Steven P. Weitzman | Curriculum Vitae

Department of Religious Studies
Building 70, Main Quad
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-2165
Tel. 650-723-3322


Harvard University, Ph.D. with distinction in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, 1993
Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Visiting Research Fellow, 1991-1992
University of California at Berkeley, A.B. 1987

Faculty Positions

Daniel E. Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion, Stanford, 2009-present
The Irving M. Glazer Chair of Jewish Studies, Indiana University, 2003-2009
Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University, 1993-2009
Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University, 1999-2006
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University, 1993-1999

Administrative Positions

Director, Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Stanford University, 2011-present
Director of Undergraduate Studies. Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University, 2012
Resident Fellow, Roble House, Stanford University (faculty responsible for a student residence that houses 300 undergraduates), 2010-present
Director, Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program, Indiana University, 2003-2009
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Religious Studies, Indiana University, 1999-2003
Director of IU-Tel Beth Shemesh Program/Associate Director of the Tel Beth Shemesh Excavations 1995-2002, program renewed at my initiative in 2005


Authored Volumes

Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011)

The Jews: a History. With John Efron, Joshua Holo, and Matthias Lehmann (New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008)

Surviving Sacrilege: Cultural Persistence in Jewish Antiquity (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005)

Song and Story in Biblical Narrative (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997).
(Winner of the Gustave O. Arlt Prize for Outstanding Scholarship in the Humanities, awarded by the Council of Graduate Schools)

Edited Volumes

Before and After the Art of Biblical Narrative, special edition of the journal Prooftexts 27.2 (2007)

Religion and the Self in Antiquity. Coeditor with David Brakke and Michael Satlow (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005)

Articles and Chapters

(* signifies an essay appearing in a refereed journal)

“Receiving the Queen of Sheba,” Cantor Arts Center Journal (forthcoming in 2013)

*“Mediterranean Exchanges: A Response to Seth Schwartz’ Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society” (Jewish Quarterly Review, forthcoming in Fall, 2012).

*”Jewish Mimics and Mimic Jews in Antiquity: a Non-Girardian Approach to Mimetic Rivalty”, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 77 (2009): 922-940.

*“Warring Against Terror: The War Scroll and the Mobilization of Emotion,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 40 (2009): 213-241.

*“Reopening the Gates of J.Z. Smith’s Temple: To Take Place in the light of New Historicism,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion  76 (2008): 766-773.

*“On the Political Relevance of Antiquity: a Response to David Goodblatt’s Elements of Ancient Jewish Nationalism,” Jewish Social Studies 14 (2008): 165-171.

*“Rebuilding the Tower of Babel,” Jewish Quarterly Review 98 (2008): 103-112.

*“Before and After the Art of Biblical Narrative,” Prooftexts 27.2 (2007): 191-210.

“New Light on God’s Opacity,” Shai le-Sara Japhet: Studies in the Bible, its Exegesis and its Language (eds. M. Bar-Asher, E. Tov, D. Rom-Shilony, and N. Wazana; Jerusalem: Mossad Bialik, 2007), pp. 369-380.

“Unbinding Isaac: Martyrdom and its Exegetical Alternatives,” Contesting Texts: Jews and Christians in Conversation about the Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007), pp. 79-89.

“Sensory Reform in Deuteronomy,” in D. Brakke, M. Satlow and S. Weitzman, Religion and the Self in Antiquity, pp. 124-39.

*“Josephus on How to Survive Martyrdom” Journal of Jewish Studies 55 (2004): 230-45.

*“Plotting Antiochus’ Persecution,” Journal of Biblical Literature 123 (2004): 219-34.

*“King David’s Spin-Doctors” (review essay), Prooftexts 23 (2003): 365-76.

“Myth, History and Mystery in the Copper Scroll,” The Idea of Biblical Interpretation (edited by J.Newman, H. Najman and J. Kutsko; Leiden: Brill, 2003), 239-255.

*“The Samson Story as Border Fiction,” Biblical Interpretation 10 (2002): 158-74.

*“From Feasts into Mourning: The Violence of Early Jewish Festivals,” Journal of Religion 79 (1999): 545-65.

*“Forced Circumcision and the Shifting Role of Gentiles in Hasmonean Ideology,” Harvard Theological Review  92 (1999): 37-59.

*“Reopening the Case of the Suspiciously Suspended Nun in Judges 18:30” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 61 (1999): 448-60.

*“Why Did the Qumran Community Write in Hebrew?”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 119 (1998): 35-45.

“The Orientalization of Prosimetrium: Prosimetrium in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Literature.” In Prosimetrium: Crosscultural Perspectives on Narrative in Prose and Verse (eds. J. Harris and K. Reichl; Great Britain: Boydell and Brewer, 1997), pp. 225-247.

*“Revisiting Myth and Ritual in Early Judaism,” Dead Sea Discoveries 4 (1997): 21-54.

*“Allusion, Artifice and Exile in the Hymn of Tobit,” Journal of Biblical Literature 115 (1996): 49-61.

*“The Shifting Syntax of the Numeral in Biblical Hebrew: a Reassessment,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies (1996): 177-185.

*“David’s Lament and the Poetics of Grief in 2 Samuel,” Jewish Quarterly Review 85 (1995): 343-60.

*“Lessons from the Dying: the Role of Deuteronomy 32 in its Narrative Setting,” Harvard Theological Review 87:4 (1994): 377-393.

*“The Song of Abraham,” Hebrew Union College Annual 65 (1994): 21-33.

Reviews, Encyclopedia Articles, Translations, On-line Publications

“The Second Temple Period: a Bibliographic Essay.” With Tim Debold. Oxford Bibliographies Online (ed. David Biale; Oxford University Press; 2012).

“The Fool’s Gold of Ophir,” posted on the Bible and Interpretation Website, posted August, 2011:

The articles “The Copper Scroll” and “Violence (Religious and Otherwise)” for the Dictionary of Early Judaism (eds. J. Collins and D. Harlow; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010).

Review of Melanie Knowles, Centrality Practiced: Jerusalem in the Religious Practice of Yehud and the Diaspora in the Persian Period, in Journal of Religion 88 (2008): 95-96.

Review of John Barclay, Negotiating Diaspora, in Studia Philonica Annual (2007): 219-220.

Review of Brian Britt, Rewriting Moses: The Narrative Eclipse of the Biblical Text, in Journal of Religion 86 (2006).

Review of Ronald Hendel, Remembering Abraham: Culture, Memory and History in the Hebrew Bible, in Association for Jewish Studies Review 30 (2006).

“The Role of Jewish Studies Programs,” Torah at the Center 9  (2006): 18.

“Jewish Studies at Indiana University,” AJS Perspectives (2006): 10-11.

Review of Meir Sternberg, Hebrews Between Cultures, in Jewish Quarterly Review 94 (2004): 537-541.

Review of Esther Menn, Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38) in Ancient Jewish Exegesis, in Journal of the American Oriental Society 119 (1999). 515-16.

Review of E. Werblowsky and G. Widodor (eds.), The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion, in Hebrew Studies (1998).

Review of Dennis Olsen, Deuteronomy and the Death of Moses, in Theology Today (1995), p. 303.

Review of Rex Mason, Preaching the Tradition: Homily and Hermeneutics after the Exile, in Journal of Religion 72.1 (1992): 93-5.

The articles “Heshmon” and “Sitnah” for The Anchor Bible Dictionary (ed. D. Friedman; New York: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 3 p. 184 and vol. 6 p. 54.

Translation from Hebrew into English of “The Temple in the Restoration Period: Reality and Ideology,” by Sara Japhet, Union Seminary Quarterly Review 46 (1991): 195-251.

Works in Progress

Revised Second edition of The Jews (forthcoming in 2012 or 2013)

”What if there had been no Exodus?”  (drafted article for volume on “What Ifs” in Jewish History, edited by Gavriel Rosenfeld and under review with Cambridge University Press)

“The FBI and the AAR: What their Relationship Reveals about Religious Studies and its Power to Stop Violence” (essay under review by the Journal of the American Academy of Religion)

“‘He that Cometh Out: The Anthropology of Messianic Self-Disclosure”, drafted essay in planned volume, The Messianic Idea Revisited (eds. Michael Morgan and Steve Weitzman)

“New Approaches to Text and Context” (drafted article to be published in Companion to Ancient Israel (ed. Susan Niditch; Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming)

“Absent but Accounted for: a New Approach to the Copper Scroll” (drafted essay)

Behold! A History of the Biblical Miracle (monograph in research)

Fellowships, Awards, Grants

Individual Grants and Fellowships

Borns Jewish Studies Research Grant (2000; $1,000)
Teaching Excellence Recognition Award, Indiana University (awarded in 1998 from IU Religious Studies; 1999 from the Jewish Studies Program).
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (1996-7).
Yad Hanadiv/Barecha Fellowship (1996-7).
American Academy of Religion Research Assistance Grant (1995).
International Projects and Activities Grant, Indiana University (1995).
Jewish Memorial Foundation Dissertation Grant (1992-3).
Fulbright Fellowship (1991-2).
Foreign Language Area Scholarship (for study of Arabic, 1989).
Jacob K. Javitz Fellowship for Graduate Study (1987-91).
University of California Certificate of Distinction, U.C. Berkeley (awarded to top twenty undergraduates).
Pritchard Prize in Greek Studies, U.C. Berkeley (1987).
Bnai Zion Prize in Hebrew Studies, U.C. Berkeley (1987).

Institutional Grants

President’s Fund Grant: Initiative for the Understanding of Religious and Ethnic Conflict and Coexistence ($285,000, for 2012-15).
Koret Peoplehood Grant ($280,000, for 2012-15)
Professional Leaders Project. $15,000 to develop a course entitled “Professional Leadership and the Jewish Community”, renewed for 2007.
IU Arts and Humanities Initiative $25,000 for a Conference entitled “The Religious Self in Antiquity” (scheduled for September 2003).
Robert S. Borns Jewish Studies Conference Grant ($7,000)
Dorot Foundation Travel Grant ($10,000 per year in 1998-2000 for student scholarships for IU-Tel Beth Shemesh program and other summer academic programs in Israel).  This grant was renewed in 2005.
Grant from IU Office of Information Technology of $22,481 for purchase of computer equipment used in departmental teaching (1995).

Scholarly Talks

“Can Scholarship Counter Violence? Seeking Answers a Decade after 9/11,” Society of Biblical Literature Conference, November 2011.

“The Samaritans and Other Troublesome Doubles from Antiquity”, University of Chicago, February, 2011.

“King Solomon and the Search for Wisdom,” University of Toronto, January, 2011.

“Does the Dictionary of Early Judaism Come Early or Late,” Society of Biblical Literature Conference. November, 2010.

“The Future of Jewish Biblical Studies,” AJS Conference, December, 2009.

“Mimic Jews and Jewish Mimics in Antiquity,” UC Berkeley, October, 2009.

“The Jews and Rome,” Indianapolis Art Museum, December, 2007.

“Mimetic Rivalry in First Century Judaism,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, November 2007.

To Take Place After Twenty Years”, American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, November 2007.

“Apocalypse Then: Eschatology and Violence in the War Rule,” Conference on “The End of Everything: Catastrophe and Community in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Worlds,” Indiana University, October 2007.

Double Trouble in the Writing of Josephus,” Conference on “Sanctified Violence in Antiquity”, University of Minnesota, October 2007.

“The Relevance of Ancient Jewish Nationalism,” International Conference of the Society of Biblical Literature, Vienna, July, 2007.

“Psyching Out the Enemy in Early Judaism” International Conference of the Society of Biblical Literature, Vienna, July 2007.

“Readings of the Lost Ark”, Purdue University, March 16, 2007.

Psychological Warfare in the War Scroll and Josephus,” Orion Center, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, April 2006.

“Biblical Experiments in the Possibilities of Knowledge,” Conference in Honor of Robert Alter, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, March 2006.

“Philo on the Art of Flattery” Hebrew University Pseudepigrapha Seminar, Jerusalem, March 2006.

“How to Befriend an Emperor,” Society of Biblical Literature, November 2005.

“Violence and Extremism in Jewish History,” Irving Glazer Chair Inaugural Lecture, Indiana University, May, 2005.

“Beth Shemesh and the Samson Story,” Tel Beth Shemesh Excavations Field School, June, 2004.

“Truth or Consequences in Biblical Prophecy” and “God on Trial: Arguing with Job,” College of William and Mary, February, 2004.

“Deuteronomy and the Disciplining of the Senses,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, November 2003.

“Ritual as a Technology of the Self in Deuteronomy”, Society of Biblical Literature International Conference, Cambridge, England, July 2003.

“Uncivil Religion in Ancient Jerusalem,” Harvard Divinity School, February, 2003.

“Ritual Survival under Roman Eyes,” Association for Jewish Studies Annual Meeting, December 2002.

“Suicide, Survival and the Art of Ambiguity in Josephus,” Society of Biblical Literarture Annual Meeting, November 2002.

“Extra-Sensory Perception in Deuteronomy”, Rice University, April 2000.

“Optical Elusions: Jewish Ritual and Roman Spectacle” Stanford University, April 2001.

“Story-telling and Border-making in Ancient Judah,: February, American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meeting, November 2000.

“The Temple as Spectacle,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 1999.

“Crossing the Border with Samson,” Society of Biblical Literature, November 1999.

“Singing Amidst the Flames: the Song of the Three and Early Jewish Biblical Interpretation, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, November 1998.

“Riot and Ritual in Early Judaism,” 11th Midwest Jewish Studies Colloquium, April 1998.

“The Polyvalence of Early Jewish Festivals,” 12th World Congress of Jewish Studies, July 1997.

“The Festival as (Un)Civil Event,” Conference on Jews in Hellenistic and Roman Cities, Irish Royal Academy, March 1997.

“The Narrative Role of David’s Lament,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, November 1995.

“The Hymn of Tobit and the Song of Moses,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, November 1994.

“Famous Last Words: An Israelite Manifestation of an Ancient Near Eastern Literary Tradition,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, November 1993.

Public Education Programs (as of Fall 2009)

“Searching for Character in the Biblical Text,” November 2, Jewish Studies Teacher Workshop with Hausner day school teachers,

“Mining for King Solomon,” Congregation Beth Am, November 2011

“Who Wrote the Torah?” Lecture in Exploring the World of Judaism Series, Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, December 2010

“The Forgotten Heroines of Hanukkah,” Congregation Kol Emeth. December, 2010

“The Bible from the Air,” Stanford Hillel. November, 2010

“Remembering the Exodus,” Memory: an Interdisciplinary Exploration. October, 2010

“A Biblical History of the Senses,” Bible by the Bay, May 2010

“A Religious History of Treasure Hunting,” Roble House, September, 2010

“A Brief History of Martyrdom: From Before Jesus to After 9/11”  Guest lecture in Religion and Global Conflict, April 2010

“The Queen of Sheba and the Seductions of Wisdom,” Young Adult Feast of Jewish Learning,” March, 2010

“A Quest for the Queen of Sheba,” Feast of Learning, Palo Alto, January 2010

“Readers of the Lost Ark,” Melton Adult Mini-School,  Palo Alto JCC, November, 2010

“Lifeboat Ethics: the Flood Story and the Origins of Jewish Morality,”  Congregation Kol Emeth, October, 2009

Courses Taught

“Five Books of Moses” (undergraduate course, Stanford)
“Genetics of Jewish Populations (co-taught course with Noah Rosenberg, Stanford)
“Eve and Her Daughters” (humanities course for “Hope House”)
“Ultimate Meanings” (larger frosh introduction to the Humanities, Stanford)
“Exploring Judaism” (undergraduate introduction to Judaism, Stanford)
“Judaism and Hellenism (graduate seminar, Stanford)
“How to Read the Bible” (undergraduate course, Stanford)
Travels through the Afterlife (freshman seminar, Stanford)
“King David in History and Myth” (undergraduate and graduate, Indiana University)
”Solomon and the Search for Wisdom (undergraduate and graduate, Indiana University)
“The Bible and its Interpreters” (large undergraduate lecture course, Indiana University)
“Introduction to the Hebrew Bible” (undergraduate, Indiana University)
“Introduction to Biblical Archaeology” (involves fieldwork at Tel Beth Shemesh, Indiana University)
“Wisdom Literature in Ancient Israel and the Near East” (undergraduate, Indiana University)
“Judaism in the Making” (undergraduate and graduate, Indiana University)
“Biblical Hebrew” (undergraduate and graduate; all levels. Harvard and Indiana Universities)
“Religious Historiography”/”Religion and Memory” (graduate seminar, Indiana University)
“The Sabbath and Sacred Time” (undergraduate and graduate, Indiana University)
“Confronting Death” (honors seminar, Indiana University)
“The History of God” (undergraduate course, Indiana University)

Selected additional Professional Responsibilities

Religious Studies Department, Stanford University

American Religion Search Committee (2011-12), Chair

Moore Professor Search Committee (2010-11), Member

Religious Studies Department, Indiana University

Rabbinics Search Committee (1998-1999)

Chair, Schottenstein Chair Search Committee (2003-4).

Graduate Curriculum Committee (2004)

Hebrew Bible Search Committee (2004-2005)

Borns Jewish Studies Program, Indiana University

Chair, Alvin Rosenfeld Chair Search Committee

Chair, Hebrew Language Curriculum Committee (2002-3)

Chair, Hebrew Language Program Director Search Committee (2002-4)

Other University-related Service

Member, Indiana University Press Advisory Board

Acting Director, Institute for Biblical and Literary Studies, Indiana University (1995-6)

Honors College Faculty, Indiana University (1998- 2001)

Member, Bloomington Faculty Council (2002-2003)

Member, advisory committee for Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (2002-03)

Director of IU-Tel Beth Shemesh Program/Associate Director of the Tel Beth Shemesh Excavations 1995-2002, program renewed at my initiative in 2005.

Outside the University

Bible Division Chair for the Association for Jewish Studies (2002-2008)

Advisory Committee for the Ancient Israelite Religion section of the Society of Biblical Literature (2002-2007)

Associate Editor of the journal Prooftexts (2002-present)

Editorial Board, Jewish Quarterly Review (2008-)

Jewish Studies Advisory Board, Oxford Bibliographies Online (2011-)

Developed Indiana University Yiddish/Holocaust Studies summer program in collaboration with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (2004, to be renewed in 2006)

Faculty Member, Union for Reform Judaism Kallah Adult Education Program (2000-2001, 2005)

Manuscript reviews, Indiana University Press, Harvard University Press, Stanford University Press, Oxford University Press, University of Pennsylvania Press, Scholars Press, and the journals Moed and Jewish Quarterly Review

Advisory Committee, Gan Shalom Pre-school, Bloomington Indiana (2004-5)