Aryeh AmihayI am a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at UC-Santa Barbara, where I teach courses on ancient Judaism, and the relations of law and religion. I majored in biblical studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and then continued to graduate studies at Princeton University, where I wrote a dissertation entitled “Law and Society in the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

My research has developed in two directions. As a specialist in ancient Judaism, I am interested in the ways the authority of scripture is generated, preserved, and undermined by later readers. My work involves meeting points between Early Judaism and Christianity, on matters of exegesis, law, and rhetorics. I am exploring these themes through research on a specific text, The Lives of the Prophets, but also working on a broader theme of silence in biblical and postbiblical literature.

My other area of interest seeks to combine contemporary legal theory with the study of ancient texts. In my first monograph, “Theory and Practice in Essene Law,” I employed legal theory, sociology, and spatial analysis in order to reconstruct the living law of the Essenes in general, and the Yahad in particular, applying contemporary terminology for the elucidation of the legal material of the Judean Desert Scrolls. I am currently working on the legal constructions of sacred spaces in antiquity, as a case study for the connections of law and religion.

As a firm believer in education as an ongoing dialectic process, I welcome any opportunity for dialogue. My preferred method of contact is e-mail through the contact form below, but I can also be reached by the social networks Facebook and