Religious Studies Professor Takes Up Prestigious Fellowship

Dr. William Adler, Distinguished University Professor of Religious Studies, is spending the 2016/17 academic year as a Fellow at the prestigious Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem. Professor Adler will be a member of a collaborative research group on the topic From Creation to Sinai: Genesis and Exodus in Antiquity — Jewish, Christian, and Early Muslim Traditions in Interaction. During his time at the Institute, Adler will be working on two major book projects.

One is a critical edition of the Palaea Historica, an anonymous Christian Byzantine text written in the late 9th or early 10th century. Largely a retelling of the first books of the Bible from the time of the creation to the reign of David, the Palaea Historica is significant as a witness to the Byzantine reception of older source material. Adler has made considerable progress on the critical edition, which is under contract with the distinguished Belgian publisher Brepols for Corpus Christianorum, Series Apocryphorum. He will spend the year collating readings and preparing the text and critical apparatus.

The other major project on which Adler will be working while at the Institute is a monograph, The Reception History of the Book of Jubilees, for Oxford University Press’s series The Apocrypha in the History of Interpretation. The Book of Jubilees is an anonymous Jewish text from the 2nd century BCE which retells much of the material from Genesis through Exodus 19 with many alterations, additions and deletions. It was widely influential among early Jews and Christians and also among Byzantine Christian chroniclers. Adler’s monograph, which is in the early stage of preparation, will be a systematic investigation of this influence.

William Adler is a gifted and influential scholar and a world leader in the field of early Christian historiography. He has also contributed to the development and use of digital research tools for the analysis of historical texts.

Adler has received numerous distinguished honors, fellowships and awards during his career. These include a Fulbright-Hays Visiting Lecturership at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1984–85) and research fellowships from the Annenberg Institute (1988–89), Dumbarton Oaks (1993–94), the National Endowment for the Humanities (1998–99), the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies (2007–08) and the Freie Universität Berlin (Spring 2015). He has also had distinguished visiting research appointments at the University of Adelaide (1996, 1997, and 1998), Friederich-Schiller-Universität Jena (2005), and the University of Basel (2008). In addition, he has received a number of awards at NC State, including an Outstanding Teacher Award (2007), an Alumni Outstanding Undergraduate Professor Award (2009), and the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence, the University’s highest faculty honor (2009). Adler was named a Distinguished University Professor in 2013.

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