Mark Taper Professor of the History of Judaism
A.B., Brown University;
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Steven Fraade teaches courses on rabbinic literature, the history of Second Temple and early rabbinic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He regularly offers seminars on midrashic, mishnaic, and talmudic texts, and topics in ancient Jewish history. His research interests include the history of Judaism (in its varieties) in Second Temple and early rabbinic times; biblical translation and exegesis in ancient Judaism and Christianity; the history and rhetoric of ancient Jewish law; the Dead Sea Scrolls; literary-rhetorical analysis of tannaitic and amoraic rabbinic texts; attitudes towards ascetic piety in early Judaism; and multilingualism in ancient Jewish culture. He is the author of Enosh and His Generation: Pre-Israelite Hero and History in Post-Biblical Interpretation (1984) and From Tradition to Commentary: Torah and Its Interpretation in the Midrash Sifre to Deuteronomy (1991). The latter volume won the 1992 National Jewish Book Award for the Best Book of Jewish Scholarship. Steven Fraade is co-editor of Rabbinic Perspectives: Rabbinic Literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls (2006). Most recently, he is the author of Legal Fictions: Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011). He is nearing completion of Before and After Babel: Early Rabbinic Views of Language and Translation in a Multilingual Society. In 1988 Steven Fraade was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. During 1988-89 and in 1993 he was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem. He is also the recipient of research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. He has been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research and an Honorary Member of the Academy of the Hebrew Language (Jerusalem). He is a former Chair of the Religious Studies Department and previously served as its Director of Graduate Studies and Director of Undergraduate Studies. He previously chaired the university's Language Study Committee and currently chairs its Program in Judaic Studies.