Norbert M. Samuelson

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Norbert M. Samuelson
BornNorbert Max Samuelson
(1936-02-15) February 15, 1936 (age 82)
Academic work
Main interestsJewish philosophy
Philosophy and religion
Philosophy and science
Jewish Aristotelians

Norbert Max Samuelson (born February 15, 1936) is a scholar of Jewish philosophy. He is Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University, having held the Grossman Chair of Jewish Studies there.[1] He has written 13 books and over 200 articles,[2] with research interests in Jewish philosophy, philosophy and religion, philosophy and science, 20th-century philosophy (with an emphasis on Alfred North Whitehead and Franz Rosenzweig), history of Western philosophy, and Jewish Aristotelians (with an emphasis on Gersonides).[3] He also lectures at university-level conferences around the world.[3]

Academic biography[edit]


Samuelson earned his bachelor's degree at Northwestern University in 1957. He then attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he earned his Bachelor of Hebrew Letters in 1959 and his Master of Hebrew Letters and rabbinic ordination in 1962. He received his doctorate at Indiana University in 1970, writing his dissertation on "The Problem of God's Knowledge in Gersonides – A Translation of and Commentary to Book III of the Milhamot Adonai (The Wars of the Lord)". His dissertation advisers were Shlomo Pines of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Milton Fisk of Indiana University.[3]

Academic positions[edit]

He was Hillel director at Indiana University from 1962-1967 and at Princeton University from 1968-1973.

From 1963–1967 he was a teaching assistant in the philosophy department at Indiana University. He was a visiting lecturer in the philosophy department at Brooklyn College from 1969–1970 and a visiting associate professor in the Hebraic Studies department at Rutgers University from 1969–1973.[3]

From 1973-1975, Samuelson was on the faculty of the University of Virginia. Beginning in 1975, he was an associate professor in the Religion Department at Temple University; in 1987 he became a full professor, and continued in this position until 1998. At that point he moved to Arizona State University, where he became the Harold and Jean Grossman Professor of Jewish Studies in the Religious Studies Department. Since retirement from ASU, he has resided in Chicago.

Samuelson has lectured at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Lancaster University in England, and has served as an assistant professor at the University of Virginia Department of Religious Studies (1973–1975), a visiting associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania Religious Studies Department (1984), and a guest professor at the University of Hamburg, Fachbereich evangelische Theologie (1993 and Summer 1995).[3]

Fellowships and memberships[edit]

His fellowships include a Fulbright-Hayes Research Fellowship at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1967–1968; a fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies at Oxford University in 1987; a fellowship at the Chicago Center for Religion and Science in 1992; and a Fulbright Senior Professor Travel Fellowship at the University of Hamburg, Germany, in 1993.[3]

Samuelson is a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion. He is a past member of the board of directors of the Metanexus Institute and a current member of that organization's academic board. He is also a member of the presidium of the International Franz Rosenzweig Gesellschaft, a member of the International Hermann Cohen Gesellschaft, and a member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy.[3]

He has been a fellow of the Academy of Jewish Philosophy since 1979, serving as Chairman from 1979–1988 and Secretary-Treasurer from 1988 to the present.[3] He is a Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, U.K.

Community service[edit]

Since 2001, Samuelson has taught a weekly course on Maimonides' Mishneh Torah to rabbis in the East Valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area. From 2001–2004 he also delivered a weekly adult education class on the history of Jewish philosophy for the Reform and Conservative synagogues in the East Valley.[3]


Samuelson married Hava Tirosh-Rothschild in 1997, whereupon she changed her name to Hava Tirosh-Samuelson.[4][5] Tirosh-Samuelson (born 1950, Kibbutz Afikim, Israel[6]), is Director of Jewish Studies, Professor of History, and Professor of Modern Judaism at Arizona State University.[7] The Samuelsons co-founded the Judaism, Science and Medicine Group in ASU's Jewish Studies Department in 2008[8] and occasionally appear on the same conference programs.[9][10] In 2006 the couple summarized their joint positions on transhumanism in an article in Milestones, published by the John Templeton Foundation.[11] They have since divorced. Samuelson is remarried to Amy Hill Shevitz.




Book chapters[edit]

  • "Judaism and Science", chapter in Clayton, Philip; Simpson, Zachary (2006). The Oxford handbook of religion and science. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 41–56. ISBN 0-19-927927-6.

Peer-reviewed articles (selected)[edit]

  • Ethics of Globalization and the AIDS Crisis from a Jewish Perspective Zygon, 38, no. 1 (2003): 125-139
  • Autonomy in Jewish Philosophy "Journal of the American Academy of Religion," 72, no. 2 (2004): 560-563
  • The Death and Revival of Jewish Philosophy Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Mar., 2002, vol. 70, no. 1, p. 117-134
  • Rethinking Ethics in the Light of Jewish Thought and the Life Sciences Journal of Religious Ethics, 29, no. 2 (2001): 209-233
  • Culture And History: Essential Partners In The Conversation Between Religion And Science ;Zygon, 40, no. 2 (2005): 335-350
  • Creation and the Symbiosis of Science and Judaism Zygon, 37, no. 1 (2002): 137-142
  • The Economy of the Gift: Paul Ricoeur's Significance for Theological Ethics Journal of Religious Ethics, 29, no. 2 (2001): 235-260
  • On the Symbiosis of Science and Religion: A Jewish Perspective Zygon, 35, no. 1 (2000): 83-97
  • That the God of the Philosophers Is Not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob The Harvard Theological Review, Jan., 1972, vol. 65, no. 1, p. 1-27
  • Ibn Daud's Conception of Prophecy Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Sep., 1977, vol. 45, no. 3, p. 354
  • "Maimonides' Doctrine of Creation", The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 84, No. 3, July, 1991, pp. 249–271


  1. ^ "Norbert M. Samuelson". Arizona State University. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  2. ^ "The Peculiar Challenges of the Modern Sciences to Traditional Western Religious Faiths". Arizona State University. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Curriculum Vitae: Norbert M. Samuelson" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Hava Tirosh-Samuelson Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Revelation and the God of Israel (Front Matter)" (PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. x. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Book Review: Randall Collins' The Sociology of Philosophies, Parts I and II by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson". Metanexus Institute. 15 April 2004. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Hava Tirosh-Samuelson". Arizona State University. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  8. ^ Cabot, Vicki (20 November 2009). "ASU group blends Judaism, science". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  9. ^ "Towards a Jewish Theology of World Religions: An Inaugural Conference – Paper Summaries" (PDF). University of Scranton. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  10. ^ "Round Tables: Principles about the Torah in Maimonides' Foundations of Jewish Faith (8/11)". Boston University. 8 August 1998. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  11. ^ "ASU's Samuelsons urge restraint, ethics in 'transhumanist' plan to perfect people". East Valley Tribune. 14 December 2006. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.

External links[edit]