University of Pittsburgh
three small photographs depicting various religious icons

Department of Religious Studies

Faculty

Adam Shear

Associate Professor
PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2003

2603 Cathedral of Learning
412.624.2280
e-mail

Fields

Medieval and early modern Jewish cultural and intellectual history, history of the Jewish book and the impact of print on Jewish culture and thought in the early modern period, the cultural role of Jewish philosophy in the formation of early modern Jewish identities, Jewish thought and intellectual culture in early modern Italy, the Jewish Enlightenment movement and its relation to the medieval and early modern Jewish past

Teaching

Religions of the West, Medieval Jewish Civilization, Jewish-Christian Relations, Jewish Culture in Medieval Spain, Jewish Mysticism, Modern Jewry, Jewish Historiography, and graduate seminars on Religion and History and Religion, Communication, and Culture

Selected Publications

The Hebrew Book in Early Modern Italy, coedited with Joseph R. Hacker. Jewish Culture and Contexts series, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011

The Kuzari and the Shaping of Jewish Identity, 1167-1900, Cambridge University Press, 2008. Winner of the 2008 National Jewish Book Award, Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in Scholarship, and the 2008 Morris D. Forkosch Award for Best First Book in Intellectual History, awarded by the Journal of the History of Ideas

“Jewish Enlightenment Beyond Western Europe,” in Cambridge History of Modern Jewish Philosophy, ed. Martin Kavka, Zachary Braiterman, and David Novak, 2012

“The Sources of Kol Yehudah and Hebrew Printing in Sixteenth Century,” in Rabbi Judah Moscato and the Jewish Intellectual World of Mantua in the 16th-17th Centuries, ed. Gianfranco Miletto and Giuseppe Veltri, Brill, 2012

Judah Moscato Sermons, Edition and Translation, Volume One. Edited by Gianfranco Miletto and Giuseppe Veltri, in Conjunction with Giacomo Corazzol, Regina Grundmann, Don Harrán (Sermon I), Yonatan Meroz, Brian Ogren and Adam Shear. Studies in Jewish History and Culture 26, Brill, 2011

“Jewish Enlightenment Beyond Western Europe,” in Cambridge History of Modern Jewish Philosophy, ed. Martin Kavka, Zachary Braiterman, and David Novak. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

“The Sources of Kol Yehudah and Hebrew Printing in Sixteenth Century,” in Rabbi Judah Moscato and the Jewish Intellectual World of Mantua in the 16th-17th Centuries, ed. Gianfranco Miletto and Giuseppe Veltri.  Leiden: Brill, 2012.

“William Whiston’s Judeo-Christianity,” in Philosemitism in History, edited by Adam Sutcliffe and Jonathan Karp, Cambridge University Press, 2011

“The Early Modern Construction of Medieval Jewish Thought,” in Early Modern Medievalisms, edited by Alicia C. Montoya, Sophie van Romburgh and Wim van Anrooij. Intersections: Interdisciplinary Studies in Early Modern Culture 15, Brill, 2010

“Jews and Judaism in Early Modern Europe, c. 1400-1800,” in The Cambridge Guide to Jewish Religion, History, and Culture, edited by Judith Baskin and Kenneth Seeskin, Cambridge University Press, 2010

"Canonicity and the Authority of Works of 'Jewish Thought': Theoretical Perspectives and Some Examples from the Early Modern Reception of the Kuzari," in Iggud: Selected Essays in Jewish Studies, vol. 1, edited by Baruch Schwartz, Aharon Shemesh, and Avraham Melamed, Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 2009

"The Italian and Berlin Haskalah Revisited," Simon Dubnow Institute Jahrbuch Yearbook 6 (2007)

"The Role of Judah Halevi’s Sefer ha-Kuzari in Ashkenaz: A Case Study in the Transmission of Cultural Knowledge," in Sepharad in Ashkenaz: Medieval Knowledge and Eighteenth-Century Enlightened Jewish Discourse, edited by Irene Zwiep, Andrea Schatz, and Resianne Smidt van Gelder-Fontaine, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2007

"Afterword," in The Historical Writings of Joseph of Rosheim, Leader of Jewry in Early Modern Germany, edited with an Introduction, Commentary, and Translations by Chava Fraenkel-Goldschmidt, translated from the Hebrew by Naomi Schendowich, edition edited by Adam Shear, Studies in Jewish History and Culture 12, Brill, 2006

"Judah Moscato’s Scholarly Self-Image and the Question of Jewish Humanism," in Cultural Intermediaries: Jewish Intellectuals in Early Modern Italy, edited by David Ruderman and Giuseppe Veltri, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004

"Judah Halevi’s Kuzari in the Haskalah: Reinterpretation and Re-imagining of a Medieval Work," in Renewing the Past, Reconfiguring Jewish Culture: From Al-Andalus to the Haskalah, edited by Ross Brann and Adam Sutcliffe, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004

Honors and Awards

Internal Fellow, Humanities Center, University of Pittsburgh, fall 2012

Legacy Heritage Fund, Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project Grant for public programming for the Jewish Studies Program, lead PI, 2012-2013

Journal of the History of Ideas, Morris D. Forkosch Award for Best First Book in Intellectual History, for The Kurari and the Shaping of Jewish Identity, 1167-1900, 2008

National Jewish Book Award, Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in Scholarship for The Kurari and the Shaping of Jewish Identity, 1167-1900, 2008

Cahnman Foundation Subvention Grant, Association for Jewish Studies, 2008

Louis and Bessie Stein Term Fellowship, Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, fall 2006

Current Projects

 “Medicine, Science, and Jewish Philosophy, in Cambridge History of Judaism, volume 7, 1500-1815, ed. Jonathan Karp and Adam Sutcliffe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

“The Formation of a Canon of Jewish Thought as an Early Modern Process: The Book Culture of Early Modern Italian Jews” (book ms).

“Continuities and Transformations in Jewish Printing”

University Affiliations

Secondary appointment in the Department of History, Director of the Jewish Studies Program, core member of the Programs in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Cultural Studies, and the European Studies Center of the University Center for International Studies

Revised 08/16/12 | Copyright 2007 | Site by UMC WebTeam