Professor Michael Fishbane
2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 Undergraduate Student Summer Seminar
Michael Fishbane (University of Chicago), the Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies in the University of Chicago Divinity School, also in the Committee on Jewish Studies and the College, 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 (Schocken Books, 1979), Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (Oxford University Press, 1989), Garments of Torah (Indiana University Press, 1992), The Kiss of God (University of Washington Press, 1996), and The Exegetical Imagination: On Jewish Thought and Theology (Harvard University Press, 1998). 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). He is now completing a multi-leveled comprehensive commentary presenting the full range of Jewish interpretations on the Song of Songs, as well as his own (modern Jewish) theology. In progress are a study of Jewish liturgical poetry and a treatment of spiritual exercises in Jewish religious history. Prof. Fishbane received a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other major grants, and has twice been a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University. Prof. Fishbane is a member of the American Academy of Jewish Research, and was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement in Textual Studies by the National Foundation of Jewish Culture. His life and work will be written up in the forthcoming new edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica. In 2013 Prof. Fishbane was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.