I am the professor of Hebrew Scriptures and Jewish scholar in residence, roles that highlight three important aspects of my service at the seminary. First, I bring a professional Jewish presence to the courses I teach and team-teach, based on published research of the Jew Jesus and the Jewish foreground of the New Testament. (My doctoral dissertation analyzed the Greek language in which the New Testament was written.) Second, I offer a balanced critical understanding of church history in general, and Lutheran foundations in particular. (I majored in the history of Christianity in graduate studies and wrote a master’s thesis on Martin Luther’s use of Scripture.) Third, I apply relevant teaching and learning methodologies to both classroom and individual student experiences. (My first university certification was at a Canadian college of education where I majored in educational philosophy and pedagogy.)
I am especially interested in Jewish sacred literature, in particular Jewish ethical writings called Aggadic Midrash. A favourite quote from this genre: “Rabbi Tanhum son of Hiya said, ‘The falling of rain is greater than the giving of the Torah because the giving of the Torah brings joy to Israel whereas the falling of rain brings joy to the entire world,’ ” (Midrash on the Psalms 117:1). I have a deep commitment to interfaith dialogue and I participate in an Abrahamic faiths text discussion group (scriptural reasoning) alongside fellow Jews, Christians, and Muslims. When relaxing, I enjoy the music and writings of Bob Dylan.
I have served as appointed research associate in the Department of Religion at Concordia University, Montreal, since August 2009. I am the founding vice-president of the Canadian Society for Jewish Studies as well as founding chair of the Jewish Midrash and Early Christian Literature session at the World Congress for Jewish Studies held in Jerusalem, Israel, every four years.
As an educator, I’m committed to the academic success and intellectual growth of each student and colleague. I seek to individualize learning experiences for my students, viewing them as fellow scholars on a never-ending learning curve that is life itself.
I supervise graduate students in the areas of Biblical Studies, Abrahamic Faiths, Judaism, and subjects that require ancient languages such as Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
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