I am assistant professor of Religion at Augsburg University. I am broadly trained in Biblical Studies and the afterlives of the Bible, with a focus on Second Temple (including New Testament/Early Christianity) and early Rabbinic periods. My work emphasizes the vast diversity of Judaism in the ancient world, including ancient constructions of gender.

Current & Recent Projects:

My current project is a monograph on the Diversity in Jewish Leadership in the 1st–3rd centuries CE. Using both normative, elite evidence and underused literary and material sources in the reconstruction of late Second Temple and early Rabbinic Judaism, this research highlights the instability and diversity of leadership in this period, especially in terms of gender and status. My work contributes to disrupting the notion of an easy segue between Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism and helps complicate the so-called Parting of the Ways between Judaism and Christianity.

Most recently, the textbook Jewish and Christian Women in the Ancient Mediterranean World (Routledge, 2022) was released. This collaboration, with Dr Meredith Warren [Sheffield] and Dr Sara Parks [St. Xavier Francis], examines ancient Jewish, Christian, Greek, and Roman religious communities and practices. This textbook teaches students how to 1) uncover the voices of women in antiquity, 2) reconstruct “real” women based on materials predominantly written by and for men, and 3) examine portrayals of women as well as gendered expectations. To do this, we utilize a variety of interpretive methods (e.g. feminist, queer, post-colonial) while also challenging the scholarly compartmentalization of ancient Mediterranean religions and cultures.

I research and teach on gender theory and women and gender studies. My recently published co-edited book, Gender & Second-Temple Judaism, (Lexington/Fortress 2020) brings together upcoming and established scholars in gender and Second Temple Judaism. Following up this collection will be a volume with Drs Kathy Ehrensperger and Juni Hoppe on Constructions of Gender in Late Antiquity (expected fall 2023).

In addition, I work with the afterlives of biblical and apocryphal narratives. For example, see my recent article on Mono- and Polytheistic tensions in Battlestar Galactica and ancient Jewish biblical interpretation (JIBS 2021). I am especially interested in the (re)use of end time narratives in contemporary popular culture.

Work Summary:

I have served as visiting assistant professor of religion at Centre College and as visiting instructor of Jewish Studies/Religion at Colgate University; I have also taught at McGill University, the University of Kentucky, and Butler University. My courses have covered Judaism/Jewish Studies, Ancient Scripture (both canons and non-canonical literature), and Religion in Antiquity, with a broad array of upper-level courses and graduate courses. In my teaching I use high-impact practices based on research, which I also write about, and I have mentored and supervised student research. I have administrative experience in community-based learning and volunteering for college students and  served as the liaison between students, college, and larger community for these positions at Earlham College. In addition I was the faculty advisor to the Jewish Students’ Organization, where, in addition advising their activities, I brought in speakers on topics such as anti-semitism and I organized and led the Centre College Passover Seder.

Contact me at sheinfel@augsburg.edu

Last updated 8 July 2022