitted, experienced, transformed, and regularized.

Thought: Jewish thought, from the earliest period to today, as well as its encounters with Western and non-Western philosophical sources. This sub-area gives special attention to studies in (i) the logic of Jewish scriptural commentary and interpretation; (ii) the intellectual history of medieval Judaism and its expression in the Islamic world; (iii) modern and contemporary Jewish thought; (iv) Judaism and gender.