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Saul Olyan

Samuel Ungerleider Jr. Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies:
Judaic Studies, Program In
Phone: +1 401 863 7565
Saul_Olyan@Brown.EDU

Saul M. Olyan is the author most recently of Social Inequality in the World of the Text: The Significance of Ritual and Social
Distinctions in the Hebrew Bible (2011); Disability in the Hebrew Bible: Interpreting Mental and Physical Differences (2008); Biblical Mourning: Ritual and Social Dimensions (2004); and Rites and Rank: Hierarchy in Biblical Representations of Cult (2000).

Biography

Saul M. Olyan is Samuel Ungerleider Jr. Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. He is author of Social Inequality in the World of the Text: The Significance of Ritual and Social Distinctions in the Hebrew Bible (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011); Disability in the Hebrew Bible: Interpreting Mental and Physical Differences (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Biblical Mourning: Ritual and Social Dimensions (Oxford University Press, 2004); Rites and Rank: Hierarchy in Biblical Representations of Cult (Princeton University Press, 2000); "A Thousand Thousands Served Him": Exegesis and the Naming of Angels in Ancient Judaism (J.C.B. Mohr/Paul Siebeck, 1993); and Asherah and the Cult of Yahweh in Israel (Scholars Press, 1988). He is co-editor of a number of volumes, including Household and Family Religion in Antiquity (Blackwell, 2008, with John Bodel), and the author of various journal articles, essays and reviews.

Recent articles include "Is Isaiah 40-55 Really Monotheistic?" Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 12 (2012):190-201; "A Suggestion Regarding the Derivation of the Hebrew Noun mērēa'," Journal of Semitic Studies 56 (2011): 217-219; "Stigmatizing Associations: The Alien, Things Alien, and Practices Associated with Aliens in Biblical Classification Schemas" in The Foreigner and the Law: Perspectives from the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (ed. R. Achenbach et al.; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011),17-28; "What Do We Really Know about Women's Rites in the Israelite Family Context?" Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 10 (2010) 55-67; "Unnoticed Resonances of Tomb Opening and Transportation of the Remains of the Dead in Ezekiel 37:12-14," Journal of Biblical Literature 128 (2009) 491-501; and "The Ascription of Physical Disability as a Stigmatizing Strategy in Biblical Iconic Polemics," Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 9 (2009) article 14:1-15.

Coordinating editor, Brown Judaic Studies, 2001-; member, editorial board, Anchor Yale Bible series, 2008-; member, editorial board, Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, 2007-; member, advisory board, Blackwell Encyclopedia of Ancient History, 2009-; editor (Hebrew Bible), Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series (1999-2002); member, Society of Biblical Literature Council (1999-2002); member, editorial board, Journal of Biblical Literature, 1993-98; member, editorial board, Journal of the History of Sexuality, 1996-2000.

Interests

The focus of my research is the history, literature and religion of ancient Israel, and the history of biblical interpretation. In recent years, textual representations of ritual and ritual's social dimensions (particularly, the production of inequality) have been abiding interests of mine. I have written on aspects of disability, death and the afterlife, social hierarchy, sexuality, purity and impurity, honor and shame, and gender, among other subjects.

Degrees

Ph.D., Harvard University, 1985;

Awards

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, December 2005.


Fellowship, Center for Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1997-98.


Yale University Morse Junior Faculty Leave Fellowship, October 1988.


American Philosophical Society, research grant for Dead Sea Scroll publication project, February 1988.


Lady Davis Post-doctoral Fellowship, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1985 (declined)

Affiliations

Memberships:
Society of Biblical Literature
European Association of Biblical Studies
American Historical Association
Canadian Society of Biblical Studies.

Teaching

I teach an introductory course on the Hebrew Bible and the History of ancient Israel, various seminars on biblical books that require an advanced knowledge of Hebrew, seminars on Aramaic texts and language, as well as courses on topics such as death and afterlife in the biblical tradition, the history of biblical interpretation up to the Enlightenment, problems in Israelite history, problems in Israelite religion, biblical literature of the exile, and disability in antiquity.

Funded Research

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, December 2005: $24,000


Fellowship, Center for Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1997-98: $30,000


Yale University Morse Junior Faculty Leave Fellowship, October 1988.


American Philosophical Society, research grant for Dead Sea Scroll publication project, February 1988.


Lady Davis Post-doctoral Fellowship, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1985 (declined)

Web Links

Curriculum Vitae

Download Saul Olyan's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format