Christine Hayes

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Christine Hayes
NationalityUnited States
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisorDaniel Boyarin
Academic work
InstitutionsYale University

Christine Hayes is the Robert F. and Patricia Ross Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale University, former chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and one of the foremost American academics focusing on talmudic-midrashic studies and Classical Judaica.

Hayes' specializations include talmudic-midrashic studies[1][2] as well as the History and Literature of Judaism in Late Antiquity.[2][3][4][5] Before her appointment at Yale, she served as the assistant professor of Hebrew studies, Department of Near Eastern Studies, at Princeton University from 1993 to 1996.[6][2][4][5] She has published several books and numerous articles in American and international academic journals, and has received academic accolades.[2][6][4][5] Her class on the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) was selected for the pilot program of "Yale University Open Courses," and has subsequently been one of the most watched online courses about Classical Judaica.[7][failed verification]


Hayes received her B.A. summa cum laude in The Study of Religion from Harvard University in 1984. She subsequently received an M.A. with distinction from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988 which included a year of graduate work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She received her PhD in Talmudic and Judaic Studies (Department of Near Eastern Studies) from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993.[6] She won a New Directions Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation, and as a result Hayes spent 2005–2006 at the Yale Law School, where she studied and worked on What’s so Divine about Divine Law.[2] In 2008, Hayes was elected to the American Academy of Jewish Research and since 2009, she has been an Affiliated Scholar with the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, Cardozo Law School.[4][5] She served as co-editor of the Association for Jewish Studies Review from 2012 to 2016, and in 2016 became vice-president for Program of the Association for Jewish Studies.[6] In 2015, Hayes was appointed a faculty member and senior research fellow at the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute in New York.[8][4][5]



What's Divine about Divine Law? Early Perspectives, Princeton University Press, 2015,

Between the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds, Oxford University Press, 1997, awarded the Salo Baron Prize for a first book in Jewish Thought and Literature by the American Academy for Jewish Research, 1999.

Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud, Oxford University Press, 2002, a finalist for the 2003 National Jewish Book Award in Scholarship.

The Emergence of Judaism, Greenwood Press, 2006.

The Emergence of Judaism: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspectives. Textbook with online component. Fortress Press, 2010.

Introduction to the Bible. Yale University Press, 2012.

Edited Volumes[edit]

Classic Essays in Early Rabbinic Cullum and History. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, UK. In Press. Spring, 2018.

The Cambridge Companion to Judaism and Law. Cambridge University Press (UK), March 2017.

Co-edited Volumes[edit]

The Faces of Torah: Studies in Texts and their Contexts in Ancient Judaism in honor of Steven Fraade. Co-editors Tzvi Novick and Michal Bar-Asher Siegal. JAJ Supplements, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht. In Press. Publication date, spring 2017.

The Interaction of Jewish and Other Legal Systems from Ancient to Modern Times. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Jewish Law Association. Co-editor Amos Israel. 2014.

Current Issues in Priestly and Related Literature: The Legacy of Jacob Milgrom and Beyond. Sub-editor. SBL Press, March 2015.


"Rabbinic Literature" in Carol Bakos (ed.) Ancient Judaism, vol 2, The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization: Anthology of Primary Sources, Documents, Texts, and Artifacts in 10 vols, James E. Young (ed.), (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, forthcoming).


Mishnah Tractate Avodah Zarah, (completed and submitted) for annotated translation and commentary of The Mishnah, ed. Sh. Cohen and H. Lapin (Oxford University Press), 2019.

Online Course[edit]

Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. 24 lecture Yale College course with supplemental materials.

Other publications[edit]

"Judging the Law: Rabbinic Perspectives on the un-Civil Law of Rome," in The Perception and Reception of Roman Law and Tribunals by Jews and Other Inhabitants of the Empire (ed. Katell Berthelot: Ecole Francaise de Rome, forthcoming).

"Roman Power through Rabbinic Eyes: Tragedy or Comedy" in Regarding Roman Power: Imperial Rule in the Eyes of Greeks, Romans, Jews and Christians, ed. Katell Berthelot (Rome: Ecole Francaise de Rome, forthcoming).

"The Complicated Goy in Classical Rabbinic Sources" in Perceiving the Other, eds. Michal Bar Asher Siegal, Matthew Thiessen (Mohr Siebeck, 2017), pp 147–167.

'Heaven on Earth: The World to Come and its (Dis)locations" in Olam he-zeh v'olam ha- ba: This World and the World to Come in Jewish Belief and Practice, ed. Leonard Greenspoon (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), pp. 69-90.

“Were the Noahide Commandments formulated at Yavne? T. AZ 8(9):4-9 in Cultural and Historical Context” forthcoming in Yavne Revisited: the Historical Rabbis and the Rabbis of History, ed. J. Schwartz, P. Tomson, CRINT series, (Leiden: Brill, 2017), pp. 225-264.

“‘The Torah was not given to Ministering Angels’: Rabbinic Aspirationalism” in Festschrift for Daniel Boyarin, ed. Charlotte Fonrobert, Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Aharon Shemesh, Moulie Vidas, (Leiden: Brill, 2017) pp. 123-60.

“Inventing Rabbis” in Jewish Origins, ed. Frederick Greenspahn. 2018.

“What is Bavli: A Response,” The Talmud Blog, March 29, 2015

"'In the West, they laughed at him:’ The Babylonian Talmud's Mocking Realists,” in The Journal of Law, Religion and State, 2013.

“Theoretical Pluralism in the Talmud: A Response to Richard Hidary,” in Dine Yisrael: Studies in Halakhah and Jewish Law 25 (2010).

“Legal Realism and Sectarian Self-Fashioning in Jewish Antiquity,” in Sects and Sectarianism in Jewish History, University College London (2010).

“Legal Truth, Right Answers and Best Answers: Dworkin and the Rabbis” in Dine Yisrael: Studies in Halakhah and Jewish Law 25 (2008) 73-121.

“What is (the) Mishnah? Concluding Observations” in Association for Jewish Studies Review 32 (2008) 2:291-97.

“Rabbinic Contestations of Authority.” Cardozo Law Review 28:1 (2006) 123-141. Text, Tradition, and Reason in Comparative Perspective, ed. Suzanne Last Stone and Adam Seligmann.

“Golden Calf Stories: The Relationship of Ex 32 and Deuteteronomy 9-10” in The Idea of Biblical Interpretation, ed. Hindy Najman and Judith H. Newman (Leiden: Brill, 2004) 45-94.

"Genealogy, Illegitimacy, and Personal Status: The Yerushalmi in Comparative Perspective." The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, III ed. P. Schäfer (Tübingen: J.C.B.Mohr, 2003) 73-90.

“Do Converts to Judaism Require Purification? M. Pes 8:8 -- An Interpretative Crux Solved.” Jewish Studies Quarterly, 9 (2002) 4: 327-352

"Halakhah le-Moshe mi-Sinai in Rabbinic Sources: A Methodological Case Study." The Synoptic Problem in Rabbinic Literature, ed. Shaye J. D. Cohen (Providence, RI: Brown Judaic Studies). 2000:61-118.

"Intermarriage and Impurity in Ancient Jewish Sources." Harvard Theological Review 92:1 (1999) 3-36.

"The Abrogation of Torah Law: Rabbinic Taqqanah and Praetorian Edict." The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, ed. P. Schäfer (Tübingen: J.C.B.Mohr). 1998:643-674.

"Displaced Self-Perceptions: The Deployment of Minim and Romans in Bavli Sanhedrin 90b-91a." Religious and Ethnic Communities in Later Roman Palestine. Ed. Hayim Lapin. 1998:249-289.

"The Midrashic Career of the Confession of Judah (Genesis xxxviii 26), Part I: The Extra-Canonical Texts, Targums and Other Versions." Vetus Testamentum 45/1 (1995) 62-81.

"The Midrashic Career of the Confession of Judah (Genesis xxxviii 26), Part II: The Rabbinic Midrashim." Vetus Testamentum 45/2 (1995) 174-187.


2016 Jordan Schnitzer Award for a best book in Biblical Studies, Rabbinics and Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity for What's Divine about Divine Law: Early Perspectives.

2016 PROSE award in the category of Theology and Religious Studies, given by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), for What's Divine about Divine Law? Early Perspectives.

2015 National Jewish Book Award (the Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award) in the category of Scholarship, for What's Divine about Divine Law? Early Perspectives.

Elected to the American Academy of Jewish Research, June, 2008

New Directions Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation, to support a year of study at the Yale Law School in 2005–2006.

Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities at Yale, 2005

2003 National Jewish Book Award finalist in the category of Scholarship, for Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities (Oxford, 2002).

The Salo Baron Prize for a first book in Jewish Thought and Literature, presented by the American Academy of Jewish Research, 1999.

Hilles Publication Grant, 2001

Lucius Littauer Foundation Publication Grant, 2001

Morse Research Fellowship, Yale University, 1998–1999 academic year.

U.C. Chancellor's Dissertation Year Fellowship, 1992–93.

Charlotte Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 1991–92.

Taubman Fellowship for Talmudic Studies, 1990–91.

Professional Affiliations and Service[edit]

President, Association for Jewish Studies, December, 2017-

Member, international Advisory Board for the University of Antwerp, Institute of Jewish Studies, 2016-

Member, Editorial Board, “Perspectives on Jewish Texts and Contexts,” DeGruyter, 2016-

Vice-President for Program, Association for Jewish Studies 2016-

Co-Editor, Association for Jewish Studies Review, 2012–2016

Elected Member, American Academy of Jewish Research, 2008-

Board Member, Association for Jewish Studies. 2001-2003

Editorial Board Member, Brown Judaic Studies (peer-reviewed monograph series)

Advisory Board, Yale Judaica Series, Yale University Press.

Affiliated Scholar, Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, Cardozo Law School, 2009–present

Affiliated Fellow, The Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization, New York University, 2009–present

Editor (Rabbinics section), Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, 2011–present

Editorial Board, Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum, 2010–present

Conference Program Committee Member, Association for Jewish Studies. 1994–present


  1. ^ "Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) | Open Yale Courses".
  2. ^ a b c d e "Christine Hayes | Judaic Studies Program".
  3. ^ "Christine Hayes | Yale MacMillan Center Council on Middle East Studies".
  4. ^ a b c d e "Christine Elizabeth Hayes: Curriculum Vitae, May, 2016" (PDF).
  5. ^ a b c d e "Christine Hayes | Yale University -".
  6. ^ a b c d "Christine Hayes | Religious Studies".
  7. ^ Christine Hayes | Academic Earth Archived 2010-12-12 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Faculty - Shalom Hartman Institute".

External links[edit]