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Christine Hayes

Caroline Zelaznik Gruss and Joseph S. Gruss Visiting Professor in Talmudic Civil Law

Spring 2024

Christine Hayes
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Christine Hayes is Sterling Professor Emerita of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale University. Hayes’s research interests include Talmudic-midrashic studies, the history and literature of Judaism in late antiquity, and the philosophy of law. She received her BA from Harvard University and her PhD from UC Berkeley, and in 2023 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lund University in Sweden. Her most recent book, What’s Divine about Divine Law? Early Perspectives, received the 2015 National Jewish Book Award in Scholarship, a 2016 PROSE award in Theology and Religious Studies from the American Publishers Association, and a 2016 Jordan Schnitzer Award from the Association for Jewish Studies. Her other scholarly monographs are Between the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds (1997 Salo Baron prize) and Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities (2003 National Jewish Book Award finalist). She has authored two introductory volumes (The Emergence of Judaism and Introduction to the Bible). Her edited volumes include Jewish Law and its Interactions with other Legal Systems (2014), the Cambridge Companion to Judaism and Law (2017), Classic Essays in Rabbinic Culture and History (2018), and most recently The Literature of the Sages: A Revisioning (2023). Hayes has held a faculty position at Princeton University and visiting faculty positions at Tel Aviv University Law School (2015), the University of Pennsylvania Law school (2018), and the Harry Radzyner Law School at Reichman University (2023), as well as fellowships at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania (2018) and the Maimonides Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Hamburg (2023). She is active in professional and academic organizations and served as President of the Association for Jewish Studies from 2018-2020. She is an editor for the Encyclopedia for the Bible and its Reception, a senior faculty fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and an elected member of the American Academy of Jewish Research. She is currently working on a book of humor and play as tools of skepticism in talmudic literature.