Yaakov Ariel

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Yaakov Ariel



Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1986
M.A., University of Chicago, 1982
M.A., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1981
B.A., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1977


Religion in the Americas
Judaism in the Modern World

Research interests

  • Christian-Jewish relations
  • missions and conversions
  • Judaism and Christianity in the modern world
  • Christian and Jewish new religious movements
  • Christianity and the Holy Land
  • Pietism and Evangelicalism

Professional Biography

Much of my research has focused on Protestantism, especially Evangelical Christianity, and its attitudes towards the Jewish people and the Holy Land; on Christian-Jewish relations in the late modern era; and on the Jewish reaction to modernity and postmodernity.

I have published numerous articles and three books on these subjects. One of these books, Evangelizing the Chosen People, was awarded the Albert C. Outler prize by the American Society of Church History. My latest book, An Unusual Relationship: Evangelical Christians and Jews, was published in 2013 by New York University Press.

My current project looks at the religious aspects in the life and career of poet Allen Ginsberg who was, in significant ways, a pioneer and prophet to many of his generation.

Courses Recently Taught

  • Messianic Movements in American History
  • The Evangelical Tradition
  • The Anglican Tradition
  • Introduction to Jewish Studies
  • Introduction to Judaism in the Modern Era
  • Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Judaism
  • Readings in Religion in America since 1865
  • New Religious Movements
  • Religion and the Counterculture

Selected Awards

  • Institute for Advanced Studies (Forschungskolleg) of Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Fellowship, May – July 2013.
  • Crosscurrents and Union Theological Seminary, New York, Coolidge Fellowship, Summer 2011.
  • The Simon Dubnow Institute, University of Leipzig: Summer Research Fellowship, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012.
  • American Society of Church History: The Albert C. Outler Prize, to the author of the best book published in the two previous calendar years in ecumenical church history, 2002.



An Unusual Relationship: Evangelical Christians and Jews. New York: New York University Press, 2013. x + 307 pages.

Evangelizing the Chosen People: Missions to the Jews in America, 1880-2000. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000, x + 368 pages. Winner of the 2002 Albert C. Outler Prize from the American Society of Church History, to the author of the best book published in the two previous calendar years in ecumenical church history.

The Road to Damascus: Memoirs of Captivity. Tel Aviv: Sifriat Poalim, 1998, 100 pages. In Hebrew.

On Behalf of Israel: American Fundamentalist Attitudes Towards Jews, Judaism, and Zionism, 1865- 1945. New York: Carlson Publishing Inc., 1991. xv + 172 pages.

Recent Book Chapters

“Jewish Christian Dialogue,” in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Interfaith Dialogue, edited by Catherine Cornille. Chichester: John Willey and Sons, 2013, 205-224.

“Jewish Liberalism through Comparative Lenses: Reform Judaism and its Liberal Christian Counterparts,” in American Religious Liberalism, edited by Leigh E. Schmidt and Sally M. Promey. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012, 270-292.

“Actually I Am a Prophet: The Resurgence of Prophecy in Contemporary Judaism,” in ‘I am no Prophet’: Functions of Prophecy in Holy Books and Beyond, edited by Armin Lange et al. Leiden: Brill, 2012.

“Crisis and Renewal: From Crushed Hasidism to Neo-Hasidic Renewal and Outreach,” in Judaism and Crisis: Crisis as a Catalyst in Jewish History, edited by Armin Lange et al. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011, 317-335.

“Philosemites Embracing the Protocols? American Fundamentalists and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, edited by Dina Porat et al. Oxford: Routledge, 2011.

“Radical Millennial Movements in Contemporary Judaism in Israel,” in Oxford Handbook of Millennialism, edited by Catherine Wessinger. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

“‘You Must Choose: the Prince of Peace or the Prince of Darkness’: Evangelical Beliefs and American Dualism at the turn of the 21st Century,” in Light Against Darkness, edited by Armin Lange et al. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011, 294-309.

“From neo-Hasidism to Outreach Yeshivot: the Origins of the Movement of Renewal and Return to Tradition,” in Kabbalah and Contemporary Spiritual Revival, edited by Boaz Huss. Beer Sheva: Ben Gurion University Press, 2011, 1-21.

“Wissenschaft des Judentums Comes to America: Kaufmann Kohler’s Scholarly Projects and Jewish-Christian Relations,” in Die Entdeckung des Christentums in der Wissenschaft des Judentums, edited by Gorge K. Hasselhoff. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010, 165-182.

“Messianic Expectations among Christians and Jews in the Late Ottoman Empire” in Jerusalem in the Late Ottoman Period, edited by Israel Bartal and Haim Goren. Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi, 2010, 83-94.

“‘It’s All in the Bible’: Evangelical Christians, Biblical Literalism and Philosemitism in our Times,” in Philosemitism in History, edited by Jonathan Karp and Adam Sutcliffe. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011, 257-288.

“Judaism [The Writing of Judaism in America],” in The Blackwell Companion to American

Religious History, edited by Philip Goff (London: Willey-Blackwell, 2010), 599-613.

“Suffering, Heroism, and the Healing Arrival of the Savior: The Holocaust in Evangelical Literature,” in Re-examining the Holocaust, edited by Ben Williams and Anke Kluge. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2009, 131-153.

Recent Refereed Articles

“From Faith to Faith: Conversions and De-Conversions during the Holocaust,” Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook XII (2013): 37-66.

“Charisma and Counterculture: Allen Ginsberg as a Prophet for a New Generation,” Religions (2013) 4 (1), Special Issue Charisma, Medieval and Modern: 51-66.

“A German Rabbi and Scholar in America: Kaufmann Kohler and the Shaping of American Theological and Intellectual Agendas,’” European Judaism 45, no. 2 (Autumn 2012): 59-77.

“A Different Kind of Dialogue? Messianic Judaism and Jewish Christian Relations,” CrossCurrents 243 (September 2012): 318-327.

“Israel in Contemporary Evangelical Christian Millennial Thought,” Numen 59 (2012): 456-485.

“Jews and New Religious Movements: An Introductory Essay,” Nova Religio 15, no. 1 (August 2011): 5-21.

“Interfaith Dialogue and the Golden Age of Christian-Jewish Relations,” Studies in Christian Jewish Relations 6, no.1 (2011).

“L’espoire Massianique: L’influence de la foi Millenariste sur la Politique Americaine au Moyen Orient,” Revue Lisa IX, no. 1 (2011): 302-325.

“A Proud Announcement: the Jewish Encyclopedia and the Coming of Age of Jewish Scholarship in America.” Simon-Dubnow-Institut Jahrbuch IX (2010): 381-404.

“The One and the Many: Unity and Diversity in Protestant Attitudes toward the Jews.” Studies in Contemporary Jewry 24 (2010): 15-45.

“Paradigm Shift: New Religious Movements and Quests for Meaning and Community in Contemporary Israel,” Nova Religio 13, no. 4 (May 2010): 4-21.

“Les Racines Theólogiques et la Portée Historique du Sionisme Chrétien,” Revue d’Idées Controverses 11 (Mai 2009): 166-190. 7.