Jeffrey Cross Awarded Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship
Jeffrey Cross (PhD candidate, Religions in Antiquity) has been awarded a 20-month Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, beginning in the spring of 2024. His postdoctoral research project will examine conceptual similarities discernible within Hebrew texts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls and within texts representing the views of Stoic philosophy during the Hellenistic period (ca. 323-30 BCE). Jewish authors writing in Hebrew at this time not only directly adapted and transformed Stoic concepts, but additionally the philosophical concepts of these Greek and Jewish intellectuals were influenced in similar ways by broader causal factors characteristic of the Hellenistic Mediterranean world. This project will demonstrate philosophical engagement between Jews (writing in Hebrew) and Greek and Roman authors and situate their interactions in the larger Hellenistic intellectual and cultural matrix. Ordinarily, these literatures are studied in isolation from one another and kept in academic silos according to their different languages and the current disciplinary boundaries of biblical studies and ancient philosophy. Cross seeks to challenge this manner of organizing knowledge. By highlighting the Jewish contribution to philosophical discourse prior to the rise of Christianity, he seeks to put two routinely isolated literatures into dialogue and model a more equitable and holistic intellectual history of the ancient Mediterranean.
Upon receiving notice of his award, Cross noted, “I’m very grateful to the Center for Jewish Studies for the funding I received through the Berman Graduate Fellowship to go to Israel for dissertation research last summer. While there I was able to meet with important scholars in my field, one of whom acted as a sponsor on the Israeli side for my Fulbright application. So, I view the support I received from CJS as an important contribution to what made my application successful!”