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Benjamin D. Sommer is Professor in the Department of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Previously he was the Director of the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies at Northwestern University, where he taught from 1994 through 2008. He has been a visiting faculty member at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem, the Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University, and the University of Chicago.
Shared on: 13 Sep 2018
Dr. Sommer's book, The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2009), received two major honors: the Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the Textual Studies category, awarded in 2010 by the American Academy of Religion, and the Jordan Schnitzer Award from the Association for Jewish Studies, for the best book published in the years 2006-2009 in biblical studies, rabbinics, or archaeology. The book addresses perceptions of divine embodiment in ancient Israel, Canaan, and Assyria, and how these perceptions reappear in later Jewish philosophy and mysticism. The AJS Prize Committee described Sommer's book as "an original, wide-ranging and accessible work of scholarship . . . a cross-cultural tour de force" and wrote that his "thesis has implications for understanding not only the theology of ancient Israel but also the theologies of its surrounding world, whether in Mesopotamia or the Levant, as well as those of rabbinic Judaism and Christianity."
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