Prof. Naphtali S. Meshel
A Few Words About Me
Since 2016 Naphtali S. Meshel has served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bible and in the Department of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and as the Academic Manager of the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies.
Naphtali S. Meshel received a PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Department of Bible Studies in 2010. Following postdoctoral research in Mysore, India (Sanskrit grammatical texts) and at the University of Pennsylvania (Akkadian texts), he served as Assistant Professor at Princeton University (Department of Religion and Program in Judaic Studies, 2010–2016). He returned to Jerusalem with his family in 2016, and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Bible and in the Department of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
His research focuses on the Hebrew Bible in its ancient Near Eastern contexts, and on its early interpreters. He has a special interest in Levitical legal literature, and in the use of intentional ambiguity as a poetic device in Wisdom Literature and in prophecy. Within the more broad field of Religion, he is interested in the development of theoretical frameworks for the analysis of complex ritual systems, and in the processes through which formal tools for logical deduction are forged within ritual contexts. His first book, “The Grammar of Sacrifice,” examines the ancient intuition that sacrificial rituals, like languages, are governed by “grammars.” He is currently writing on ancient models for the “science of ritual” and on their explanatory power for systems of purity and impurity. Naphtali Meshel previously taught at the Russian State University for the Humanities, and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ).