Jacob Neusner

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Jacob Neusner (born July 28, 1932) is an American academic scholar of Judaism who lives in Rhinebeck, New York.



Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Neusner was educated at Harvard University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (where he received rabbinic ordination), the University of Oxford, and Columbia University.

Neusner is often celebrated as one of the most published authors in history (he has written or edited more than 950 books.)[1] Since 1994, he has taught at Bard College. He has also taught at Columbia University, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Brandeis University, Dartmouth College, Brown University, and the University of South Florida.

Neusner is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He is the only scholar to have served on both the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.[citation needed] He also has received scores of academic awards, honorific and otherwise.


Neusner's scholarly activity is vast. Generally, his research centers around rabbinic Judaism of the Mishnaic and Talmudic Eras. He was a pioneer in the application of "form criticism" approach to Rabbinic texts. Much of Neusner's work has been to de-construct the prevailing approach viewing Rabbinic Judaism as a single religious movement within which the various Rabbinic texts were produced. In contrast, Neusner views each rabbinic document as an individual piece of evidence that can only shed light on the more local Judaisms of such specific document's place of origin and the specific Judaism of the author. His Judaism: The Evidence of the Mishnah (Chicago, 1981; translated into Hebrew and Italian) is the classic statement of his work and the first of many comparable volumes on the other documents of the rabbinic canon.

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