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Hagit Amirav (PI) (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)


Prof. dr. Hagit Amirav

Prof. dr. Hagit Amirav

Hagit Amirav is Professor of Patristics and Late Antiquity and director of the Amsterdam Centre for Religious History at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her research profile covers a variety of disciplines and sub-disciplines relating to the Graeco-Roman world. She has a B.A. degree (1995; magna cum laude) in Classics (Greek and Roman languages and literature) from Tel Aviv University; following a study period in Toronto (1996), she obtained a second degree (M.St.) in Greek and Roman history from the University of Oxford (1997), and a doctorate (D.Phil.) in Greek and Roman history (2001), at the same university. Between 2016 and 2017, she was chair of the Young Academy of Europe.

Her thesis about John Chrysostom, published by Peeters Publishers in 2003, approaches theological texts using historical and literary methods. The subject of her forthcoming book about the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451) highlights her interest in language use in imperial and ceremonial ritual. Some of her other subjects of interest are historical texts as literature and the rhetorical use of language in historical texts, such as Ammianus Marcellinus and recently, also in legal texts. Prof. Amirav is a contributor to the Oxford-based project The Oxyrhynchus Papyri in which she focuses mainly on Greek magical papyri. Another focus of interest is the history of early modern period, in particularly the phenomenon of the revival of Christian Hebraism in the 16th century.

Prof. Amirav’s teaching interests include the fields of Classics, Ancient History, Greek Patristics and Early Christianity. She initiated together with Bas ter Haar Romeny and others the Annual Lectures in Patristics and Religious History, delivered yearly at the KNAW in Amsterdam by eminent international scholars in the fields of patristic studies, ancient history, and Late Antiquity. The lectures are published by Brill as a subseries of Church History and Religious Culture.

Prof. Amirav is a recipient of a Sir Isaiah Berlin Junior Research Fellowship at Wolfson College, Oxford (2002) and more recently, a laureate of an ERC (European Research Council) Starting grant (2008-2014), entitled The Appropriation of the Jewish Scriptures: Allegory, Pauline Exegesis, and the Negotiation of Religious Identities (this excerpt from a newsletter provides a description of the project, additionally you can read this article). She was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Hebrew University (December-January, 2009 and April-May, 2017), and was twice elected to a Visiting Research Fellowship at Brasenose College, Oxford (2010 and 2011). She is a Life Member of the Senior Common Room at Brasenose College, Oxford. She is currently Principal Investigator of the project, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, about the Syriac fragments of the commentaries of Theodore of Mopsuestia on the minor Pauline epistles. She is currently a recipient of an NWO-funded PhD in the Humanities grant (PhD candidate: Miriam Adan Jones).

Among her principal publications are the following monographs: Rhetoric and Tradition: John Chrysostom on Noah and the Flood (Traditio Exegetica Graeca 12; Leuven: Peeters, 2003);  with R.B. ter Haar Romeny (eds.), From Rome to Constantinople. Studies in Honour of Averil Cameron (Late Antique History and Religion 1; Leuven: Peeters, 2007). Theodore Bibliander. De ratione communi omnium linguarum et literarum, edited (with H.-M. Kirn) and translated with annotations (Travaux d’Humanisme et Renaissance 475; Droz, Geneva, 2011); Authority and Performance: A Socio-Linguistic Reading of the Chalcedonian Acts (AD 451) (Hypomnemata 199; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015); with F. Celia (eds.) New Themes, New Styles in the Eastern Mediterranean: Christian, Jewish, and Islamic Encounters, 5th-8th Centuries (Late Antique History and Religion 16; Leuven: Peeters Publishers; 2017).

She is general editor of Late Antique History and Religion, a monograph series published by Peeters Publishers (Leuven) and dedicated to the study of the ancient world, from Constantine up until the First Crusade. She is member of the editorial board of European Review (Cambridge University Press).

For more information, see also her academic homepage and the NWO-website. An article introducing her ERC-project The Christian Appropriation of the Jewish Scriptures: Allegory, Pauline Exegesis, and the Negotiation of Religious Identities, may be found here.

Inaugural Lecture