Jon D. Levenson
- B.A summa cum laude in English, Harvard College, 1971.
- M.A. Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, 1974.
- Ph.D. Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, 1975.
Areas of specialization
Levenson is a scholar of the Bible and of the rabbinic midrash, with an interest in the philosophical and theological issues involved in biblical studies. He studies the relationship between traditional modes of Biblical interpretation and modern historical criticism. He also studies the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.
Levenson's foci include: Theological traditions in ancient Israel (biblical and rabbinic periods); Literary Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible; Midrash; History of Jewish biblical interpretation; Modern Jewish theology; Jewish-Christian relations
Levenson has been called, “the most interesting and incisive biblical exegete among contemporary Jewish thinkers.” He is described as “challenging the idea, part of Greek philosophy and popular now, that resurrection for Jews and the followers of Jesus is simply the survival of an individual's soul in the hereafter.” In Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel, Levenson asserts that in classical Christianity and Judaism,” “resurrection occurs for the whole person — body and soul. For early Christians and some Jews, resurrection meant being given back one's body or possibly God creating a new similar body after death”. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Jewish Review of Books.
Prizes and honors
- Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Award in the category of Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible published in 2005 or 2006 (for Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel), awarded August 2007
- Doctorate in Divinity, honoris causa, from St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland, awarded May 10, 2007
- National Jewish Book Award (for Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel), 2006, awarded in March 2007
- Henry R. Luce III Senior Fellowship in Theology, 1999–2000
- Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews (with Kevin J. Madigan). New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. xviii + 284.
- Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. xxii + 274.
- Esther. Old Testament Library. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1997. xvi + 142 pp.
- The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993. Paperback, 1995. xiv + 257 pp.
- The Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, and Historical Criticism: Jews and Christians in Biblical Studies. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1993. Collection of six revised essays. 192 pp.
- Harper’s Bible Commentary. Associate Editor responsible for Genesis-Esther (according to the Protestant ordering). San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.
- Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988. xvi + 182 pp. 2nd edition, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.
- Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible. Minneapolis: Winston Seabury, 1985. Paperback, San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987. xi + 227 pp.
- Traditions in Transformation: Turning Points in Biblical Faith. Edited with Baruch Halpern. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1981. xiv + 446 pp.
- Theology of the Program of Restoration of Ezekiel 40-48. Harvard Semitic Monograph Series 10. Missoula: Scholars Press, 1976. x + 176 pp.
- The Book of Job in its Time and in the Twentieth Century. LeBaron Russell Briggs Prize Essay in English. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972. 80 pp.
- A review essay that covers many of these books has been published by Marvin A. Sweeney, “Why Jews Are Interested in Biblical Theology: A Retrospective on the Work of Jon D. Levenson,” Jewish Book Annual 55-56 (1997-99/5758-59): 135-68.
- Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies, The Divinity School, Harvard University, 1988-
- Affiliate Member, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, 1988-
- Professor of Hebrew Bible in the Divinity School and in the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, the University of Chicago, 1988
- Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible in the Divinity School and in the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, the University of Chicago, 1986–88
- Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible in the Divinity School, the University of Chicago, 1982–86
- Assistant Professor of Religion and Biblical Studies, Wellesley College, 1975–82
- HDS - Faculty - Jon D. Levenson
- Resurrection Is Often Misunderstood by Christians and Jews - New York Times
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