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 explore the subject of intimacy from a broad historical perspective, but also the ways in which religions, and Judaism in particular, modulate intimacy.
Projects in Progress:
Religion and Behavioral Economy, with Panos Mitkidis
A Comparison of Jewish and Greek love magic, with Corby Kelly
Animals and Religion in light of the Cognitive turn, with Aaron Gross
Dynamics of Intimacy Project, with Miriam Kyselo
- Religion, science and technology in a global society (focus on intimacy)
- Masters (MA), Theoretical Approaches and Philosophy of Science in the Study of Religion
- Masters (MA), Materials and Methods
- Introduction to Religion
- Religions of the Middle East (Judaism)
- Writing Seminar
- Religion and Food Practices
- Religion in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
- Religion and Film
- Cognitive Approaches to Revelation in Western Religions
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.
- (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) Evolution of the indoor biome. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. vol. 30 (4).
- (2015) Religion and Marketing: The Attractiveness of Religion as a Moral Brand. The Attraction of Religion A New Evolutionary Psychology of Religion.
- (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).
- (2014) Judaic Technologies of the Word: A Cognitive Analysis of Jewish Cultural Formation. Routledge. 2014. ISBN 978-1-13-885612-7.
- (2014) The Implications of Anomalous Monism for Intimate Selves. Altered Self and Altered Self-Experience.
- (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).
- (2013) Judaism and Emotion: Texts, Performance, Experience. Peter Lang Publishing Group. 2013. ISBN 978-1-4331-1872-2.
- (2013) A New Method for Analyzing Emotions in Jewish Texts. Judaism and Emotion: Texts, Performance, Experience.
- (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).
- (2012) Judaic Technologies of the Word: A Cognitive Analysis of Jewish Cultural Formation. Equinox Publishing. 2012. ISBN 978-1-90804-984-1.
- (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).