SU
                          Religion Department
 

Watts with Mestrovic's Moses at SU

Book monument at RU Bochum

Jim at Sacred Texts conference
                2013

Ark on lintel from Capernaum

Jim at Bethsaida

Sargeant's Cherub with Decalogue

Iconic Books Symposium 2009

Egyptian Scribe

Jim teaching

Fons Sapientia, Leuven, Belgium

Jim on
                book in British Library

at Pergamaum alter

Akhenaton Private Shrine

Professor
James W. Watts

 
office: 501 Hall of Languages
phone: 315-443-5713
e-mail: jwwatts at syr dot edu

Jim
                              Watts 2016


Research: I am professor of Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern textual traditions. My research involves the overlaps between rhetoric, ritual and scriptures. An assignment to write a large commentary on Leviticus has me focused on very detailed texts in their ancient Near Eastern and later Jewish and Christian contexts, while the Iconic Books Project provides me a way to analyze the functions of scriptures in cross-cultural and trans-historical perspectives. Teaching: My undergraduate courses range from biblical studies to ancient religion and culture to comparative scriptures studies. At the graduate level, I teach mostly in the Texts & Contexts concentration of the Religion MA and PhD programs. I am interested in directing student research on iconic books, biblical ritual texts, normative texts, and scripturalization.

Watts' Courses -- Publications -- Education & Career -- CV -- Iconic Books Project -- SCRIPT

Courses:  

 

 

REL/JSP 114 The Bible in History, Culture, and Religion
REL/JSP 215 The Jewish Bible / Christian Old Testament
REL 301 Ancient Near Eastern Religions and Cultures
REL/JSP 307 The Temple and the Dead Sea Scrolls
REL/JSP 311 The Bible As Literature
HON 340 Writing Scripture Law
REL 607 Ancient Religious Rhetoric
REL 610 Textual Practices: The Torah/Pentateuch

REL 620 Textual Scripts:
Iconic Books and Performative Texts
REL 630 Textual Bodies: Pollution and Purity in Leviticus
REL 690 Textual Archives: The Functions of Scriptures

Publications:
Books

Sensing Sacred Texts

Iconic Books & Texts

Book
                                Graphic

Book Graphic

Book Graphic

How and Why Books Matter
: Essays on the Social Function of Iconic Texts, Sheffield: Equinox, forthcoming 2019.


(Editor) Sensing Sacred Texts, Sheffield: Equinox, 2018.


Understanding the Pentateuch as A Scripture, London: Wiley Blackwell, 2017. (sample syllabus).


Leviticus 1-10, Historical Commentary on the Old Testament, Leuven: Peeters, 2013. (online review here)


(Editor) Iconic Books and Texts, Sheffield: Equinox, 2013.


Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus: From Sacrifice to Scripture, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. (online reviews here and here)


(Editor) Persia and Torah: The Theory of Imperial Authorization of the Pentateuch, SBL Symposium Series, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2001. (RBL review)


(Editor with Corrine Patton and Steven Cook) The Whirlwind: Essays on Job, Hermeneutics and Theology in Memory of Jane Morse, JSOTSup Series 336, London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001.


Reading Law: The Rhetorical Shaping of the Pentateuch, Biblical Seminar 59, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999.  (online review)


(Editor with Paul R. House) Forming Prophetic Literature: Essays on Isaiah and the Twelve in Honor of John D. W. Watts, JSOTSup Series 235, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996.


Psalm and Story: Inset Hymns in Hebrew Narrative, Journal for the Study of the Old Testam
ent Supplement Series 139, Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992.

                                                                                             
Watts, Psalm and
                                Story
Watts, How and Why Books Matter

Understanding the Pentateuch as A
                                Scripture

Leviticus 1-10 HCOT 2013

Watts Ritual & Rhetoric 2007

Book Graphic


Articles & Chapters:

Book Reviews:

  • Entangled Religions 3 (2016), #14.
  • Catholic Biblical Quarterly 78 (2016), 134-36.
  • Reflective Teaching (2015).
  • Interpretation 67 (2013), 80-81; 65 (2011) 91-92, 61 (2007) 98.
  • Review of Biblical Literature (2012), (2008), (2008), (2007), (2007), (2006), (2003), (1999)
  • Journal of Hebrew Scriptures (2012)
  • Religion 41 (2011) 105-107, 39 (2009) 300-302.
  • Biblica 91 (2010) 595-98.
  • The Journal of Biblical Literature 120 (2001) 348 [= RBL 2000 online] , 118 (1999) 128-28 [= RBL 1999 online] , 116 (1997) 541-43 [= RBL 1997 online]
  • Horizons in Biblical Theology 24/1 (2002) 129-31
  • Jewish Quarterly Review 91/3-4 (2001) 526-29
  • Theology Today 55 (1999) 586-88
  • Hebrew Studies 39 (1998) 236-38, 37 (1996) 166-68
  • Perspectives in Religious Studies 23 (1996) 75-86, 22 (1995) 87-91
  • Religious Studies Review 23 (1997) 388, 24 (1998) 59, 283-284, 405, 25 (1999) 71
  • Paradigms 1 (1985) 50-52, 118-20, 2 (1986) 136-37, 5 (1989) 68-69, 156-57 
Education:    
 
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Yale University, 1990
  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Theology (Th.M.) in New Testament, Southern Seminary, 1985, 1986 
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Philosophy, Pomona College, 1982 
 

Career:

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Syracuse University, 1999-present:
    • Professor, 2007-present
    • Chair, SU Department of Religion, 2009-2015
    • William P. Tolley Professor in the Humanities 2011-2013
    • Chair, SU Humanities Council, 2010-2012
    • Director of Graduate Studies, SU Department of Religion, 2006-2009
    • Associate Professor, 1999-2007 
    • Core Faculty, Renée Crown Honors Program, 2004-07
    • Director of Undergraduate Studies, SU Department of Religion, 2000-2004
    • Director, SU Religion & Society Program, 2002-2004
  • The Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts (SCRIPT): Secretary-Treasurer, 2010-present
  • Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Ruhr Universität Bochum: Visiting Research Fellow, 2015-16
  • Pentateuch Section of the Society of Biblical Literature: Chair, 1998-2003 
  • Hastings College, 1993-1999:
    • Associate Professor, 1998-1999
    • Assistant Professor, 1993-1998
  • Stetson University, Barry University, Valencia Community College: Adjunct 1991-1993
  • Stetson University: Visiting Assistant Professor 1990-1991
  • Yale Divinity School: Instructor, 1989
 

 

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