Richard G. Marks Professor Emeritus of Religion

Richard G. Marks
Website - Curriculum Vitae

2014-2019: Jessie Ball duPont Professorship in Religion

2000-2007, 2009-10: Department Head, Religion Department

1998-99, 2004: Visiting Fellow, University College, Oxford University

1996-2019: Professor of Religion, Washington and Lee University

1988-96: Associate Professor of Religion, Washington and Lee University

1993-94: Visiting Professor, Graduate Program of Ethics, Mahidol University, Bangkok

1984-88: Assistant Professor of Religion, Washington and Lee University

1979-84: Visiting Professor, Graduate Program of Religious Studies, Mahidol University, Bangkok


University of California, Los Angeles. Ph.D. in Jewish History (secondary concentration in History of Religions), 1980. Dissertation: The Image of Bar Kokhba in Jewish Literature up to the Seventeenth Century: False Messiah and National Hero

Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles. M.A. in Judaic Studies, 1971

Raymond College, University of the Pacific. B.A. in Liberal Arts, 1967


The history of Jewish views of Hinduism and Indian culture, and Jewish theories of comparative religion which include Hinduism in their framework.


Courses taught: God and the Holocaust, Perspectives on Death and Dying, Biblical Job and his Modern Masks, Travel Mythic and Modern, Introduction to Judaism, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Modern Jewish Literature in Translation, Introduction to Religion, Introduction to Islam and Judaism, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Judaism: Sages and Mystics, Modern Jewish Thought, Islam, Apocalyptic Literature, Islamic and Judaic Mysticism, Interreligious Dialogue, Writing 100 (first-year composition)

Selected Publications

Forthcoming book: Jewish Approaches to Hinduism: a history of ideas from Judah Ha-Levi to Jacob Sapir (12th through 19th centuries)

"Jews and Other Peoples of Southern India: excerpts from the travelogue, Even Sapir, by Rabbi Jacob Sapir, based on his journey along the Malabar coast and beyond, 1860," pp. 282-306 in Malabar in the Indian Ocean: Cosmopolitanism in a Maritime Historical Region, ed., Mahmood Kooria and Michael Pearson, Oxford University Press, India, 2018

"David d'Beth Hillel and Jacob Sapir: their encounters with temple Hinduism in 19th-century India," pp. 19-39 in PaRDeS, Zeitschrift der Vereinigung für Jüdische Studien, the journal of the German Association of Jewish Studies, Vol. 23, 2017.

"Jacob Sapir's Journey through Southern India in 1860: Four Chapters on Indian Life from Even Sapir, Translated, Annotated, and Introduced," Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, Vol. 13 (2013): pp. 73-95.

"Hinduism, Torah, and Travel: Jacob Sapir in India," Shofar 30:2 (Winter 2012): pp. 26-51.

Review Essay: Letters to a Buddhist Jew, in Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, Vol. 9 (2007): pp. 96-100.

"Hindus and Hinduism in Medieval Jewish Literature," pp. 57-73 in Indo-Judaic Studies in the Twenty-First Century: a view from the margin, ed. Nathan Katz, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

"The Garden in the Middle," pp. 71-84 in Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the Buddha, Wisdom Press, 2003.

"Abraham, the Easterners, and India: Jewish interpretations of Genesis 25:6," Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, Vol. 3 (2000): pp. 49-70.

Book: The Image of Bar Kokhba in Traditional Jewish Literature: False Messiah and National Hero, Penn State Press, 1994.

"Teaching Judaism in Thailand," pp. 67-100 in Approaches to Modern Judaism. Vol. II. ed., Marc Lee Raphael. Brown Judaic Studies 56. Chico: Scholars Press, 1984.

Selected Papers

"Sacred and Profane in the Travels of Jacob Sapir," 17th World Congress of Jewish Studies, in Jerusalem, August 2017.

"Two 19th-century Jewish travelers in India: Hindu idolatry and Hindu Judaism," Association of Jewish Studies, December 2016.

"Representations of Hinduism in Jewish thought of medieval Spain: toward a history of Jewish concepts of comparative religion," World Congress of the International Association of the History of Religions, in Erfurt, August 2015.

"The Other's Religion: how medieval Jews imagined Hinduism" Jessie Ball duPont Professorship in Religion inaugural lecture, January 20, 2015

"Jacob in India: a 19th c. Jew encounters idolatry and holiness among Hindus," American Academy of Religion, in Chicago, 2008.