Alexandra Zirkle


Alexandra Zirkle 04

Visiting Associate Professional Specialist


Ph.D. University of Chicago, Divinity School
M.St. University of Cambridge, St. Catharine's College
M. A. University of Chicago

Research and Teaching Interests

Modern Jewish thought; Politics of modern biblical exegesis; German Jewish religious history, 1750-1900; Jewish critiques of capitalism; Jewish-Christian intellectual relations; History of hermeneutics. 

Forthcoming Publications

“Remembering Heinrich Graetz, the Well-Known Exegete.” Jewish Quarterly Review.

“Josephus the Jew and Anti-Colonialist Exegesis,” in The Reception of Josephus in Jewish Culture from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, ed. Andrea Schatz. Forthcoming, Brill, 2018.

“Jewish Farmers in Modernity: Models of Bourgeois Habitus or Counter-Historiosophical Evidence?” in Deutsch-jüdische Bibelwissenschaft – Historische, exegetische und theologische Perspektiven. Hrsg. von Daniel Vorpahl, Shani Tzoref, and Sophia Kähler. Forthcoming, de Gruyter’s “European-Jewish Studies” Series, 2018.

“Tortured Readings: Hermeneutics and the Authorization of State Violence,” Is There a Bomb in This Text? Exploring Relationships Between Scripture and Violence, eds. Julia Snyder and Daniel H. Weiss. Forthcoming, Routledge, 2018.


Alexandra Zirkle is Visiting Assistant Professor in Modern Jewish Thought at the University of Notre Dame during Spring 2018. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2016 and completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Leibniz Institute of European History (Mainz) in 2017. She is currently completing her book manuscript, Retrieving a Lost Discipline: Biblical Hermeneutics and the Formation of Modern German Jewry, which traces how German Jews called upon the discipline of biblical exegesis to defend their rights to emancipation and to formulate their identities as modern Jews and Germans. Her second book project is a history of nineteenth-century Jewish critiques of capitalism as articulated in religious texts including sermons, commentaries, and devotional literature. She has taught courses on subjects including modern Jewish thought, medieval and modern biblical exegesis, and Jewish-Christian relations at the University of Chicago and Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.