Jonathan W. Schofer


 Jonathan W. Schofer

E-mailjbeasley@hds.harvard.edu
Address14 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 2138
Phone617-495-5796
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Associate Professor of Comparative Ethics, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

B.A., Stanford University, 1991
M.A., Stanford University, 1991
M.A., University of Chicago Divinity School, 1994
Ph.D., University of Chicago Divinity School, 2000

Jonathan Schofer joined the Faculty of Divinity in January 2006, after being on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research and teaching center on the ethics of virtue and character: the nature of the self, ideals for living a good life, and especially how one is to attain those ideals (spiritual exercises, disciplinary practices, and more). Schofer’s primary area of research is classical rabbinic literature and thought, and his first book is The Making of a Sage: A Study in Rabbinic Ethics (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005). The study highlights the pedagogical features of rabbinic texts and focuses upon the roles of religious authorities in ethical transformation (such as teachers, traditions, and deities). He is currently writing a second book on rabbinic thought, addressing ways that rabbis give ethical significance to the vulnerability and mortality of the body. Schofer is also researching the relationship between virtue theory and psychoanalysis, and the significance of divination and dream interpretation for comparative ethics. Schofer teaches courses in both rabbinic Judaism and comparative ethics. Material in his comparative classes includes theories of the self and ethics inspired by Aristotle, Freud, and Foucault, and examples from classical Greece and China as well as the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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