Michael Fishbane

Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Studies; also in the College



PhD (Brandeis University)

Michael Fishbane was trained in Semitic languages, biblical studies, and Judaica. His writings span from the ancient Near East and biblical studies to rabbinics, the history of Jewish interpretation, Jewish mysticism, and modern Jewish thought. Among his many books are Text and Texture; Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel; Garments of Torah; The Kiss of God; and The Exegetical Imagination: On Jewish Thought and Theology. Both Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel and The Kiss of God won The National Jewish Book Award in scholarship. His commentary on the prophetic lectionary (Haftarot) in Judaism was published in 2002 (Jewish Publication Society Bible Commentary), and his book Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking was published in 2003 (Oxford University Press). His latest work, Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology, was published in fall 2008 by the University of Chicago Press. He has recently published a multileveled comprehensive commentary presenting the full range of Jewish interpretations on the Song of Songs (Jewish Publication Society, 2015).  A volume on him and his work will soon appear as Michael Fishbane. Jewish Hermeneutical Theology in the Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers (Brill, 2015). Fishbane is now working on the poetics of Jewish liturgical poetry and a new work in contemporary theology. Professor Fishbane received a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other major grants, and has twice been a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Hebrew University. Professor Fishbane is a member of the American Academy of Jewish Research, and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in Textual Studies by the National Foundation of Jewish Culture. An entry on him and his work appears in the new edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica. Fishbane is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.




Swift 205
Areas of study: 

Current and Upcoming Courses

History of Judaism

HIJD 34304 Readings in the Early Hasidic Masters: The Religious Teaching of Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl

HIJD 38504 Levinas and Talmud

HIJD 39204 Studies in Rabbinic Midrash: Pesikta de-Rav Kahana

HIJD 40504 The Question in Jewish Religious Thought

HIJD 40506 Martin Buber’s Conception of Religion and Judaism

HIJD 45500 Medieval Commentaries on Ecclesiastes

Philosophy of Religions

DVPR 38504 Levinas and Talmud

Religion, Literature, and Visual Culture

RLIT 45500 Medieval Commentaries on Ecclesiastes


THEO 38504 Levinas and Talmud