Michael Fishbane

Michael Fishbane is the Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago, and was for many years Chair of its Committee on Jewish Studies.  He is the author or editor of over 20 books and hundreds of articles in scholarly journals and encyclopedias.  His areas of research include Biblical Studies, medieval Jewish Bible commentaries and thought, Jewish spirituality, and modern Jewish thought.  Among his many works are Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel; Garments of Torah. Essays in Biblical Hermeneutics; The Kiss of God: Spiritual Death and Dying in Judaism; and The Exegetical Imagination. Jewish Thought and Theology.  His more recent books include Haftarot (A commentary on the prophetic lectionaries for Sabbaths and Festivals); Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking;and Sacred Attunement. A Jewish Theology (2008). He is presently completing a comprehensive, multi-level commentary on the Song of Songs, utilizing the entire range of commentaries from antiquity to the present. Recipient of many scholarly awards, Fishbane has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and three times a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University.  He is also a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research.  An article on Fishbane’s work and intellectual contributions appears in the Encyclopedia Judaica (2nd ed.).  In 2005 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to Jewish Scholarship from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.  Fishbane has been a visiting professor at many universities in the United States and abroad, including Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton in the U.S., and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. 

Biblical Hermeneutics and Philosophical Theology: Thoughts Toward a Jewish Model -- With Textual Examples

My paper will propose a new model that correlates traditional Jewish Bible interpretation with philosophical theology. Specifically, Part 1 will develop this model in theoretical terms, using the Four-fold method of Jewish scriptural exegesis called PaRDeS. Part 2 will exemplify this model in practical terms, using a passage from the Song of Songs. Part 3 will extend the prior discussion (theory plus examples) towards a philosophical ontology of Tradition.