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October 7, 2016  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

Former USF prof Jacob Neusner, influential Jewish scholar, dies

(JTA) — Jacob Neusner, one of the most influential voices in American Jewish intellectual life in the past half-century, has died.

Neusner, one of the most published authors in history, having written or edited more than 950 books, died on Saturday, Oct. 8, in New York. He was 84.

A former professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, he has taught theology at Bard College in upstate New York since 1994. He also taught at Columbia, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Brandeis University, Dartmouth College and Brown University.

Earlier this summer, the NYU Press released an extensive biography, titled Jacob Neusner: An American Jewish Iconoclast by Aaron W. Hughes.

Neusner’s influence extended to the study of other religions, in books he wrote and conferences he held exploring how Judaism influenced and was influenced by Islam and Christianity.

A fierce defender of his own work, Neusner often tussled publicly with rivals and critics. But even those who disagreed with him acknowledged the depth and breadth of his scholarship.

Neusner was a Harvard graduate and spent a year at Oxford University and went onto the Jewish Theological Seminary’s rabbinical school.

His area of expertise was rabbinic Judaism and rabbinical Jewish writings. Two of his best known textbooks for general audiences are The Way of Torah: An Introduction to Judaism” and Judaism: An Introduction.

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