James L. Kugel is one of the foremost scholars of the Hebrew Bible of our time. Kugel recently visited BYU’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute to talk about his work and about the relationship between religious faith and scholarship about scripture.
Kugel is an orthodox Jew and biblical scholar who became somewhat legendary for revisiting ancient paradigms. When he taught at Harvard, one of Kugel’s students said the professor began a course by offering a disclaimer to the class: “If you come from a religious tradition upholding the literal truth of the Bible, you could find this course disturbing.” Kugel tells the MIPodcast that isn’t exactly the case—there’s much more to the story.
About James L. Kugel
A specialist in the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, James L. Kugel is the author of more than eighty research articles and fifteen books, including The Idea of Biblical Poetry and the best-selling book How to Read the Bible, which received the National Jewish Book Award for the best book of 2007. Kugel was the Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University for twenty-one years. He retired from Harvard to become Professor of Bible at Bar Ilan University in Israel, where he also served as chairman of the Department of Bible. His website is jameskugel.com.
In August of 2016 Kugel presented a paper on religious and academic readings of the Bible at BYU. It will be printed in the 2016 issue of Studies in the Bible and Antiquity.
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