After a prolonged battle with leukemia, Alan Segal, Ingeborg Rennert Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies at Barnard College of Columbia University and a prolific scholar of early Judaism and Christianity, passed away in February. He was 65.
Segal was a recognized leader in the field of early Judaism and Christian origins and a master at presenting these subjects to both scholars and lay audiences. He authored several critically acclaimed books, including Rebecca’s Children: Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World (Harvard, 1986). He also wrote an article for BAR in 1997 that explained how electronic Bible concordances could be used for Bible study.*
Segal gained notoriety in 2007 for his vocal opposition to the tenure promotion of Barnard anthropology professor Nadia Abu El Haj, whose controversial book Facts on the Ground (University of Chicago, 2001) heavily criticized archaeology in Israel as politically motivated. Abu El Haj was ultimately tenured.
* Alan F. Segal, “Electronic Echoes: Using Computer Concordances for Bible Study,” BAR, November/December 1997.
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