- Interpretation of the Bible (Hebrew and Greek).
- Philo of Alexandria.
- Jewish history in the hellenistic and Roman periods.
- Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt.
Accepting applications from PhD students.
Sarah Pearce, B.D., DPhil., SFHEA.
Following undergraduate studies in Theology and Philosophy, I completed my DPhil (University of Oxford, 1995) on the interpretation of the laws of Deuteronomy in ancient Judaism, arriving at the University of Southampton as a Parkes Fellow in 1994. Since then I have taught Ancient History and Jewish Studies within the History curriculum. From 2012 to 2015, I served as Head of History, and from 2018-2023 as Head of the School of Humanities.
Research: My research focuses on the history and literature of Jews in the ancient world, specifically in the Land of Israel and in Egypt and the wider Mediterranean world during the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods. I have written, in particular, on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Temple Scroll and Damascus Document), the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, the works of the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria, and on the Jews of Egypt under Ptolemaic and Roman rule.
Major projects have included:
The idea of Egypt ("The Land of the Body") in the writings of Philo of Alexandria (AHRB funded, 2001).
"The Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World", co-directed with Tessa Rajak (AHRC funded, 2001-2006)
"Israel in Egypt", co-directed with Alison Salvesen and Miriam Frenkel (Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, 2016).
I am presently working on new translations of and commentaries on key hellenistic Jewish texts, including Philo's On the Decalogue, and The Letter of Aristeas.
Service to the Academic Community: I am a former Chair of the Philo of Alexandria section at the Society of Biblical Literature (USA); former President of the British Association of Jewish Studies (2010); and former Secretary and Chair of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Jewish Studies (2018-2022) and currently serve as Chair of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society, and Co-Chair of the Society of Biblical Literature's Hellenistic Judaism unit.