Recently published


Hot off the press: Jerusalem. A Brief History. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2018.

Jerusalem – A Brief History shows how Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scriptures confer providential meaning to the fate of the city and how modern Jerusalem is haunted by waves of biblical fantasy aiming at mutually exclusive status-quo rectification. It presents the major epochs of the history of Jerusalem’s urban transformation, inviting readers to imagine Jerusalem as a city that is not just sacred to the many groups of people who hold it dear, but as a united, unharmed place that is, in this sense, holy.

Jerusalem – A Brief History starts in modern Jerusalem—giving readers a look at the city as it exists today. It goes on to tell of its emergence as a holy city in three different ways, focusing each time on another aspect of the biblical past. Next, it discusses the transformation of Jerusalem from a formerly Jewish temple city, condemned to oblivion by its Roman destroyers, into an imperially sponsored Christian theme park, and the afterlife of that same city under later Byzantine and Muslim rulers. Lastly, the book returns to present day Jerusalem to examine the development of the modern city under the Ottomans and the British, the history of division and reunification, and the ongoing jostling over access to, and sovereignty over, Jerusalem’s contested holy places.

  • Offers a unique integration of approaches, including urban history, the rhetoric of power, the history of art and architecture, biblical hermeneutics, and modern Middle Eastern Studies
  • Places great emphasis on how Jerusalem is a real city where different people live and coexist
  • Examines the urban transformation that has taken place since late Ottoman times
  • Utilizes numerous line drawings to demonstrate how its monumental buildings, created to illustrate an alliance of divine and human power, are in fact quite ephemeral, transient, and fragile

Jerusalem – A Brief History is a comprehensive and thoughtful introduction to the Holy City that will appeal to any student of religion and/or history.

Jüdische Religionsphilosophie als Apologie des Mosaismus (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016)

Reviewed by Thomas Meyer in

and Michael Morgenstern in Theologische Rundschau (ThR) 82/1 (2017), 1-36.

The Value of the Particular: Lessons from Judaism and the Modern Jewish Experience, Festschrift for Steven T. Katz on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday, edited by Michael Zank and Ingrid Anderson, with the editorial assistance of Sarah Leventer and an introduction by Michael Zank [Series: Journal for Jewish Thought and Philosophy Supplementa, ed. Elliot Wolfson et al.], Boston: Brill, 2015.

Reviewed by David Ellenson in Review of Rabbinic Judaism, Volume 20, Issue 2, pages 287 – 289 

Take A Teacher, Make A Friend. Students Write for Elie Wiesel, edited by Michael Zank and Leanne Hoppe, with an introduction by Michael Zank (Boston: Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, 2014).

Chapters in edited volumes

“Torah v. Jewish Law. A Genre-Critical Approach to the Political Theology of Reappropriation” in Allen Speight and Michael Zank (eds.), Politics, Religion and Political Theology [Boston Series in Philosophy and Religion, ed. Allen Speight and Michael Zank], Springer Verlag (2017).

“Gott und Welt, Gott und Mensch: Ein Versuch zum jüdischen Monotheismus” in Bernhard Nitsche, Klaus von Stosch, Muna Tatari (edd.), Gott – Jenseits von Monismus und Theismus?. Beiträge zur komparativen Theologie. Hrg. v. Klaus von Stosch, Bd. 23. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2017, 227-245.

Peer reviewed articles

“The Jerusalem Basic Law (1980/2000) and the Jerusalem Embassy Act (1990/95): A comparative investigation of Israeli and US legislation on the status of Jerusalem,” in: Israel Studies 21.3 (2016), 20-35.

“The Grinch Who Stole the Bible: Teaching Scripture Through Distance, Proximity, and Engagement” in Emily Ransom and Peter Hawkins (edd.), Forum: “Rethinking the Bible as Literature” in Religion and Literature vol. 46.1 (Spring 2016), 175-182.

Encyclopedia articles

“Zion” in Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur ed. Dan Diner, vol. 6. (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler Verlag, 2015), 564-567.

“Martin Buber,” main author of 2004 entry (revised 2007); lead author of major revision (with Zachary Braiterman, co-author) 2014 in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL