The Jewish Bible commentaries of the medieval Islamic East were written in Arabic and shared a common vocabulary with contemporary Islamic religious literature. My dissertation project explores this shared cultural environment by examining the exegetical methods and religious philosophy that appear in a Lamentations commentary written by one of the first Jewish translators and interpreters of the Bible in Arabic, Salmon ben Yeruhim. This project is grounded in manuscript research, and I have recently returned from a year in Jerusalem, reading the commentaries of Salmon and his contemporaries. Yet this research also points to broader themes in religious studies, such as the interplay between Scripture and its interpretation, and the mechanisms of intellectual exchange between religious communities. I look forward to addressing such themes in conversation with my colleagues in the Marty Center.
I am especially invigorated by the Marty Center’s commitment to guiding fellows as they develop their skills as teachers. I am eager to exchange pedagogical insights with my Marty colleagues this winter, as I teach an undergraduate course on “Prophets in Jewish and Islamic Traditions.”