Professor of Religion, Jewish, and Medieval Studies

Michael Zank (b. 1958) studied in Göttingen, Kiel, Heidelberg, and Jerusalem before he entered the PhD program in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. A member of the BU Religion Department since 1994, Zank teaches introductory classes on the Bible and the afterlife of biblical traditions (including “Holy City: Jerusalem in Time, Space, and the Imagination”) and advanced courses in philosophy of religion and Jewish thought (including “Maimonides”). 

Zank’s research on Bible and biblical reception, German-Jewish history, the history of philosophy and the philosophy of religion, Jewish thought, political Hebraism, political philosophy, and other subjects is driven by the tensions in his cultural background as a migrant between German culture and Jewish identity in a post-Holocaust world for whom philosophy and the symbolic worlds of religious literature provide key “texts” for our personal and collective struggles for orientation. Zank is grateful to have landed in a Religion department hospitable to his philosophical/theological bent and allowed him to develop classes he loves to teach.

Fun fact: Zank has been singing since his teens and played drums and other instruments for almost as long. Nowadays his favorite instrument is the bass clarinet.

For more on Zank see

Complete CV


Jerusalem: A Brief History
By Michael Zank
September 2018, Wiley-Blackwell
By now at Wiley!


9789402410808_p0_v2_s192x300Politics, Religion and Political Theology
Editors: Allen Speight, Michael Zank
Springer Netherlands, July 2017


Elie WieselTake a Teacher, Make a Friend
Edited by Michael Zank and Leanne Hoppe


The Value of the Particular- Lessons from Judaism and the Modern Jewish ExperienceThe Value of the Particular: Lessons from Judaism and the Modern Jewish Experience
Edited by Michael Zank and Ingrid Anderson
Brill, May 2015


Zank 2016Jüdische Religionsphilosophie als Apologie des Mosaismus
By Michael Zank
Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Company K, 2016


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


Leo Strauss: The Early Writings, 1921-1932
By Leo Strauss, Michael Zank (Translator)
State University of New York Press, 2002


The Idea of Atonement in the Philosophy of Hermann CohenThe Idea of Atonement in the Philosophy of Hermann Cohen
By Michael Zank
Scholars Pr, 2000