About

Eva Mroczek’s research stands at the intersection of early Jewish literary cultures and Book History. Her first book, The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity (Oxford UP 2016), illustrates how early Jewish writers imagined their own sacred writing before the Bible existed as a concept. The book was the finalist for the 2018 AJS Jordan Schnitzer Book Prize, the winner of the 2017 De Long Book History Prize awarded by the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), and the winner of the 2017 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Prize for Theological Promise. She is working on two new projects: Out of the Cave: The Possibility of a New Scriptural Past, an intellectual history of manuscript discovery stories; and a guide to imaginary books in ancient and medieval Jewish lore. Recent courses at UC Davis include the Bible and Its Interpreters, Sex and Gender in the Bible, and “God on Trial”: Questioning Divine Justice.

She directs the Jewish Studies Program at UC Davis and is a founding coordinator of the Bible and Religions of the Ancient Near East (BRANE) Collective, an inclusive, open access research group for the study of biblical and ancient Near Eastern literatures and their cultural worlds in the 21st century.

Education

2012          Ph.D. University of Toronto, Centre for the Study of Religion/Jewish Studies Program

2006         M.A. University of Toronto, Centre for the Study of Religion

2004         B.A. Hon. University of Toronto (1st in Humanities graduating class of 2004)

Publications

Books

The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity. New York: Oxford, 2016.

Journal Articles

2021

“Hezekiah the Censor and Ancient Theories of Canon Formation,” Journal of Biblical Literature 140/3 (2021): 481–502.

2021

“New Maps of Early Jewish Literature Across the Boundaries of the Real,” Metatron 1.

2020

“‘Without Torah and Scripture’: Biblical Absence and the History of Revelation,” Hebrew Studies (61): 97–122.

2018

“Hidden Scriptures, Then and Now: Rediscovering Apocrypha.” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology (72): 383–395.

2016

“True Stories and the Poetics of Textual Discovery,” Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 21-31.

2015

“How Not to Build a Temple: Jacob, David, and the Unbuilt Ideal in Ancient Judaism,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 46, 512-46.

2015

“The Hegemony of the Biblical in the Study of Second Temple Jewish Literature,” Journal of Ancient Judaism 6, 2-35.

2015

“‘David did not ascend into the heavens’ (Acts 2:34): Early Jewish Ascent Traditions and the Myth of Exegesis in the New Testament,” Judaïsme ancien 3 (2015), 261-94.

2011

“Thinking Digitally About the Dead Sea Scrolls: ‘Book History’ Before and Beyond the Book,” Book History 14, 235-63.  (Winner of Book History Graduate Essay Prize)

Book Chapters

2020

“The Incredible Expanding Bible: From the Dead Sea Scrolls to Haile Selassie,” in The Jewish Annotated Apocrypha (eds. J. Klawans and L. Wills; Oxford University Press).

2020

With Benjamin G. Wright III. “Ben Sira’s Pseudo-Pseudepigraphy: Idealizations from Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages,” in The Pursuit of Wisdom and Human Flourishing: The Book of Sirach and its Contexts (Leiden: Brill, JSJSup).

2019

“The Hebrew of Psalms 151-155,” in The Textual History of the Bible (vol. 2; Leiden: Brill).

2019

“Literatures of the Jews, 4th c. BCE – 2nd c. CE,” in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Late Ancient Jews and Judaism.

2018

“Truth and Doubt in Manuscript Discovery Narratives,” in Rethinking Authority: Composition and Transmission in Late Antiquity (eds. A.J. Berkovitz, M. Letteney, and M. Vidas; Routledge).

2017

“Early Jewish Literature” and “Hymns,” in The Dictionary of the Bible and Ancient Media (Bloomsbury T&T Clark).

2017

“The End of the Psalms in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek Codices, and Syriac Manuscripts,” Snapshots of Evolving Traditions: Textual Fluidity, Manuscript Culture and New Philology (eds L.I. Lied and H. Lundhaug; de Gruyter), 297-322. 

2013

“‘Aramaisms’ in Qohelet: Methodological Problems in Identification and Interpretation,” The Words of the Wise are like Goads: Engaging Qohelet in the Twenty-First Century (eds M. Boda et al.; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns), 349-70.

2012

With Hindy Najman and Itamar Manoff, “How to Make Sense of Pseudonymous Attribution: The Cases of 4Ezra and 2Baruch,” Companion to Biblical Interpretation in Early Judaism (ed. M. Henze; Eerdmans), 308-36.

2010

“A Peg To Hang on: Metaphor, Ancestral Merit, and the Midrashic Relationship of David and Solomon,” Vixens Disturbing Vineyards: Embarrassment and Embracement of Scriptures: Festschrift in Honor of Harry Fox (eds A. Glazer et al.; Boston: Academic Studies Press), 219-40.

2008

“Moses, David, and Scribal Revelation: Preservation and Renewal in Second Temple Jewish Textual Traditions,” in The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation (eds G.J. Brooke et al.; Leiden: Brill), 91-115.

Writing for Broader Audiences

2018

“Batshit Stories: New Tales of Discovering Ancient Texts,” in “Origin Stories: A Forum on the ‘Discovery’ and Interpretation of First-Millennium Manuscripts,” Marginalia Review of Books.

2018

Edited forum, with Jennifer Barry, “Origin Stories: A Forum on the ‘Discovery’ and Interpretation of First-Millennium Manuscripts,” with Introduction, Marginalia Review of Books.

2016

“King David, Sacred and Secular,” Frankel Institute Annual 5–7.

2016

“How many books are in the Bible? Qualitative Numbers, or Math for Biblical Scholars,” Bible and Interpretation.

2015

“Imagining Scriptures Before the Canon,” Canon: An AJR Forum, Ancient Jew Review.

2015

“The Mark of Cain,” Bible Odyssey, bibleodyssey.org, Society of Biblical Literature’s peer-reviewed public scholarship portal

2015

“Whom Did Cain Marry?” Bible Odyssey.

2014

“Anger, Privilege, and Invisible Injustice: What Cain and Abel have to do with Ferguson,” Religion Dispatches, Oct. 13.

2014

“Gospel of Jesus’s Wife Less Durable than Sexism Surrounding It,” Religion Dispatches, May 6.

Shorter Encyclopedia and Dictionary Entries

2019

In Press. “David,” “David Apocryphon,” “Psalms Scrolls,” “Pseudepigraphy,” in the T&T Clark Companion to Second Temple Judaism.

2018

Testimonia,” for T&T Clark Companion to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

2015 – 2017

“Ingathering of the Exiles. Judaism. Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism,” “Imalkue,” “Jaoel,” “Jathan,” “Jeremiel,” “Lawgiver,” Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (de Gruyter).

2013

dāwîd דויד,” Theologisches Wörterbuch zu den Qumran-Texten (Kohlhammer).

Reviews

2022

In press. “Other People’s Hands: A Response to Liv Lied’s Invisible Manuscripts: Textual Scholarship and the Survival of 2Baruch, Ancient Jew Review.

2021

Review of Forgery, Heresy, Forgery, Novelty: Condemning, Denying, and Asserting Innovation in Ancient Judaism by Jonathan Klawans, AJS Review, 19–22.

2019

“‘But they do exist’: Human Presence in Ancient Studies,” review essay on Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity by Karen B. Stern, Hebrew Studies 60 (2019).




2016




Review of How Repentance Became Biblical: Judaism, Christianity, and the Interpretation of Scripture by David A. Lambert, Reading Religion: A Publication of the American Academy of Religion.






2015




Review of The Genizah Psalms by David M. Stec, Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods 46 (2015): 152–54.






2014




“Jesus vs. Judaism… Again,” Review essay of David A. deSilva, The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude, Marginalia Review of Books.






2014




Review of Bible, Archaeology, Politics, and the Media, eds. E.M. Meyers and C. Meyers, Material Religion 10/4 (2014): 113–15.






2007—2011




Review of Articles (Jewish Quarterly Review, Numen, and Revue biblique), Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period.






2008




News article, “Looking over the shoulder to Sinai: ‘The Giving of the Torah at Sinai,’ Symposium at Durham University,” Henoch 2008/1.






2006




Review of The Enoch-Metatron Tradition by Andrei Orlov, Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 6






2003




Review of Christianity in Jewish Terms, eds Tikva Frymer-Kensky, et al., for Studia Judaica, Journal of the Polish Association of Jewish Studies 5: 204-8 [in Polish].

Blog Posts

    Projects

    Selected Works in Progress

    Out of the Cave: The Possibility of a New Scriptural Past. Under contract with Yale University Press. Submission Summer 2022.

    A Field Guide to Imaginary Jewish Books. Completion 2023.

    “The Hymnbooks of Job’s Daughters and the Dead Ends of Patriarchal Knowledge.” In revision.

    Memberships

    Association for Jewish Studies

    Society for the History of Authorship, Readership, and Publication (SHARP)

    Society of Biblical Literature

    Bible and Religions of the Ancient Near East (BRANE) Collective

    Eva Mroczek

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