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Distinguished Scholar of Religion Shai Secunda To Join Bard College Faculty

Mark Primoff
Image Credit: Sasson Tiram
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College announces the appointment of Shai Secunda as the Jacob Neusner Professor in the History and Theology of Judaism. Secunda, who joins the faculty in fall 2016, is a specialist in Talmudic and Judaic studies and will teach courses in Jewish Studies and other topics through the Religion Program at Bard. An endowed chair, the Jacob Neusner Professor in the History and Theology of Judaism was established in recognition of Neusner’s distinguished contributions to the field and to Bard College.
“I am thrilled to join the Bard faculty, and I am deeply honored to accept the Neusner chair,” says Secunda. “Half a century ago, Jacob Neusner, one of the 20th century’s most influential scholars, invested immense efforts toward taking Jewish studies out of its parochial past and putting it in dialogue with religious studies. I hope I can build on Neusner’s legacy and work to further integrate the study of classical Judaism and Jewish literature within the contemporary humanities, as exemplified by Bard’s invigorating liberal arts setting.”
Trained in rabbinic and Iranian philology, Shai Secunda is a scholar of religion whose academic interests range from rabbinic and Middle Persian literature to classical Jewish history, the Babylonian Talmud in its Sasanian context, Zoroastrianism, and critical approaches to the study of religion, including gender and religion. His degrees include a Bachelor of Rabbinic Law from Ner Israel Rabbinical College; a Master of Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University; and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Bernard Revel Graduate School, Yeshiva University. He has pursued additional studies at Hebrew University (Iranian and Talmudic studies) and Harvard University (Iranian studies). He has taught at universities in Israel and the United States, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Yale University, where he was a postdoctoral associate. He previously served as a member of the Martin Buber Society of Fellows at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and lecturer in the university’s comparative religion and Hebrew literature departments. He is the author of The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli in Its Sasanian Context (2014) and Like a Hedge of Lilies: Menstruation and Difference in the Talmud and Its Iranian Context (forthcoming). He is editor of Shoshannat Yaakov: Jewish and Iranian Studies in Honor of Yaakov Elman (with Steven Fine, 2012) and Encounters by the Rivers of Babylon: Scholarly Conversations between Jews, Iranians, and Babylonians in Antiquity (with Uri Gabbay, 2015). His articles have appeared in the Association of Jewish Studies Review, Bulletin of the Asia Institute, Jewish Quarterly Review, Iranica Antiqua, and Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, among other publications. He has also contributed book chapters to the Wiley-Blackwell History of Jews and Judaism, Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism, and Reconstructing the Talmud.
CAPTION INFO: Bard College announces the appointment of Shai Secunda as the Jacob Neusner Professor in the History and Theology of Judaism.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sasson Tiram
About The Jacob Neusner Professor in the History and Theology of Judaism
Established in 2006 through a $2 million gift to Bard College, the Jacob Neusner Professor of the History and Theology of Judaism is an endowed chair in honor of the internationally renowned scholar of religion and Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History and Theology of Judaism Jacob Neusner. Neusner, a leading figure in the American academic study and teaching of religion, revolutionized the study of Judaism and brought it into the field of religion; built intellectual bridges between Judaism and other religions and thereby laid the groundwork for durable understanding and respect among religions; and, through his teaching and his publication programs, advanced the academic careers of younger scholars and teachers, both within and outside the study of Judaism.

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This event was last updated on 07-14-2016