Christian Brady

  • Professor
  • T. W. Lewis Dean, Lewis Honors College
  • Modern & Classical Languages Literatures & Cultures
  • Jewish Studies
U117 Lewis Honors College
859-323-7437
Other Affiliations:
  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • International Organization for Targum Studies
Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy: Oriental Studies, Rabbinic Literature
    University of Oxford, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford, UK – 2000
  • Master of Arts: Biblical and Theological Studies
    Wheaton College Graduate School, Wheaton, Illinois – 1994
  • Graduate Diploma in Jewish Studies (now a Master of Studies)
    University of Oxford, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies – 1994
  • Bachelor of Arts: Near Eastern Studies and History; Concentration in Religious Studies
    Cornell University, Ithaca, New York – 1992
Availability
Research

My primary area of research is in biblical interpretation, specifically rabbinic interpretation of the Bible within Targumic literature. A “Targum” refers to the Jewish Aramaic rendering of the Hebrew Bible; it is a unique sort of translation. A Targum renders into Aramaic every word of the biblical text in its proper order, but often will add additional material, woven seamlessly into the newly formed text. My particular area of interest is how this additional material transforms the meaning of the biblical text in question.

I have written extensively on Targum Lamentations, including my doctoral thesis, “Targum Lamentations’ Reading of the Book of Lamentations” and the book The Rabbinic Targum of Lamentations: Vindicating God. I have recently finished a book on Targum Ruth, The Proselyte and the Prophet: Character Development in Targum RuthBoth of these works are part of a larger interest in the Targumim of the Megillot.

The basis of rabbinic exegesis, such as the targumim and midrashim, is of course the biblical text itself. I continue work and research in biblical studies while most of my publications are in the area of rabbinic literature. Additional areas of research include the Dead Sea Scrolls and the so-called "historical Jesus."

My most recent work is on “theodicy,” the question of divine justice and mercy. My academic interest in the area began with my doctoral research on the Book of Lamentations and examining Jewish and Christian responses to loss and catastrophe. Personal loss, of course, demands a reexamination. This book project is tentatively titled, Beautiful and Terrible Things: A Biblical Theology of Suffering and Grace.

Honors Education
My academic career began not only with teaching but administrative duties as well. I was the director of Jewish Studies for 6 years at Tulane University prior to becoming the director of the Tulane Honors Program. From 2006-16 I was the Dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. In July 2017 I was named the inaugural T. W. Lewis Dean of the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky. If you are interested my administrative experience you can read more about it here.
Selected Publications: 

In order of publication.

Books
  • The Rabbinic Targum of Lamentations: Vindicating God, Studies in the Aramaic Interpretation of Scripture, vol. 3, (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2003).
  • The Proselyte and the Prophet: Character Development in Targum Ruth in Supplements to Aramaic Studies, vol. 14, (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2016).
  • Beautiful and Terrible Things: A Biblical Theology of Suffering and Grace. In progress.
Articles
  • “The Date, Provenance, and Sitz im Leben of Targum Lamentations,” in The Journal of the Aramaic Bible 1, (1999), 5-29.
  • The Role of the midat dinah in the Targumim,” in Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity, The Interpretation of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity, 7, ed. Craig A. Evans, (Sheffield: Sheffield Press, 2000), 364-74.
  • “Vindicating God,” in The Journal of the Aramaic Bible1/2 (2001), 27-40.
  • “Targum Lamentations 1.1-4: A Theological Prologue,” in Targum and Scripture: Studies in Aramaic Translation and Interpretation in Memory of Ernest G. Clarke. In Studies in the Aramaic Interpretation of Scripture, vol. 2, (Leiden: Brill, 2002), pp. 175-83.
  • “The Use of Eschatological Lists In The Targumim To The Megillot,” Journal For The Study Of Judaism, 40 (2009), pp. 493-509.
  • “Targum Lamentations” in Great Is Thy Faithfulness? Reading Lamentations As Sacred Scripture. Ed., Parry, Robin A, and Heath Thomas. Eugene, Or.: Pickwick Publications, (2011), pp. 70-77.
  • “Appendix 2: A Translation of Targum Lamentations” in Great Is Thy Faithfulness? : Reading Lamentations As Sacred Scripture. Ed., Parry, Robin A, and Heath Thomas. Eugene, Or.: Pickwick Publications, (2011), pp. 228-47.
  • “‘God Is Not in This Classroom’ or Teaching the Bible in a Secular Context.” In Teaching the Bible in the Liberal Arts Classroom. Ed. Holland, Glenn S. and Jane S. Webster. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Phoenix Press, (2012), pp. 73-79.
  • “The Conversion of Ruth in Targum Ruth.” In Review of Rabbinic Judaism, Vol. 16, No. 2 (2013), 133-46.
  • “Exegetical Similarities and the Liturgical Use of the Targumim of the Megilloth,” in Aramaic Studies 12 (2014), p. 1-13.
  • “What Shall We Remember, The Deeds or The Faith of Our Ancestors?
 A Comparison of 1 Maccabees 2 and Hebrews 11.” In Earliest Christianity within the Boundaries of Judaism. Essays in Honor of Bruce Chilton. Ed., Neusner, Jack and Craig Evans. Leiden: Brill, 2016 (5,341 words).
  • “The Five Scrolls.” In The Textual History of the Bible. Ed., Lange, Armin, and Emanuel Tov. Leiden: Brill, 2016 (4,881 words).
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