Asad Q. Ahmed is associate professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the Dept. of Near Eastern Studies. He specializes in pre-modern Islamic social and intellectual history.
Near Eastern Studies
Robert Alter is currently Professor of the Graduate School and Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature. He has done extensive work on literary aspects of the Hebrew Bible and has translated, with a commentary, about two-thirds of the Hebrew Bible. Alter has research and teaching interests in modern Hebrew literature and in the European and American novel.
Hebrew and Comparative Literature (Emeritus)
Professor Angelova’s main research focus is Early Christian and Byzantine art. Her scholarship concerns the intersection of two basic issues: continuity and change in the realm of ideas, and the role of women in ancient societies.
History, Art History
Kenneth A. Bamberger
Kenneth A. Bamberger is professor of law; co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. At Berkeley, Bamberger teaches Administrative Law, the First Amendment (Speech and Religion), Technology and Governance, and Jewish Law. He researches the ways that governments, private actors, and technology combine to “regulate” behavior, and ways to safeguard the exercise of that governance power. He publishes widely on government regulation and decision-making, as well as corporate compliance, with a particular focus on the regulation of technology and on Information Privacy.
Mary Elizabeth Berry
Mary Elizabeth Berry is a specialist on premodern Japanese history. Her teaching includes attention to Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto. Her current research on consumption in the seventeenth century explores the contemporary religious discourse in these traditions concerning wealth, poverty, and charity.
Robert Braun combines archival work with geographical information systems to study civil society and intergroup relationships in times of social upheaval. He has recently finished a book, Protectors of Pluralism: the Collective Rescue of Jews during the Holocaust, on the protection of Jews during the Holocaust in the Low Countries (forthcoming at Cambridge University Press). His new research project studies the political causes and consequences of anti-Semitism by exploring racial themes in German children’s stories. In the past he has worked on the geographical spread of different types of political violence such as terrorism, anti-immigrant attacks, and soccer hooliganism.
Ben Brinner, Faculty Director of the Center for Jewish Studies, is a professor in the Department of Music. Musical aspects of Muslim and Jewish religious beliefs and practices are central to his courses on music in the Middle East. He has conducted research in Indonesia and Israel since the 1980s. In addition to Playing Across a Divide: Israeli-Palestinian Musical Encounters, he has written two books on Javanese gamelan music and is currently finishing a third, dealing with expert memory for music.
Daniel Boyarin is the Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, faculty in the departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, Affiliated Member Department of Women’s Studies, Member of core faculty in the minor in Gay and Lesbian Studies and of the graduate group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology, and the designated emphasis in Women, Sexuality, Gender Studies, as well as the core faculty of the Center for the Study of Sexual Culture. He was awarded with a Doctorate Degree in 1975 from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America upon completion of his dissertation on A Critical Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Nazir.
Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric
Lara Buchak is an associate professor of philosophy. Her primary interests are in decision and game theory, particularly in how an individual ought to take risk into account when making decisions; in philosophy of religion, particularly on the nature and rationality of faith; and in epistemology, particularly on the conditions under which one ought to stop looking for more evidence and make a commitment.
Carolyn Chen received her doctorate in Sociology from UC Berkeley in 2002. Prior to teaching at Berkeley, she was Associate Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University, where she served as Director of the Asian American Studies Program. She is author of the book Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience (Princeton 2008) and co-editor of Sustaining Faith Traditions: Race, Ethnicity and Religion among the Latino and Asian-American Second Generation (NYU 2012). She is currently working on a book that examines the usage of Asian spiritual practices in Silicon Valley firms.
Professor Connelly’s specialty is in twentieth century East Central Europe. His research interests include history of nationalism, socialism in the region, particularly intersections with ideology, including religious ideologies.
Mark Csikszentmihalyi writes on pre-modern Chinese thought, and is author of Material Virtue: Ethics and the Body in Early China and Readings in Han Chinese Thought. He began his career in the Department of Religion at Davidson College, and is editor of the Journal of Chinese Religions, former Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and was a contributing Editor for the Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd edition. At Berkeley, he teaches Confucianism and Daoism in the context of early Chinese society, chairs the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and co-founded the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion.
East Asian Languages and Cultures
Jacob Dalton is Associate Professor and Khyentse Chair in Tibetan Buddhism and works on Nyingma religious history, tantric ritual, early Tibetan paleography, and the Dunhuang manuscripts. He is the author of The Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism (Yale University Press, 2011).
East Asian Languages and Culture
John Efron is the Koret Professor of Jewish History in the Department of History and specializes in the cultural and social history of German Jewry. His work has focused on the German-Jewish engagement with medicine, anthropology, and antisemitism and he has written on subjects such as Jewish burial, circumcision, and dietary practices. His book Sephardic Beauty and the Ashkenazic Imagination: German Jewry in the Age of Emancipation, (2015) presents a study of modern German Jewry’s attraction to the aesthetics of medieval Sephardic Jewry.
Susanna Elm is Professor of History and Classics, with a specialization in the social and cultural history of the later Roman empire. Her current interests focus on the relation between slavery and theology, especially in the work of Augustine of Hippo. Her works include Virgins of God: the Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity, and Sons of Hellenism, Fathers of the Church: Emperor Julian, Gregory of Nazianzus, and the Vision of Rome.
Victoria Frede, History Department, Russian intellectual history of the late 18th and 19th centuries. Research interests include the transferal of French and German philosophical ideas to Russia; atheism and heterodox religious thought in Russia; Orthodoxy; friendship in intellectual circles, behavioral norms, and political loyalties among the elites.
Beate Fricke teaches European Medieval Art. Her research focuses on the history of images and their veneration, relics, reliquaries and manuscripts, using perspectives from cultural anthropology, history of the natural philosophy and theology. Her first book, Ecce fides. Die Statue von Conques, Götzendienst und Bildkultur im Westen (Fink, 2007), is going to be published under the title Fallen Idols, Risen saints: Sainte Foy of Conques and the Revival of Monumental Sculpture in Medieval Art in the series “Studies in the Visual Cultures of the Middle Ages” (Brepols, 2014). She is currently working on her second book, Beautiful Genesis: Creation, Procreation and Mimesis, which investigates how the emergence of life is reflected in painting, as well as in late medieval writings.
History of Art
Erich Gruen, emeritus from three departments: History, Classics, and Jewish Studies, with special interests in ancient ethnicity, Hellenistic Judaism, and cultural interconnections in the ancient Mediterranean.
History, Classics, and Jewish Studies
William Hanks is a linguistic anthropologist who works on the history of Catholic missions among Maya people of colonial Yucatan Mexico, the relation between religious conversion and translation, and modern Maya shamanism.
Ron Hassner is an associate professor of political science and co-director (with Steven Fish) of the Religion, Politics, and Globalization Program. His interests are international conflict, sacred space, religion in the military and religion in 20th-century contemporary warfare.
David A. Hollinger
David A. Hollinger, Professor Emeritus of History, studies the intellectual, religious, and ethnoracial histories of the United States. His current work is focused on Protestant liberalism in the 20th century, especially in relation to foreign missions.
Steven Justice is Professor of English at UC Berkeley and at the University of Mississippi. He works on a long stretch of writing in Christian latinity from late antiquity to the later middle ages.
Victoria Kahn is Hotchkis Professor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature. She works on the literature and political theory of the early modern period, with a longstanding interest in political theology.
English, Comparative Literature
Abhishek Kaicker is a historian of South Asia and Assistant Professor in the History Department. He is interested in questions of politics, culture, and the city in the Mughal empire and the early modern world more broadly.