Transhumanist Imagination

transhumanist imagination

Norbert Samuelson


Harold and Jean Grossman Professor of Jewish Studies


School of Historical Philosophical and Religious Studies



Norbert M. Samuelson is the Harold and Jean Grossman Professor of Jewish Studies at Arizona State University in the School of Historical Philosophical and Religious Studies. He is an internationally renowned scholar of Jewish philosophy, who is the author of thirteen books and over 200 articles. 

Prof. Samuelson's scholarship focuses on Jewish philosophy and theology. In the early part of his career, he wrote primarily on medieval Jewish philosophy. His pioneer work on a fourteenth century Jewish philosopher, Levi Ben Gershom (Gersonides) -- Gersonides on God's knowledge   (1977) -- propelled the hitherto little known thinker to the forefront of modern English language scholarship on medieval Jewish philosophy.

Going beyond the history of Jewish philosophy, Prof. Samuelson authored three major constructive philosophic-theological works: The First Seven Days: A Philosophical Commentary on the Creation of Genesis (1992), Judaism and the Doctrine of Creation (1994), and Revelation and the God of Israel (2002). These works brought Jewish thinkers to focus on the interplay between science and religion and showed how the biblical text could be better understood in the light of contemporary physics and the life sciences. 
Professor Samuelson has published three new books in Jewish philosophy. The first is A Users' Guide to Franz Rosenzweig's Star of Redemption (1999), which attempts to make the rather difficult text of Rosenzweig accessible to contemporary readers in the English-speaking world.   The second is Jewish philosophy, an historical introduction (2003), which is a textbook designed for university undergraduates with minimal background in philosophy, in history, and in Judaism. The third is Jewish Faith and Modern Science: On the Death of Jewish Philosophy (2009), which argues that Jewish philosophers must refocus their two century old focus on Germanic literature to the challenges implicit in the developments in the sciences during the past century, especially in Cosmology, Genetics, Anthropology, and History.
At present Prof. Samuelson is involved with two major research and writing projects: An intellectual history of the developing concepts of light in physics and enlightenment in the Abrahamic religions, and a close philosophical commentary on the traditional rabbinic prayer book.
Professor Samuelson has been active in the American Academy of Religion, the Association of Jewish Studies, the Metanexus Institute, the Society for the Study of Judaism Science and Medicine, and the Franz Rosenzweig Society. In these organizations he has articulated a distinctly Jewish way of doing philosophy and demonstrated how to think creatively and precisely about the interface of reason and faith.  For his contributions to scholarship on Judaism and the sciences Professor Samuelson was elected the Senior Fellow of the Metanexus Institute in 2007. For his contributions to scholarship on modern Jewish Philosophy he was elected Honorary President of the International Franz Rosenzweig Society in 2009.