bioheaderI have long been fascinated by the social history of Jews in antiquity. Most of my research has been directed at recovering and attempting to understand their world. Below I’ve attempted to group my research papers into some rough categories. I am now focusing most of my research energy on Jewish popular piety in antiquity: how did most Jews in antiquity understand and worship the God of Israel?




Sex, Sexuality, and Gender

“From Salve to Weapon: Torah Study, Masculinity, and the Babylonian Talmud,” in P. H. Cullum and Katherine J. Lewis, eds., Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2013), pp. 16-27
“Male or Female Did They Create It? Gender and the Judaism of the Sage,” in Continuity and Renewal: Jews and Judaism in Byzantine-Christian Palestine, ed., Lee I Levine (Jerusalem and New York: Dinur Center for the Study of Jewish History, Yad Ben-Zvi Press, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2004), pp. 486-504 (in Hebrew)
“Etz Hayim, Sex and the Paths Not Taken,” Conservative Judaism 56:4 (2004): 75-82 “And on the Earth You Shall Sleep: Talmud Torah and Rabbinic Asceticism,” Journal of Religion 83 (2003): 204-225
“Rhetoric and Assumptions: Rabbis and Romans on Sex,” in The Jews in the Graeco-Roman World, ed. by Martin Goodman (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. 135-44
“‘Try to Be a Man’: The Rabbinic Construction of Masculinity,” Harvard Theological Review 89 (1996): 19-40; reprinted in Bjorn Krondorfer, ed., Men and Masculinities in Christianity and Judaism (Critical Reader) (Philadelphia: SCM Press, 2009)
“’Texts of Terror’: Rabbinic Texts, Speech Acts, and the Control of Mores,” AJS Review 21 (1996): 273-97
“Sex and Shame in Late-Antique Judaism,” in Asceticism, ed. Vincent L Wimbush and Richard Valantasis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 538-43
“‘Wasted Seed’: The History of a Rabbinic Idea,” Hebrew Union College Annual 65 (1994):137-75
“‘They Abused Him Like a Woman’: Homoeroticism, Gender Blurring, and the Rabbis in Late Antiquity,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 5 (1994): 1-25
“Jewish Constructions of Nakedness in Late Antiquity,” Journal of Biblical Literature 116 (1997): 429-54


Marriage and Family

“What Does Love Have to Do With It? Sibling Relationships among Judean Jews in the first-Third Centuries CE,” in D. Dettinger and C. Landmesser, eds., Ehe–Familie–Gemeinde: Theologische und Soziologische Perspektiven auf Fruhchristliche Lebenswelten (Leipzig: EvangelischeVerlagsanstalt, 2014), 103-116
“Jewish In-Laws, the View from Antiquity,” in C. Badel and C. Settipani, ed., Les strategies familailes dans l‘antiquité tardive (Paris: de Boccard, 2012), 265-277
“Marriage and Divorce,” in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, edited by Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 344-361
“Marriage, Sexuality, and the Family,” in Cambridge History of Judaism, vol. 4, edited by Steven Katz, et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 612-26
“Marriage Payments and Succession Strategies in the Documents from the Judaean Desert,” in Law in the Documents of the Judaean Desert, ed. Ranon Katzoff and David Schaps, Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 96 (Leiden: Brill, 2005), pp. 51-65
“Slipping Toward Sacrament: Jews, Christians, and Marriage,” in Jewish Culture and Society Under the Christian Roman Empire, ed. by Richard Kalmin and Seth Schwartz (Leuven: Peeters, 2003), pp. 65-89
Fictional Women: A Study in Stereotypes,” in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture III, ed. by Peter Schaefer (Tuebingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), pp. 225-43
“The Metaphor of Marriage in Early Judaism,” in Families in the Ancient Near Easter World, the Hebrew Bible and the Judaism and Christianity in Early Antiquity, ed. by Athalya Brenner and Jan Willem van Henten (Star 2; Leiden: Deo, 2000), pp. 13-42
“Jewish Marriage: The Evidence of the Inscriptions,” in Proceedings of the Twelfth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Division B, History of the Jewish People (Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 2000), pp. 17*-24*
“‘One Who Loves his Wife Like Himself’: Love in Rabbinic Marriage,” Journal of Jewish Studies 49 (1998): 67-87
“Reconsidering the Rabbinic ketubah Payment,” in The Jewish Family in Antiquity, ed. Shaye J. D. Cohen (Brown Judaic Studies; Atlanta: Scholars Press), pp. 133-51


“Judaism” and Methodology in the Study of Religion

“Jew or Judaean?” in Carolyn Johnson Hodge, Saul M. Olyan, Daniel Ullucci, and Emma Wasserman, eds., “The One Who Sows Bountifully”: Essays in Honor of Stanley K. Stowers (BJS 356; Providence; Brown Judaic Studies, 2013), 165-75
“Tradition: The Power of Constraint,” in The Cambridge Companion to Religious Studies, edited by Robert Orsi (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 130-150
“Beyond Influence: Toward a New Historiographic Paradigm,” in Jewish Literatures and Cultures: Context and Intertext, edited by Yaron Eliav and Anita Norwich (Brown Judaic Studies; Providence: Brown University, 2008), pp. 37-53
“Defining Judaism: Accounting for ‘Religions’ in the Study of Religion,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 74:4 (2006): 837-60
“Disappearing Categories: Using Categories in the Study of Religion,” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 17 (2005): 287-298


Jewish “Popular” Piety

“Fruit and the Fruit of Fruit’: Charity and Piety among Jews in Late Antique Palestine,” Jewish Quarterly Review 100 (2010): 244-277
“Giving for a Return: Jewish Votive Offerings in Late Antiquity,” in co-edited with David Brakke and Steven Weitzman, Religion and the Self in Antiquity (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), pp. 91-108
“Two Copies of a Printed Early American Jewish Calendar in Providence,” Rhode Island Jewish Historical Notes 15 (2009): 416-427



“Teaching Ancient Jewish History: An Experiment in Engaged Learning,” in Jon A. Levisohn and Susan P. Fendrick, eds., Turn it and Turn it Again: Studies in the Teaching and Learning of Classical Jewish Texts (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2013), pp. 212-235
“Narratives or Sources? Active Learning and the Teaching of Ancient Jewish History and Texts,” Teaching Theology and Religion 15 (2012): 48-60
“’Oral Torah’: Reading Jewish Texts Jewishly in Reform Judaism,” in Platforms and Prayer Books: Theological and Liturgical Perspectives on Reform Judaism, ed. by Dana Evan Kaplan (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002), pp. 261-270



“Jewish Monism and its Biological Implications,” in Judaism in Biological Perspective: Biblical Lore and Judaic Practices, edited by Rick Goldberg (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2009), pp. 18-39
“Philo on Human Perfection,” Journal of Theological Studies 59 (2008): 500-519
“Theophrastus’s Jewish Philosophers,” Journal of Jewish Studies 59 (2008): 1-20
“4Q502: A New Years Ritual?” Dead Sea Discoveries 5 (1998): 57-68
“A Historical Source? b. Baba Batra 7b-8a,” Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period 28 (1997): 314-20
“Jewish Knowing: Monism and its Ramifications,” Judaism 45:4 (1996): 483-89