I am a Professor of Religion in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University, where I have been teaching since 1994. My fields are Jewish studies, Jewish philosophy, and philosophy of religion. Since July 2013, I also serve as the director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies. Prior academic leadership positions included director of undergraduate studies and interim director of the Division of Religious and Theological Studies.
I received my PhD in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University in 1994. Before that I prepared for the ministry in the Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz, a regional Protestant church in Germany, after completing my theological studies in Göttingen, Kiel, and Heidelberg (Germany). In between I spent two years in Jerusalem, studying at Hebrew University (1982-83 and 1986-87), in a program focused on Jewish-Christian relations.
Among my ongoing non-academic passions is music. For many years, while in Germany, I toured with a group called “Aschira,” which was part of a revival of Jewish culture in Germany, though in contrast to the Klezmer revival that was also going on at the time, we performed mostly Hebrew songs, including Hasidic chants that we adapted from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and others. Since coming to the US in 1988, I have mostly played drums and percussion, though I still occasionally sing.