Alexandra Zirkle will be our inaugural Irving M. and Marilyn C. Shuman Visiting Professor in Jewish Studies.
Professor Alexandra Zirkle researches and teaches in the fields of modern Jewish thought, biblical interpretation as political discourse, and Jewish-Christian relations. Her book, Biblical Interpretation and the Shaping of Modern German Judaism (in preparation), demonstrates how nineteenth-century German Jews negotiated structures of political oppression and defended Jewish rights to civil emancipation through the medium of biblical interpretation. Zirkle has published on the biblical commentaries of Heinrich Graetz, Ludwig Philippson, and Salomon Herxheimer; on the centrality of biblical exegesis to the emergence of modern Jewish Studies; and on parallels between the politicization of scriptural hermeneutics in nineteenth-century German lands and in contemporary US foreign policy.
At UB, Professor Zirkle will teach "Introduction to Judaism" and "World Religions," as well as two new courses: a Freshman seminar on "Violence and Religion" (Fall 2019) and "Money and Ethics From the Bible to the Age of Billionaires" (Spring 2020).
Dr. Zirkle received her PhD with distinction in the History of Judaism from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She held postdoctoral research and teaching fellowships at the Leibniz Institute of European History, the University of Notre Dame, and the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies at Boston University.