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Jewish Studies


Joel Kaminsky
Morningstar Family Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religion

email Send E–mail office Office: Wright Hall 113
T F 1:30-2:30
or by appointment
phone Phone: 585–3608

Professor Kaminsky teaches courses on the Hebrew Bible and on ancient Jewish religion and literature. He received his doctorate in 1993 from the University of Chicago and came to Smith in 1997 after previously teaching at a number of other institutions, including: St. Olaf College, Muhlenberg College, and Loyola University of Chicago.

His latest publication is The Abingdon Introduction to the Bible: Understanding Jewish and Christian Scriptures(Abingdon, 2014) which he co-authored with Professor Joel N. Lohr and Professor Mark Reasoner. This book introduces the reader to the content of the Tanakh and the two-testament Christian Bible, as well as to how the the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament have been interpreted within Jewish, Christian and modern academic contexts.

His research interests include narrative and theological work on the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinic Judaism. Visit his Religion Department home page here.

Recent publications

The Abingdon Introduction to the Bible: Understanding Jewish and Christian Scriptures (Abingdon, 2014).

The Call of Abraham: Essays on the Election of Israel in Honor of Jon D. Levenson (Notre Dame, 2013). Co-edited with Gary Anderson.

Co-Authored, The Torah: A Beginner's Guide. One World, 2011. Written with Joel N. Lohr.

Co-edited, The "Other" in Second Temple Judaism. Eerdmans, 2011.

"Election Theology and the Problem of Universalism." Horizons in Biblical Theology, 33 (2011) 34-44.

Yet I Loved Jacob: Reclaiming the Biblical Concept of Election. Abingdon Press, September, 2007.

"A Light to the Nations: Was there Mission and or Conversion in the Hebrew Bible?" Jewish Studies Quarterly 16.1 (2009): 6-22.

"Loving One's Israelite Neighbor: Election and Commandment in Leviticus 19," Interpretation 62.2 (April 2008): 123–32.

"Attempting the Impossible: Eliminating Election from the Jewish Liturgy," Midstream (Jan.-Feb. 2005): 23–27.

"Reclaiming a Theology of Election: Favoritism and the Joseph Story." Perspectives in Religious Studies 31.2 (Summer 2004): 135–152.

"Did Election Imply the Mistreatment of Non-Israelites?" Harvard Theological Review 96.4 (October 2003): 397–425.

"Violence in the Bible," Religious Studies News/SBL edition (June 2003).

"The Concept of Election and Second Isaiah: Recent Literature," Biblical Theology Bulletin 31.4 (Winter 2001): 135–144.

"Paradise Regained: Rabbinic Reflections on Israel at Sinai," in Jews, Christians, and the Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures edited by Bellis and Kaminsky, 15–43. (Atlanta: SBL, 2000).

"Humor and the Theology of Hope in Genesis: Isaac as a Humorous Figure," Interpretation 54.4 (October 2000): 363–375.

Corporate Responsibility in the Hebrew Bible (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995).