Adam Shear

  • Associate Professor and Department Chair

Fields

Medieval and early modern Jewish cultural and intellectual history, history of the Jewish book and the impact of print on Jewish culture and thought in the early modern period, the cultural role of Jewish philosophy in the formation of early modern Jewish identities, Jewish thought and intellectual culture in early modern Italy, the Jewish Enlightenment movement and its relation to the medieval and early modern Jewish past, history of Zionism and Palestine/Israel.

Teaching

Religions of the West, Jews and Judaism—Medieval, Jewish-Christian Relations, Zionism, Anti-Zionism, Post-Zionism, Jewish Culture in Medieval Spain, Jewish Mysticism, Jewish Historiography, Religious Diversity, Modern Israel/Palestine

University Affiliations

Secondary appointment in the Department of History; affiliated faculty in Jewish Studies, Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Cultural Studies, and European Studies Center of the University Center for International Studies.

Current Projects

“People of Books:  Transforming the Jewish Library in the Age of Print” (monograph project; working title)

Footprints, co-directed with Michelle Chesner, Marjorie Lehmann, and Josh Teplitsky, long-term digital humanities project that focuses on the circulation of early modern Hebrew and Jewish books from their origins in the printing house to the present-day.

Education & Training

  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2003

Representative Publications

“Old Texts and New Media: Jewish Books on the Move and a Case for Collaboration,” co-authored with Michelle Chesner, Marjorie Lehman, and Joshua Teplitsky, in Digital Humanities, Libraries, and Partnerships A Critical Examination of Labor, Networks, and Community, ed. Robin Kear and Kate Joranson (Elsevier, 2018), pp. 61-73. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-08-102023-4.00005-7 

“Medicine, Science, and Jewish Philosophy," in Cambridge History of Judaism, volume 7, 1500-1815, ed. Jonathan Karp and Adam Sutcliffe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Jewish Culture in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Honor of David B. Ruderman, coedited with (HUCP/Pitt Press, 2014).

The Hebrew Book in Early Modern Italy, coedited with Joseph R. Hacker. Jewish Culture and Contexts series, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

The Kuzari and the Shaping of Jewish Identity, 1167-1900, Cambridge University Press, 2008. Winner of the 2008 National Jewish Book Award, Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in Scholarship, and the 2008 Morris D. Forkosch Award for Best First Book in Intellectual History, awarded by the Journal of the History of Ideas.

“Jewish Enlightenment Beyond Western Europe,” in Cambridge History of Modern Jewish Philosophy, ed. Martin Kavka, Zachary Braiterman, and David Novak, 2012.

“The Sources of Kol Yehudah and Hebrew Printing in Sixteenth Century,” in Rabbi Judah Moscato and the Jewish Intellectual World of Mantua in the 16th-17th Centuries, ed. Gianfranco Miletto and Giuseppe Veltri, Brill, 2012.

Judah Moscato Sermons, Edition and Translation, Volume One. Edited by Gianfranco Miletto and Giuseppe Veltri, in Conjunction with Giacomo Corazzol, Regina Grundmann, Don Harrán (Sermon I), Yonatan Meroz, Brian Ogren and Adam Shear. Studies in Jewish History and Culture 26, Brill, 2011.

“Jewish Enlightenment Beyond Western Europe,” in Cambridge History of Modern Jewish Philosophy, ed. Martin Kavka, Zachary Braiterman, and David Novak. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

“The Sources of Kol Yehudah and Hebrew Printing in Sixteenth Century,” in Rabbi Judah Moscato and the Jewish Intellectual World of Mantua in the 16th-17th Centuries, ed. Gianfranco Miletto and Giuseppe Veltri.  Leiden: Brill, 2012.

“William Whiston’s Judeo-Christianity,” in Philosemitism in History, edited by Adam Sutcliffe and Jonathan Karp, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

“The Early Modern Construction of Medieval Jewish Thought,” in Early Modern Medievalisms, edited by Alicia C. Montoya, Sophie van Romburgh and Wim van Anrooij. Intersections: Interdisciplinary Studies in Early Modern Culture 15, Brill, 2010.

“Jews and Judaism in Early Modern Europe, c. 1400-1800,” in The Cambridge Guide to Jewish Religion, History, and Culture, edited by Judith Baskin and Kenneth Seeskin, Cambridge University Press, 2010.

"Canonicity and the Authority of Works of 'Jewish Thought': Theoretical Perspectives and Some Examples from the Early Modern Reception of the Kuzari," in Iggud: Selected Essays in Jewish Studies, vol. 1, edited by Baruch Schwartz, Aharon Shemesh, and Avraham Melamed, Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 2009.

"The Italian and Berlin Haskalah Revisited," Simon Dubnow Institute Jahrbuch Yearbook 6 (2007).

"The Role of Judah Halevi’s Sefer ha-Kuzari in Ashkenaz: A Case Study in the Transmission of Cultural Knowledge," in Sepharad in Ashkenaz: Medieval Knowledge and Eighteenth-Century Enlightened Jewish Discourse, edited by Irene Zwiep, Andrea Schatz, and Resianne Smidt van Gelder-Fontaine, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2007.

"Afterword," in The Historical Writings of Joseph of Rosheim, Leader of Jewry in Early Modern Germany, edited with an Introduction, Commentary, and Translations by Chava Fraenkel-Goldschmidt, translated from the Hebrew by Naomi Schendowich, edition edited by Adam Shear, Studies in Jewish History and Culture 12, Brill, 2006.

"Judah Moscato’s Scholarly Self-Image and the Question of Jewish Humanism," in Cultural Intermediaries: Jewish Intellectuals in Early Modern Italy, edited by David Ruderman and Giuseppe Veltri, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.

"Judah Halevi’s Kuzari in the Haskalah: Reinterpretation and Re-imagining of a Medieval Work," in Renewing the Past, Reconfiguring Jewish Culture: From Al-Andalus to the Haskalah, edited by Ross Brann and Adam Sutcliffe, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.