Zachary J. Braiterman

Professor, Religion

Research and Teaching Interests

Professor Braiterman works in the field of modern Judaism. His research and teaching explore shifting aesthetic canons as they shape Jewish thought and culture from the 17th century until the present. Research and teaching interests touch upon the impact of enlightenment, modernity, modernism, and postmodernism upon Jewish ideas about God, ritual, text-interpretation, and community life --with special emphasis on Jewish philosophy, theoretical aesthetics, and classical Jewish sources.

Dr. Braiterman's blog:


REL 135 Judaism
REL 435 Modern Judaic Thought
REL 595 Religion, Art, and Aesthetics


  • Ph.D., Stanford University, Department of Religious Studies (1995)
  • B.A., University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (1988)


  • Associate Professor, Department of Religion, Syracuse University, 2003-present
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Syracuse University, 1997-2002
  • Adjunct Professor of Jewish Thought, Jewish Theological Seminary, 2011
  • NEH Visiting Associate Professor of the Humanities, Colgate University, spring 2010
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania, Spring 2001
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Rice University, 1996-1997
  • Adjunct Lecturer, The University of Judaism, 1995
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University, 1994-1995



The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy: The Modern Era
Co-edited with Martin Kavka and David Novak (Cambridge University Press, 2012)


The Shape of Revelation: Aesthetics and Modern Jewish Thought
(Stanford University Press, 2007)

Auschwitz (God) After Auschwitz: Tradition and Change in Post-Holocaust Jewish Thought
(Princeton University Press, 1998)

Book Chapters

  • “The Emergence of Modern Religion: Moses Mendelssohn, Neoclassicism, and Ceremonial Aesthetics” in Christian Wiese and Martina Urban(eds.), German-Jewish Thought Between Religion and Politics: Festschrift in Honor of the Seventieth Birthday of Paul Mendes-Flohr, (Studia Judaica 60) Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012
  • “Zionism” in Martin Kavka, Zachary Braiterman, and David Novak (eds.) Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy: The Modern Era, Cambridge University Press, pp.606-34, 2012
  • “Jewish Philosophy, the Sciences, and the Humanities” CCARJournal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly, pp.50-7, winter 2012
  • “Aesthetics,” “God,” and “Richard Rubenstein” in Judith Baskin (ed.)The CambridgeDictionary of Jewish History, Religion, and Culture, Cambridge University Press, 2011
  •  “Lamentations in Modern Jewish Thought” in Robin Parry and Heath Thomas(eds.), Great is Thy Faithfulness? Reading Lamentations as Sacred Scripture, Eugene: Pickwick, Publications, 2011
  • "A Modern Mitzvah-Space-Aesthetic” in Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Jonathan Karp (eds.) The Art of Being Jewish in Modern Times. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008
  • "Martin Buber and the Art of Ritual” in Michael Zank (ed.), Martin Buber: New Perspectives/Neue Perspektiven, Mohr/Siebeck,2006
  • "'Elu ve-Elu': Reading (the) Difference (between) Rabbinic Textuality (and) Postmodern Philosophy," to appear in Textual Reasonings: Jewish Philosophy and Text Study at the End of the Twentieth Century, Peter Ochs and Nancy Levene, eds., 2003.
  • "Cyclical Motions and the Force of Repetition in the Thought of Franz Rosenzweig," in Beginning Again: Towards a Hermeneutic of Jewish Texts, eds. Aryeh Cohen and Shaul Magid. Seven Bridges Press, 2002.

Journal Articles

  • “Oxford Holocaust Bibliography; Philosophy and Theology” in Oxford Bibliographies Online New York: Oxford University Press, 201
  • Radical Theology and Judaism: Response to Martin Kavka” in Soundings, (95:1), 2012
  • “Photographic Index, the ‘Spiritual in Art,’ and the Ethics of ‘Downcast Eyes’” in Philosophy Today, (55:4), 2011
  • “Conservative Money and Jewish Studies: Investigating the Tikvah Fund” at ZeekMagazine (online); september 2011
  • "We Ourselves are to Blame: Hannah Arendt’s Jewish Writings” at Zeek Magazine, (online), september 2007
  • "Aesthetics and Judaism, Art and Revelation" in Jewish Studies Quarterly, (11:4), 2004
  • "Against Leo Strauss" in The Journal of the Society for Textual Reasoning, (online) (3:1) 2004
  • Response to Peter Ochs, "Behind the Mechitza: Reflections on the Rules of Textual Reasoning," in The Journal of Textual Reasoning: Rereading Judaism After Modernity (1:1) 2002.
  • Response to Marc Bregman, "AQEDAH: Midrash as Visualization" in Textual Reasoning: A Journal of the Postmodern Jewish Philosophy Network (Vol. 10, 2001).
  • "Joseph Soloveitchik and Immanuel Kant's Mitzvah-Aesthetic," AJS Review (25:1), 2000-2001
  • "Against Holocaust-Sublime: Naive Reference and the Generation of Memory," History and Memory (12:2) 2000
  • "Der Ästhet Franz Rosenzweig: Beautiful Form and Religious Thought," Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy (Vol. 10) 2000
  • "Response to Jacob Neusner," in Religious Education (95:1) 2000
  • "Teaching Jewish Studies in a Radically Gentile Space: Some Personal Reflections," Religious Education (94:4), 1999
  • "`Into Life'? Franz Rosenzweig and the Figure of Death," in AJS Review (23:2), 1998
  • "Fideism Redux: Emil Fackenheim and The State of Israel," in Jewish Social Studies (4:1), 1997
  • "`Hitler's Accomplice'?! The Tragic Theology of Richard Rubenstein" in Modern Judaism (17), 1997

“Conservative Money and Jewish Studies: Investigating the Tikvah Fund” online at Zeek


Magazine; available at