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Professor Alan F. Segal Remembered

Prof. Alan F. SegalThe Barnard community joins together to mourn the loss of Alan F. Segal, Professor Emeritus of Religion and Ingeborg Rennert Professor Emeritus of Judaic Studies.  He was a devoted member of the Barnard faculty from 1980 until he retired this past December.

At the College, Professor Segal’s courses included “Introduction to Judaism,” “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” “Judaism in the Time of Jesus,” “Life After Death,” and “Literary Approaches to the Bible.” In addition to his teaching duties for the Department of Religion, he was affiliated with the programs in Jewish Studies and Human Rights Studies at Barnard, and held a concurrent appointment as Adjunct Professor of Scripture at Union Theological Seminary. He had also taught at Princeton University and the University of Toronto.

Professor Segal's scholarly interests were broad and multi-disciplinary. His own graduate and undergraduate studies included English literature, psychology, anthropology, comparative religion, Judaica, Christian origins, and rabbinics. He delved deeply into the historical and ideological relationships between Judaism and Christianity, and had also written on the topic of Jewish mysticism.

He work was published widely for both scholarly and general audiences, and for journals in the United States, Canada, and Europe. His books were selections of the History Book Club, the Book of the Month Club, and the Behavioral Science Book Club. His media appearances included Talk of the Nation, NPR; Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC; Barbara Walters 20/20 Special, ABC; and the History Channel.

Professor Segal's research and scholarship were supported by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, The National Endowment for the Humanities, Annenberg Institute, and J.S. Guggenheim Foundation. He received such fellowships as Mellon, NDFLA, and Croghan at Williams College. He was a member of the board of the American Society for the Study of Religion and the board of the World Alliance of Interfaith Organizations. He also served on the editorial board of the Journal of Biblical Literature.

Alan Segal received a B.A. from Amherst College, an M.A. from Brandeis University, a Bachelor of Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and from Yale University he earned an M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D.

If you wish to support to The Alan Segal Student Research Fund, recently established in conjunction with his retirement, please contact Professor Elizabeth Castelli, Chair of Religion. 

Photo Courtesy of the Barnard College Archives.