Shaul Magid

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Shaul Magid is a professor of religious studies and the Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Chair of Jewish Studies in Modern Judaism at Indiana University as well as a senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute.[1]


Magid received his semicha (rabbinical ordination) in Jerusalem in 1984.[2] He became a candidate Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute and a graduate student in Medieval and Modern Jewish Thought at Hebrew University, where he completed his MA in 1989. He obtained his Ph.D. in Jewish thought from Brandeis University in 1994.


Magid served as a visiting professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst, Clark University and Boston University. He was the Anna Smith Fine Chair in Jewish Thought at Rice University from 1994–1996 and then joined the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America before leaving for Indiana University.[3] Magid has served as the rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue since 1997.[4] Major research grants include a 2017-2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellowship at the Center for Jewish History for a book project on "American Jewish Survivalism: Meir Kahane and the Politics of Pride."[5]

Magid's books include Hasidism on the Margin: Reconciliation, Antinomianism, and Messianism in Izbica and Radzin Hasidism (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2008), American Post-Judaism: Identity and Renewal in a Postethnic Society (Indiana University Press, 2013) and Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity, and the Construction of Modern Judaism (Stanford University Press, 2014). His book From Metaphysics to Midrash was awarded the 2008 American Academy of Religion Award for best book in religion in the textual studies category.[6] He is the editor of God's Voice from the Void: Old and New Essays on Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (SUNY Press, 2001) and co-editor of Beginning Again: Toward a Hermeneutic of Jewish Texts (Seven Bridges Press, 2002).[7] His essays have been published in Moment Magazine, Open Zion, Religion Dispatches, Tablet Magazine, Tikkun Magazine, and Zeek Magazine.

Personal life[edit]

Magid grew up as a non-observant Jew in New York when, at the age of 20, he became interested in learning more about Judaism. He became involved with the Haredi movement and studied Modern Orthodoxy, but after several years he "...abandoned Orthodoxy more generally yet remained fascinated by, and deeply invested in, the complex nexus of Judaism and the American counter-culture".[8] He is often quoted on such issues in the popular press; for instance, he recently discussed Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead in relation to Judaism, speaking from the perspective of "an ordained rabbi and a professor of Jewish and religious studies at Indiana University who was also present for the Dead’s legendary performance on the grounds of Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey on Sept. 3, 1977."[9]


  1. ^ "Faculty - Shalom Hartman Institute". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  2. ^ "Dr. Shaul Magid Bio". January 14, 2004. Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  3. ^ "Shaul Magid: Faculty Profile, Borns Jewish Studies Program". Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  4. ^ "Fire Island Synagogue: Rabbi Shaul Magid". Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  5. ^ "Center for Jewish History Fellows". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "AAR Book Awards". Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  7. ^ "Shaul Magid: Faculty Profile, Borns Jewish Studies Program". Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  8. ^ "Radical Banjo: About Shaul". Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  9. ^ Rosen, Armin (August 1, 2017). "Happy Birthday, Jerry Garcia. We Love You. Here's Why". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved August 1, 2017.