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  • About the Authors

David M. Carr is Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Among his publications on textuality, orality, and literacy is Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature (2005). He is currently concluding a study of the formation of the Hebrew Bible based on this work (to appear in 2011).

Born in Northern Ireland in 1933, Ruth Finnegan studied classics at Oxford, followed by social anthropology, then fieldwork and university teaching in Africa. In 1969 she joined the Open University where she is now Emeritus Professor. Her books include Oral Literature in Africa (1970), Oral Poetry (1977/1992), Literacy and Orality (1988), Oral Traditions and the Verbal Arts (1992), South Pacific Oral Traditions (joint ed., 1995), Communicating (2002), and The Oral and Beyond: Doing Things with Words in Africa (2007).

Talya Fishman, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, studies medieval and early modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history. Her writings include Shaking the Pillars of Exile: “Voice of a Fool,” an Early Modern Jewish Critique of Rabbinic Culture (1997) and Becoming the People of the Talmud: Transmission of Rabbinic Tradition and the Formation of Medieval Jewish Cultures (forthcoming). Her current book project, Sensing Torah: A Medieval Jewish Guide to the Cultivation of Religious Experience, explores the interplay of memory training, manuscript illumination, religious polemic, theories of vision, and epistemological debates in a Hebrew treatise from late medieval Spain.

William A. Graham is Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and O’Brian Professor and Dean, Faculty of Divinity, Harvard University. He has held Guggenheim and von Humboldt fellowships and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his writings are Divine Word and Prophetic Word in Early Islam (1977-ACLS History of Religions Prize), Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (1987), and Islamic and Comparative Religious Studies (2010).

Holly Hearon is Associate Professor of New Testament at Christian Theological Seminary. She has published numerous articles on the written and spoken word in the first-century CE Mediterranean world, with a particular emphasis on storytelling. She is the author of The Mary Magdalene Tradition: Witness and Counter-witness in Early Christian Communities (2004).

Catherine Hezser is Professor of Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London. Having received doctoral degrees in both Biblical Studies and Jewish Studies from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, she has held academic posts at the Free University Berlin, The Hebrew University Jerusalem, and Trinity College Dublin. Hezser’s particular research interests are the Talmud Yerushalmi, the social history of Jews in Hellenistic and Roman Palestine, the relationship between orality and writing, and interfaces between and the literary and archaeological remnants of ancient Jewish daily life.

Richard A. Horsley, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, is author of many books, including “Whoever Hears You Hears Me”: Prophets, Performance, and Tradition in Q (with Jonathan Draper, 1999), Hearing the Whole Story: The Politics of Plot in Mark’s Gospel (2001), and Jesus in Context: Power, People, Performance (2008), and has edited many others, including Performing the Gospel: Orality, Memory, and Mark (with Jonathan Draper and John Miles Foley, 2006).

Werner H. Kelber is the Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Rice University. His work has focused on oral tradition, gospel narrativity, biblical hermeneutics, the historical Jesus, orality-scribality studies, memory, rhetoric, text criticism, and the media history of the Bible. His major work, The Oral and the Written Gospel (1997), examines points and processes of oral-scribal transition in the early Jewish-Christian tradition.

Angelika Neuwirth is Professor for Arabic Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. She studied Classics and Islamic Studies at Göttingen, Munich, Teheran, and Jerusalem, and served as guest professor at the University of Jordan (1977-83). Since 1991 she has been Chair of Arabic Studies at Berlin, and from 1994-2000 she was Director of the German Orient Institute in...

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