2011–12 J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Steven Katz
Steven Katz is Director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University, and holds the Alvin J. and Shirley Slater Chair in Jewish and Holocaust Studies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge [England] in 1972. Prior to joining the faculty at Boston University, he was a Professor of Near Eastern Studies (Judaica) at Cornell University in New York, where he was Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Studies from 1985 to 1988, and Director of the Jewish Studies Program from 1985 to 1989. In addition to holding teaching appointments at Dartmouth College and Cornell University, he has been a visiting professor at Yale, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and at the University of Pennsylvania. He was Chair of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Museum for five years and still serves on that committee and is the Chair of the Holocaust Commission of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. He is one of the American representatives to the International Task Force on the Holocaust, established by the King of Sweden, now sponsored by the European Union.
His many publications include the following: Jewish Philosophers (1975); Jewish Ideas and Concepts (1977); Post-Holocaust Dialogues, which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1984; Historicism, the Holocaust and Zionism (1992); and the multi-volume study entitled The Holocaust in Historical Context, vol. 1 which appeared in 1994, and was selected as “the outstanding book in philosophy and theology” for that year by the American Association of University Publishers. Katz has also contributed to and edited four important books on mysticism printed by Oxford University Press: Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis (1978), Mysticism and Religious Traditions (1983), Mysticism and Language (1992), and Mysticism and Sacred Scripture (2000). He has also edited two volumes on the impact of the Holocaust on Jewish thought: The Impact of the Holocaust on Jewish Theology (2005) and Wrestling with God: Jewish Theological Responses During and After the Holocaust (2007) which was selected as the runner-up as the 2007 National Jewish Book Award in Anthologies and Collections. He is the editor of the prize-winning journal Modern Judaism, and has served on the editorial team of The Cambridge History of Judaism and The Cambridge History of Nineteenth Century Religious Thought. He edited Volume IV of The Cambridge History of Judaism, The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period, which won the 2007 National Jewish Book Award in the Reference category. The Shtetl: New Evaluations, published in 2007, is the first in a series of books to be published from the proceedings of international conferences held at Boston University. He has published over 100 articles in scholarly journals in the fields of Judaica, Holocaust studies, philosophy of religion, and comparative mysticism. He was awarded the University of Tübingen’s Lucas Prize for 1999, an award which counts the Dalai Lama and Sir Karl Popper as past winners. He is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Jewish Research and the Academy of Jewish Philosophy.
During his tenure at the Center, Dr. Katz is focusing on finishing volumes II and III of his project on The Holocaust in Comparative Perspective. Volume two will compare the Holocaust to New World Black Slavery. Volume three will compare the murder of European Jewry to the treatment of Native Americans since 1492.