Faculty in the field of Jewish Studies specialize in Jewish Antiquity, a period that extends from the biblical age to the rise of Islam.
The program is designed to encourage both breadth and depth, grounding students in the history and cultures of the entire period. Interdisciplinary approaches to the interpretation of the various textual traditions relevant to the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple literature, and/or rabbinic literature predominate. Methodological and historiographic boundaries are open for students to cross.
To sharpen questions and stimulate new insights into the literary evidence, the program draws on cultural and literary theory, ritual studies, gender studies, and the like. The department enjoys a close collaborative relationship with faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, in the study of Judaism.