Samuel Ungerleider, Jr. Professor of Judaic Studies, Professor of Religious Studies


Saul M. Olyan is Samuel Ungerleider Jr. Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. He is author of Human, Divine, and Textual Relationships: Essays on the Hebrew Bible  (forthcoming, Brill); Animal Rights and the Hebrew Bible (Oxford University Press, 2023); Violent Rituals of the Hebrew Bible (Oxford University Press, 2019); Friendship in the Hebrew Bible (Yale University Press, 2017); Social Inequality in the World of the Text: The Significance of Ritual and Social Distinctions in the Hebrew Bible (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011); Disability in the Hebrew Bible: Interpreting Mental and Physical Differences (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Biblical Mourning: Ritual and Social Dimensions (Oxford University Press, 2004); Rites and Rank: Hierarchy in Biblical Representations of Cult (Princeton University Press, 2000); "A Thousand Thousands Served Him": Exegesis and the Naming of Angels in Ancient Judaism (J.C.B. Mohr/Paul Siebeck, 1993); and Asherah and the Cult of Yahweh in Israel (Scholars Press, 1988). He is editor or co-editor of thirteen volumes, including Supplementation and the Study of the Hebrew Bible (Brown Judaic Studies, 2018); Ritual Violence in the Hebrew Bible (Oxford University Press, 2015); Social Theory and the Study of Israelite Religion (SBL, 2012) and Household and Family Religion in Antiquity (Blackwell, 2008), and the author of various journal articles, essays and reviews.

Articles and essays include "The Literary Dynamic of Loyalty and Betrayal in the Aramaic Ahiqar Narrative," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 79 (2020): 261-69; "Are there Legal Texts in the Hebrew Bible that Evince a Concern for Animal Rights?" Biblical Interpretation 27 (2019): 321-39; "Fire and Worms: Isa 66:24 in the Context of Isaiah 66 and the Book of Isaiah" in Supplementation and the Study of the Hebrew Bible (ed. S.M. Olyan and Jacob Wright; Providence: Brown Judaic Studies, 2018), 147-57; Jehoiakim's Dehumanizing Interment as a Ritual Act of Reclassification," Journal of Biblical Literature 133 (2014): 271-79; "The Etymology of Hebrew and Aramaic ykl 'to be able,'" Journal of Semitic Studies 58 (2013):13-19 (with John Huehnergard); "Is Isaiah 40-55 Really Monotheistic?" Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 12 (2012):190-201; "A Suggestion Regarding the Derivation of the Hebrew Noun mērēa'," Journal of Semitic Studies 56 (2011): 217-219; "Stigmatizing Associations: The Alien, Things Alien, and Practices Associated with Aliens in Biblical Classification Schemas" in The Foreigner and the Law: Perspectives from the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (ed. R. Achenbach et al.; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011),17-28; "What Do We Really Know about Women's Rites in the Israelite Family Context?" Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 10 (2010): 55-67; "Unnoticed Resonances of Tomb Opening and Transportation of the Remains of the Dead in Ezekiel 37:12-14," Journal of Biblical Literature 128 (2009): 491-501; and "The Ascription of Physical Disability as a Stigmatizing Strategy in Biblical Iconic Polemics," Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 9 (2009) article 14:1-15.

Head editor, Brown Judaic Studies monograph series, 2001-16, 2023-; member, advisory board, AVAR: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Life and Society in the Ancient Near East, 2021-; member, editorial board, Religions in the Ancient Mediterranean (Penn State Press), 2023-; member, editorial board, Anchor Yale Bible series, 2008-23; member, editorial board, Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, 2007-15; member, advisory board, Blackwell Encyclopedia of Ancient History, 2009-13; editor (Hebrew Bible), Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series, 1999-2002; member, Society of Biblical Literature Council, 1999-2002; member, editorial board, Journal of Biblical Literature, 1993-98; member, editorial board, Journal of the History of Sexuality, 1996-2000.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas