Background and activities
Gabriel Levy is a comparative historian of religion, specializing in Jewish studies. Gabriel Levy is Professor in the Science of Religion at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, where he teaches on method and theory in the scientific study of religion, middle-eastern religious history with focus on Judaism, and the relation between religion, science, and technology. Gabriel’s research is devoted to the comparative history of religion, with specialty in Jewish studies. Gabriel studies religions from a holistic perspective and looks for ways to integrate the harder sciences into scholarship in the humanities. He studies the ways religious individuals and groups imagine their communicative relations with superhuman agents, and particularly how various technologies of mediation, such as divination and literacy, change the way this relation is organized and embodied. To do this he draws on anthropology, philosophy, and the mind sciences. His most recent book uses insights from biology and the mind sciences to explore the effects of literacy on religious cognition and the origins of Judaism. Gabriel has just begun research for his second book, which will develop the groundwork for an anomolous monist (D. Davidson) approach to religion and apply it to specific real world examples, including fictionality, the concept of life, kabbalistic information, comedy, animal agency, medicine, politics and intimacy.
Projects in Progress:
Religion and Behavioral Economy - with Panos Mitkidis
Religion and Health - with István Czachesz
Zohar - with Elad Lapidot
Surveillance - with John Lardas Modern and Jason Bivins
Religion and Sports - with Vincent Biondo
- Masters (MA), Theoretical Approaches and Philosophy of Science in the Study of Religion
- Masters (MA), Materials and Methods
- Theories of Religion
- Religions of the Middle East (Judaism)
- Upper Level Seminar on Cognitive Approaches to Religion
Scientific, academic and artistic work
A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database
- (2017) The effects of extreme rituals on moral behavior: The performers-observers gap hypothesis. Journal of Economic Psychology. vol. 59.
- (2015) Evolution of the indoor biome. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. vol. 30 (4).
- (2014) ‘Be careful, or you’ll act corruptly and make a carved image for yourselves, in the form of a figure, the likeness male or female’ (Deut. 4:16): A commentary on Norenzayan’s Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict. Religion. vol. 44 (4).
- (2013) "Scholars Are Demons, Not Gods: Meta-Theoretical Reflections Sparked by Bruce Lincoln’s _Gods and Demons, Priests and Scholars_". Bulletin for the Study of Religion. vol. 42 (2).
- (2013) The Prospects and Pitfalls of "Just-So" Storytelling in Evolutionary Accounts of Religion. Method & Theory in the Study of Religion. vol. 25 (4-5).
- (2012) "False But Significant: The Development of Falsity in Religious Cognition in Light of the Holism of the Mental". Method & Theory in the Study of Religion. vol. 24 (2).
- (2011) "Rabbinic Language from an Integrationist Perspective". Language sciences (Oxford). vol. 33 (4).
- (2010) "Rabbinic Philosophy of Language: Not in Heaven". The Journal of Jewish thought & philosophy. vol. 18 (2).
- (2010) Review Essay: “Contemporary Theories of Religion, A Critical Companion”. Numen. vol. 57 (2).
- (2006) "Biblical Prophecy in Recent American Theological Politics". Postscripts. vol. 2 (1).
- (2014) Judaic Technologies of the Word: A Cognitive Analysis of Jewish Cultural Formation. Routledge. 2014. ISBN 978-1-13-885612-7.
- (2013) Judaism and Emotion: Texts, Performance, Experience. Peter Lang Publishing Group. 2013. ISBN 978-1-4331-1872-2.
- (2012) Judaic Technologies of the Word: A Cognitive Analysis of Jewish Cultural Formation. Equinox Publishing. 2012. ISBN 978-1-90804-984-1.
Part of book/report
- (2017) Cognitive Linguistics and Religion: Surveying the Field. Religion: Mental Religion.
- (2017) Dynamic Perspectives on Defamation of Religion among Jewish NGOs. Religion, State and the United Nations: Value Politics.
- (2016) Hermeneutics in A Serious Man. Coen: Framing Religion in Amoral Order.
- (2016) The prospects and pitfalls of 'just-so' storytelling in evolutionary accounts of religion. Conversations and Controversies in the Scientific Study of Religion.
- (2015) Religion and Marketing: The Attractiveness of Religion as a Moral Brand. The Attraction of Religion A New Evolutionary Psychology of Religion.
- (2014) The Implications of Anomalous Monism for Intimate Selves. Altered Self and Altered Self-Experience.
- (2013) A New Method for Analyzing Emotions in Jewish Texts. Judaism and Emotion: Texts, Performance, Experience.