brianphotonewBrian’s research specializations, as well as his academic training, university teaching and public outreach, have for three decades bridged the fields of ancient Near Eastern history, cultures and religions, the northwest Semitic languages and literatures and biblical studies (Hebrew Bible). He is a social historian of the ancient West Asian cultures and religions that border the eastern Mediterranean littoral and span the Late Bronze to Iron Ages. Brian has published extensively in the areas of ancient magic, religion and ritual, death, demons, and the afterlife, and more recently, ancient literacy, literary composition and the transfer of knowledge. This constellation of intellectual domains and technical expertise is expressive of his career-long commitment to an integrated methodological approach. He interfaces archaeological data, epigraphic materials and the ‘critical’ (= academic) study of biblical texts in order to recreate substantive images of the socio-historical realities of ancient Israel and its neighbors. Brian continues to develop and extensively apply this approach in his published research; in his articles and contributions, in both his edited and authored volumes including The Materiality of Power, his forthcoming book, Writing Sacred, as well as his work in progress, “I am Mesha King of Moab…”.

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