Michael Zank

 Michael Zank

Address1 Silber Way
Boston, MA 2215

Director, Undergraduate StudiesAssociate Professor of Religion, Boston University School of Theology

Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1994

With advanced degrees in the study of Protestant and Jewish religious and philosophical traditions, Michael Zank teaches courses ranging from the Bible to the modern critique of religion. His expertise in Continental, esp. German-Jewish, thought is evident from his work on the philosophy of Hermann Cohen, the writings of Leo Strauss, the thought of Martin Buber, and the intellectual profile of Franz Rosenzweig. He has written on ancient rabbinic theology, but also on the reception of the Holocaust in contemporary German culture. Currently, he is working on a historical and systematic study of modern Jewish philosophy of religion, and on a brief history of Jerusalem from a theological-political perspective. An active member of several international societies dedicated to the study of philosophy and religion and to Christian-Jewish dialogue, Zank frequently lectures in Europe. In 1999 and in 2002-03, he served as Martin Buber Professor of Jewish Philosophy of Religion at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt on the Main (Germany). He is a contributing editor of the Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy and editor-in-chief of Textual Reasoning-deutsch.

Zank studied in Germany (Göttingen, Kiel, Heidelberg), Israel (The Hebrew University in Jerusalem), and the US, where he received his PhD in 1994 from the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University (Waltham, Mass.). Among his publications are New Perspectives on Martin Buber (Religion in Philosophy and Theology, ed. Ingo Dalferth, vol. 22; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006), “The Ethics of Rebuke” (Textual Reasoning, Volume 4, Number 1 November, 2005, on-line), “Jewish Ethics in a Modern World” in Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide, ed. Nicholas deLange and Miri Freud-Kandel, (Oxford and New York, 2005), pp. 325-337, “Jüdische Religionsphilosophie als Apologie des Mosaismus” (Archivio di filosofia, 2003, (LXXI) Nr.1-3, pp. 173-182), and The Idea of Atonement in the Philosophy of Hermann Cohen (Providence/R.I.: Brown Judaic Studies, 2000). He is also the translator and editor of Leo Strauss, The Early Writings (1921-1932) (Albany/NY, 2002).

In addition to being an active scholar, Zank is also a passionate teacher. Students have deemed the experience of studying with Professor Zank as “extremely challenging” but also as “extremely worthwhile.” The College of Arts and Sciences recognized Professor Zank as a “very talented and effective teacher” when it bestowed on him its first Frank and Lynne Wisneski Award for Excellence in Teaching at the year 2000 commencement exercises. In 2006, the College Honors Program recognized him for “outstanding teaching.”

Areas of Interest

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