Department of Religious Studies

Visiting scholar joins Religious Studies Department

Tue, October 11, 2011

The Religious Studies Department is proud to welcome Dr. Ra'anan Boustan as a visiting Harrington Fellow.

Dr. Boustan is Associate Professor of History and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA.  He also serves as Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Religion and Chair of the Study of Religion Program.  Dr. Boustan's research focuses on Jewish culture, literature, and society in the ancient Mediterranean world.  He has particular interests in Jewish mysticism and apocalypticism in the ancient world, as well as related interests in Greek-Jewish literature, the representation of Jews in Graeco-Roman culture, relations between Jews and Christians in late Roman Palestine, and magical literature and practice in Late Antiquity.  He is the author of the book, From Martyr to Mystic: Rabbinic Martyrology and the Making of Merkavah Mysticism, which traces the development of Jewish mystical literature in the Late Antique period.  His current book project investigates the shifting image of Rome in late antique Jewish culture.  Tentatively titled Jerusalem in Rome: Jewish Relics in a Christianizing Empire, it considers the ways in which Jewish sacred objects function as a critique of Roman politics.

Dr. Boustan earned an A.B. in Classics from Brown University.  After studying as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where he received the equivalent of an M.A. in Classics and Religion, he completed his Ph.D. in Religion at Princeton University in 2004 with a dissertation on the historical development of early Jewish mystical literature.

The Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellows Program brings outstanding faculty from around the world to The University of Texas at Austin to pursue their research and collaborate with colleagues.  As part of his appointment as a Harrington Fellow, Dr. Boustan will organize and host a major conference at the University.  "Matter of Contention: Relics and Other Remainders at the Intersection of Religious Traditions" will bring scholars from around the world to campus in April, 2012.

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