History

Sarah J. K. Pearce

Bachelor of Divinity (University of London); DPhil (University of Oxford); FRHistS

Primary position:
Ian Karten Professor of Jewish Studies
Other positions:
Head of Discipline; Discipline Safety Officer

Background

The University of Southampton

After undergraduate studies in Theology, specialising in Hebrew Bible and Judaism, I completed a DPhil in Jewish Bible interpretation in the Oriental Faculty at the University of Oxford. I am currently head of the Department of History at the University of Southampton and a member of the University's Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations.

My research interests are primarily in the reception and interpretation of traditions of the Bible in the Second Temple period, and, more generally, in the culture and society of Jews in the Hellenistic world and the early Roman Empire. My current research focuses primarily on the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria, and the ways in which his work as an interpreter of the Greek Bible opens up new perspectives on the world of first-century Alexandria and its Jewish and non-Jewish communities. A major part of my current research involves the preparation of a new English translation and commentary on Philo's On the Decalogue for the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series.

Together with Professor Tessa Rajak, I was co-director of the Arts and Humanities Research Council project on the ‘Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World' (2001-2006). I am currently a collaborator on an AHRC project based at the University of Oxford on ‘The Reception of Josephus in Jewish Culture from the Eighteenth Century to the Present'.

From 2007-2013, I served as co-chair (with Dr Ellen Birnbaum,) of the Philo of Alexandria Seminar and its annual meetings at the North American Society of Biblical Literature.

In 2010 I was elected as President of the British Association for Jewish Studies.
I also serve as Editor (with Sacha Stern) of the Journal of Jewish Studies, and as Associate Editor (with David Runia and Gregory Sterling) of The Studia Philonica Annual.

Professor Sarah J. K. Pearce's photo

Publications

The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)

Article

Pearce, S.J.K. (2013) Rethinking the other in antiquity: Philo of Alexandria on Intermarriage. Antichthon, 47, 140-155.
Pearce, Sarah J.K. (2012) Philo and Roman Imperial power: introduction. Studia Philonica Annual 24 , 24, 133-137.
Pearce, Sarah (2004) King Moses: notes on Philo’s portrait of Moses as an ideal leader in the life of Moses. [in special issue: The Greek Strand in Islamic Political Thought: Proceedings of the Conference held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 16-27 June 2003] Mélanges de l’Université Saint-Joseph, LVII, 37-74.
Pearce, Sarah J.K. (2001) Contextualising Greek chronicles. Zutot: Perspectives on Jewish Culture, 1, (1), 22-27. (doi:10.1163/187502101788691024).
Pearce, Sarah J.K. (1996) Echoes of Eden in the old Greek of Susanna. Feminist Theology, 4, (11), 11-31. (doi:10.1177/096673509600001102).

Book

Pearce, Sarah (ed.) (2013) The image and its prohibition in Jewish antiquity, Oxford, GB, Journal of Jewish Studies, 288pp. (Journal of Jewish Studies Supplement Series, 2).
Pearce, Sarah (2013) The words of Moses: studies in the reception of Deuteronomy in the Second Temple Period, Tübingen, GE, Mohr Siebeck, 404pp. (Texte und Studien zum antiken Judentum).
Jordan, James, Kushner, Tony and Pearce, Sarah (eds.) (2010) Jewish journeys: from Philo to Hip Hop, Edgware, UK, Vallentine Mitchell, 384pp. (Parkes-Wiener Series on Jewish Studies).
Pearce, Sarah (2007) The Land of the Body: Studies in Philo's Representation of Egypt , Tübingen, GE, Mohr Siebeck, 365pp. (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 208).
Rajak, Tessa, Pearce, Sarah and Aitken, James (eds.) (2007) Jewish perspectives on Hellenistic rulers, Berkeley, US, University of California Press, 384pp. (Hellenistic Culture and Society).
Jones, Siân and Pearce, Sarah (eds.) (1998) Jewish local patriotism and self-identification in the Graeco-Roman period, Sheffield, GB, Sheffield Academic Press, 160pp. (The Library of Second Temple Studies, 31).
Jones, Siân, Kushner, Tony and Pearce, Sarah (eds.) (1997) Cultures of ambivalence and contempt: studies in Jewish and non-Jewish relations , Edgware, UK, Vallentine Mitchell, 336pp. (Parkes-Wiener Series on Jewish Studies).

Book Section

Pearce, Sarah Judith (2013) On the Decalogue. In, Feldman, Louis H., Kugel, James L. and Schiffman, Lawrence H. (eds.) Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture. 3-Volume Set. Philadelphia, US, Jewish Publication Society, 989-1032.
Pearce, Sarah (2013) Philo of Alexandria on the Second Commandment. In, Pearce, Sarah (ed.) The Image and its Prohibition in Jewish Antiquity. Oxford, GB, Journal of Jewish Studies, 49-76. (Journal of Jewish Studies Supplement Series, 2).
Pearce, Sarah (2013) Introduction. In, Pearce, Sarah (ed.) The Image and its Prohibition in Jewish Antiquity. Oxford, GB, Journal of Jewish Studies, 1-9. (Journal of Jewish Studies Supplement Series, 2).
Pearce, S. (2011) Philo and the Temple Scroll on the prohibition of single testimony. In, Lange, Armin, De Troyer, Kristin, Tzoref, Shani and Dávid, Nóra (eds.) The Hebrew Bible in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Göttingen, GE, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 321-336. (Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments, 239).
Pearce, Sarah (2011) Philo of Alexandria on Jewish law and Jewish community. In, Júnior, Manuel Alexandre (ed.) Fílon de Alexandria: Nas Origens da Cultura Occidental. Lisbon, PT, Centro de Estudios Classicos (Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa), 137-154.
Pearce, Sarah (2010) Egypt on the Pentateuch’s map of migration. In, Kushner, Tony, Jordan, James and Pearce, Sarah (eds.) Jewish journeys: from Philo to Hip Hop. Edgware, UK, Vallentine Mitchell, 165-181. (Parkes-Wiener Series on Jewish Studies).
Jordan, James, Kushner, Tony and Pearce, Sarah (2010) Introduction: the Nature of Jewish Journeys. In, Jordan, James, Kushner, Tony and Pearce, Sarah (eds.) Jewish journeys: from Philo to Hip Hop. Edgware, UK, Vallentine Mitchell, 3-24. (Parkes-Wiener Series on Jewish Studies).
Pearce, Sarah (2010) Egypt on the Pentatuech's Map of Migration in the Writings of Philo of Alexandria. In, Jordan, James, Kushner, Tony and Pearce, Sarah (eds.) Jewish Journeys: from Philo to Hip Hop. Middlesex, US, Vallentine Mitchell. (Parkes-Wiener Series on Jewish Studies).
Pearce, Sarah (2009) Animal worship. In, Klauck, Hans-Josef, Leppin, Volker, McGinn, Bernard, Seow, Choon-Leong, Spieckermann, Hermann, Walfish, Barry Dov and Ziolkowski, Eric J. (eds.) The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Volume 2: Anim - Atheism. Berlin, DE, De Gruyter.
Pearce, Sarah (2008) Pseudepigrapha. In, Kessler, Edward and Wenborn, Neil (eds.) A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations. Cambridge, GB, Cambridge University Press.
Pearce, Sarah (2008) Onkelos. In, Kessler, Edward and Wenborn, Neil (eds.) A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations. Cambridge, GB, Cambridge University Press.
Pearce, Sarah (2008) Josephus. In, Kessler, Edward and Wenborn, Neil (eds.) A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations. Cambridge, GB, Cambridge University Press.
Pearce, Sarah (2008) Philo. In, Kessler, Edward and Wenborn, Neil (eds.) A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations. Cambridge, GB, Cambridge University Press.
Pearce, Sarah (2008) Translating for Ptolemy: patriotism and politics in the Greek Pentateuch? In, Rajak, Tessa, Pearce, Sarah, Aitken, James and Dines, Jennifer (eds.) Jewish Perspectives on Hellenistic Kingship. Berkeley, US, University of California Press, 165-189. (Hellenistic Culture and Society).
Pearce, Sarah (2007) Philo on the Nile. In, Frey, Jörg, Schwartz, Daniel R. and Gripentrog, Stephanie (eds.) Jewish Identity in the Greco-Roman World. Leiden, NL, Brill, 137-157. (Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, 71).
Pearce, Sarah (2006) Speaking with the voice of God: the High Court according to Greek Deuteronomy 17:8-13. In, Hempel, Charlotte and Lieu, Judith M. (eds.) Biblical Traditions in Transmission: Essays in Honour of Michael A. Knibb. Leiden, NL, Brill, 237-248. (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism, 111).
Pearce, Sarah (2004) Jerusalem as "Mother-City" in the writings of Philo of Alexandria. In, Barclay, John M.G. (ed.) Negotiating Diaspora: Jewish Strategies in the Roman Empire. London, GB, New York, US, T. & T. Clark International, 19-37. (Library of Second Temple Studies 45).
Pearce, Sarah (2004) Jerusalem as mother city in the writings of Philo of Alexandria. In, Barclay, John M.G. (ed.) Negotiating Diaspora: Jewish Strategies in the Roman Empire. London, GB, T&T Clark, 19-36. (The Library of Second Temple Studies, 45).
Pearce, Sarah (2004) King Moses: Notes on Philo's portrait of Moses as an ideal leader in the Life of Moses. In, The Greek Strand in Political Thought. Proceedings of the Conference held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 16-27 June 2003. The Greek Strand in Political Thought Beirut, LB, Université Saint-Joseph, 37-74. (Mélanges de l'Université Saint-Joseph, LVII).
Pearce, Sarah (2002) Judaea under Roman rule 63-135 CE. In, Barton, John (ed.) The Biblical World. London, UK, New York, USA, Routledge, 458-491.
Pearce, Sarah (2001) 3 Maccabees. In, Barton, John and Muddiman, John (eds.) The Oxford Bible Commentary. Oxford, GB, Oxford Unoversity Press, 773-775.
Pearce, Sarah (2000) Josephus and the Witness Laws of Deuteronomy. In, Kalms, Jürgen U. (ed.) Internationales Josephus-Kolloquium Aarhus 1999. Internationalen Josephus-Kolloquium Berlin, DE, LIT Verlag, 122-134. (Münsteraner Judaistische Studien).
Pearce, Sarah (1998) Belonging and not belonging: local perspectives in Philo of Alexandria. In, Jones, Siân and Pearce, Sarah (eds.) Jewish Local Patriotism and Self-Identification in the Graeco-Roman Period. London, GB, Sheffield Academic Press, 79-105. (The Library of Second Temple Studies).
Pearce, Sarah (1997) Attitudes of contempt: Christian anti-Judaism and the Bible. In, Kushner, Tony, Jones, Siân and Pearce, Sarah (eds.) Cultures of Ambivalence and Contempt: Studies in Jewish-non-Jewish Relations. Edgware, UK, Vallentine Mitchell, 50-71. (Parkes-Wiener Series on Jewish Studies).
 

Research

Research Interests

  • Philo of Alexandria
  • Flavius Josephus
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Exegesis of the Hebrew and Greek Bible
  • Reception history of the Bible
  • Jewish history and culture in the Second Temple period
  • Hellenistic and early Roman Egypt
  • Jewish/non-Jewish relations from antiquity to the present

I am currently writing a commentary on Philo of Alexandria's treatise, De Decalogo (On the Decalogue), itself the earliest surviving commentary on the Ten Commandments. I am responsible for producing a new English translation, introduction and commentary for the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series (ed. Gregory Sterling).

For reviews of my first monograph on Philo, The Land of the Body: Studies in Philo's Representation of Egypt (Mohr Siebeck, 2007; WUNT 208):

Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 47 (2010) 335-338.

The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 94 (2008) 340-342.

Journal of Jewish Studies 60 (2009) 148-149.

Journal of Theological Studies 61/1 (2010) 271-273.

The Studia Philonica Annual 22 (2010) 282-286.

Teaching Responsibilities

Year 1: Masada: History and Myth
Year 2: Cleopatra's Egypt
Year 3: The Bible and History (with Helen Spurling and Mark Stoyle)
Year 3: Roman Imperialism and the Jews
MA:  Jewish/non-Jewish Relations throughout the Ages (with Tony Kushner)
MA: The Jews of Egypt: from Alexander to Trajan

I welcome applications for postgraduate research in early Jewish Bible interpretation; Second Temple period literature and history; studies in Josephus, Philo of Alexandria and other ancient interpreters of biblical tradition; the reception of Jewish antiquity.

Contact

Professor Sarah J. K. Pearce
Building 65
Faculty of Humanities
University of Southampton
Avenue Campus
Highfield
Southampton
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/2047

Telephone: (023) 8059 2941
Email: S.J.Pearce@soton.ac.uk