michael zank@bu: curriculum vitae

Current position

Professor of Religion, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Boston University.

Director, The Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, Boston University.


1979-1986 Protestant Theology in Göttingen, Kiel, Heidelberg, and Jerusalem. 

1994 PhD in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (Brandeis University).

Current classes 

Undergraduate courses on the Bible, on the holy city of Jerusalem and on the figure of Moses in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, a course on Maimonides and his modern readers (Spinoza, Cohen, Strauss), and graduate seminars on philosophical and theological approaches to religion.

Forthcoming books 

Jüdische Religionsphilosophie als Apologie des Mosaismus (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck), a volume of essays on modern Jewish philosophy from the 18th-century Enlightenment to the present; and A Brief History of Jerusalem (Blackwell).

Selected publications

"Holy City: Jerusalem in Time, Space, and the Imagination" in Transformations. Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy (Thematic issue on "Teaching the City"), Vol. XIX/1, 2008: 40-67.

"How Does One Become a Jewish Philosopher? Reflections on a Canonical Status" in Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies (JSRI) volume 6, no. 18, Winter 2007.

Review of Leora Batnitzky, Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation (Cambridge University Press, 2006) in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (2007).

"Zwischen den Stühlen. On the Taxonomic Anxieties of Modern Jewish Philosophy" in European Journal of Jewish Studies, Volume 1, Number 1, 2007, pp. 105-134.

"Politische Theologie als Genealogie. Anmerkungen zu Schmitt, Strauss, Peterson und Assmann"” in Fragen nach dem einen Gott. Die Monotheismusdebatte im Kontext, ed. Gesine Palmer. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007, 229-250.

“"Where Art Thou? Biblical Perspectives on Responsibility"” in Responsibility, ed. Barbara Darling-Smith, Rowman&Littlefield, 2007, pp. 63-76.

New Perspectives on Martin Buber [Religion in Philosophy and Theology, ed. Ingo Dalferth, vol. 22] Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006.

"Beyond the 'Theologico-Political Predicament:' Toward a Contextualization of the Early Strauss" Paper given at the APA Eastern Div. Mtg in New York, Dec. 2005 (pdf).

“The First Critical Edition of the Writings of Hermann Cohen” in EAJS newsletter 16 (Spring 2005), 48-58.

"The Ethics of Rebuke" in Textual Reasoning, Volume 4, Number 1 November, 2005.

"Jewish Ethics in a Modern World" in Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide, ed. Nicholas deLange and Miri Freud-Kandel. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 325-337.

“Arousing Suspicion Against a Prejudice: Leo Strauss and the Study of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed” in Moses Maimonides (1138-1204) - His Religious, Scientific, and Philosophical Wirkungsgeschichte in Different Cultural Contexts, ed. by Görge K. Hasselhoff and Otfried Fraisse (Ex Oriente Lux: Rezeptionen und Exegesen als Traditionskritik, vol. 4) Würzburg: Ergon Verlag, 2004.

"The Ethics in Hermann Cohen's System of Philosophy" in Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Volume 13, Numbers 1-3, 2004, pp. 1-15.

"Blasphemie und Säkularisation" in tr-deutsch (May 2004).

Martin Buber (2004) in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

"Norbert Samuelson, Revelation and the God of Israel," in Modern Judaism vol. 24, no. 1 (Febr. 2004): 93-100.

"Jüdische Religionsphilosophie als Apologie des Mosaismus" in Archivio di filosofia, 2003, (LXXI) Nr.1-3, pp. 173-182.

"The Rosenzweig-Rosenstock Triangle, or, What Can We Learn From Letters to Gritli?: A Review Essay" in Modern Judaism, vol. 23 nr. 1, February 2003, 74-98.

Leo Strauss: The Early Writings (1921-1932) (SUNY Series in the Jewish Thought of Leo Strauss, ed. Kenneth H. Green), Albany: SUNY Press, 2002.

"Franz Rosenzweig, the 1920s, and the <email> moment of textual reasoning" in: Textual Reasonings: Jewish Philosophy and Text Study After Modernity, edited by Peter Ochs and Nancy Levene. London: SCM Press, 2002, pp. 229-250.

The Idea of Atonement in the Philosophy of Hermann Cohen Providence, Rhode Island: Brown Judaic Studies, 2000.

"The Rabbinic Epithet Gevurah" in Approaches to Ancient Judaism vol. 14, ed. Jacob Neusner (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998), pp. 83-169.

"Goldhagen in Germany: Historians' Nightmare and Popular Hero. An Essay on the Reception of Hitler's Willing Executioners in Germany" in: Religious Studies Review, vol. 24 no. 3 (July 1998), 231-240.


Journal for Jewish Thought and Philosophy (contributing editor).
LIT Verlag: Series editor: Religion in der pluralen Welt.

Membership in Learned Societies

American Philosophical Association, American Academy of Religion, Association for Jewish Studies, Hermann Cohen Gesellschaft, International Franz Rosenzweig Society, Karl Jaspers Society of North America

Teaching Awards

Outstanding Teaching in the College Honors Program, The College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University, 2006
Frank and Lynne Wisneski Award for Excellence in Teaching, Boston University College of Arts and Sciences, Spring 2000

For more information

Updated resume and links at www.bu.edu/religion; http://blogs.bu.edu/mzank/

Updated September 2013.