Prof. Miriam Bodian

Prof. Miriam Bodian
Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin

Miriam Bodian turned to Jewish Studies after her undergraduate studies at Harvard, partly as a personal response to the intense identity politics of the early 70s and the suppression of her father’s Jewish origins in her family. She did her M.A. and Ph.D. at Hebrew University at Jerusalem, the first on a topic in German-Jewish history and the second – partly as a response to identity politics in Israel, with the turn in the late 1970s to Sephardic studies – in the field of Portuguese-Jewish history. The latter field has remained a fulcrum for her studies of ethnic sub-identity, the Christian-Jewish debate, the Jews and the Reformation, Jewish martyrdom, Portuguese-Jewish political thought, and the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions. Her first book, on the Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam, won a National Jewish Book Award and a Koret Jewish Book Award in 1998. In her work, she has sought to highlight the diversity of personal responses to broad intellectual, cultural, and political trends, and has sought to rely, insofar as possible, on the conceptual understandings of the populations she studies.


Selected Publications

Dying in the Law of Moses: Crypto-Jewish Martyrdom in the Iberian World (Indiana University Press, 2007).

Hebrews of the Portuguese Nation: Conversos and Community in Early Modern Amsterdam (Indiana University Press, 1997).

“The Geography of Conscience: A Seventeenth-Century Atlantic Jew and the Inquisition,” The Journal of Modern History 89:2 (2017), 247-281.

“The Reformation and the Jews,” in Jeremy Cohen and Moshe Rosman, eds., Rethinking European Jewish History, Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization 2008, 112-132.


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