Richard G. Marks
Jessie Ball duPont Professor of Religion
Tucker Hall 201, Washington and Lee University


        Religion 106      Judaism; Poster 2016

        Religion 213      Perspectives on Death and Dying

        Religion 209      Travel, Mythic and ModernPoster 2015

        Religion 270      Biblical Job and his modern masks

        Religion 275      God and the Holocaust

        Religion 175-176   Beginning Biblical Hebrew

        Religion 101      The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

        Religion 272      Modern Jewish Literature - Winter 2016 poster: The Writings of Isaac Singer and Elie Wiesel


University of California, Los Angeles.  Ph.D. in Jewish History (secondary concentration in History of Religions), 1980.  Dissertation:  “The Image of Bar Kokhba in Jewish Literature up to the Seventeenth Century: False Messiah and National Hero”

Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles.  M.A. in Judaic Studies, 1971

Raymond College, University of the Pacific.  B.A. in Liberal Arts, 1967

Courses Taught at Washington and Lee University

God and the Holocaust, Perspectives on Death and Dying, Introduction to Judaism, Biblical Job and his modern masks, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Travel Mythic and Modern, Judaism, Modern Jewish Literature in Translation, Introduction to Religion, Introduction to Islam and Judaism, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Judaism: Sages and Mystics, Modern Jewish Thought, Islam, Apocalyptic Literature, Islamic and Judaic Mysticism, Interreligious Dialogue, Writing 100 (first-year composition)

Publications and Papers

Conference paper:  “Sacred and Profane in the Travels of Jacob Sapir,” 17th World Congress of Jewish Studies, in Jerusalem, 2017.

David d’Beth Hillel and Jacob Sapir: their encounters with temple Hinduism in 19th-century India, to be published in Pardes, the journal of the German Association of Jewish Studies, August 2017.

Conference paper:  “Two 19th-century Jewish travelers in India: Hindu idolatry and Hindu Judaism,” Association of Jewish Studies, December 2016.

Conference paper: “Representations of Hinduism in Jewish thought of medieval Spain: toward a history of Jewish concepts of comparative religion.” World Congress of the International Association of the History of Religions, in Erfurt, 2015.

“The Other’s Religion: how medieval Jews imagined Hinduism” Jessie Ball duPont Professorship in Religion inaugural lecture, January 20, 2015

“Jacob Sapir’s Journey through Southern India in 1860: Four Chapters on Indian Life from Even Sapir, Translated, Annotated, and Introduced,” Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, Vol. 13 (2013).

“Hinduism, Torah, and Travel: Jacob Sapir in India,” Shofar 30:2 (Winter 2012): pp. 26-51.

Review Essay: Letters to a Buddhist Jew, in Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, Vol. 9 (2007): pp. 96-100.

“Hindus and Hinduism in Medieval Jewish Literature,” pp. 57-73 in Indo-Judaic Studies in the Twenty-First Century: a view from the margin, ed. Nathan Katz, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

“The Garden in the Middle,” pp. 71-84 in Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the Buddha, Wisdom Press, 2003.

“Abraham, the Easterners, and India: Jewish interpretations of Genesis 25:6,” Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, Vol. 3 (2000):  pp. 49-70. 

Review Essay:  “Jewish-Buddhist Meetings,” Shofar: An Interdisci­plinary Journal in Jewish Studies, 17.3  (Spring 1999): pp. 93-98.

Book:  The Image of Bar Kokhba in Traditional Jewish Literature: False Messiah and National Hero, Penn State Press, 1994.

"Teaching Judaism in Thailand,” pp. 67-100 in Approaches to Modern Judaism. Vol. II.  ed., Marc Lee Raphael. Brown Judaic Studies 56.  Chico: Scholars Press, 1984. 

“Dangerous Hero: Rabbinic Attitudes Toward Legendary Warriors.” HUCA 54 (1983): pp. 181-194.

WebsiteJacob's Road: following Jacob Sapir's Route through the South of India in 1860 (quotations, maps, and photos)

Unpublished Work

“Jews and Other Peoples of Southern India: excerpts from the travelogue, Even Sapir, by Rabbi Jacob Sapir, based on his journey along the Malabar coast and beyond, 1860,” submitted for an anthology of translations about the maritime history of Malabar, ed., Michael Pearson and Mahmood Kooria. 

“Rabbi Jacob Sapir” and “Rabbi David d’Beth Hillel,” for The Encyclopedia of Jews and India (unpublished)

Current Research Projects

The history of Jewish views of Hinduism and Indian culture, and Jewish theories of comparative religion which include Hinduism in their framework, beginning in the 11th century.

Jewish Travel: a typology

Annotated translation of Jacob Sapir’s Hebrew-language travelogue, Even Sapir (pub. 1864), his India travels

List of Films on Jewish subjects in Leyburn Library

List of Films on Death and Dying in Leyburn Library

List of Films on the Holocaust in Leyburn Library

List of Travel Films in Leyburn Library

Lectures sponsored by the Max and Sylvia Weinstein Memorial Fund

Collection of Readings in Jewish Liturgy and Rabbinic Literature for classes

To the Department of Religion