Welcome on my personal website
Born in 1958. Habilitation à diriger des recherche, EHESS, 1997 ; Ph. D., Hebrew Studies, Université Paris VIII, 1990 ; Agrégé in Modern Hebrew Language and Literature, 1987 ; M.A., Hebrew Medieval Literature, Université Paris III, 1986. Doctoral fellow of the Lady Davies Fellowship Trust at the Department of the History of the Jewish People, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1988-1989. Research Fellow, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 1991-1998. Professor of Medieval Jewish Thought (VIth-XVIIth Centuries), École pratique des hautes études, PSL University, since 1998. Member of the academic board (since its foundation in 2002), Director (since 2018) of the Alberto Benveniste Center for Sephardic Studies and the Sociocultural History of the Jews.
– History of the Jewish exegesis of the Bible in the Middle Ages, especially in the XVth-XVIth Century Mediterranean (Spain and Byzantium), exegesis as a literary genre.
– History of culture and representations : the image of the proselyte in Jewish culture ; Judaism and its « margins » (such as Karaism) ; the place of the « Land of Israel » in Jewish memory ; place and function of the Bible in Jewish culture and imagination ; representations of Moses in Jewish culture and imagination ; Judaism and Nature ; Judaism and hybridity.
J.-C. Attias published or edited about twenty books, that were translated into a dozen of languages. Among his publications in English :
- Israël, the Impossible Land, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2003 (with Esther Benbassa) ;
- The Jews and their Future. A Conversation on Jewish Identities, London, Zed Books, 2004 (with E. Benbassa) ;
- The Jew and the Other, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2004 (with E. Benbassa) ;
- The Jews and the Bible, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2014 ;
- A Woman Called Moses. A Prophet for Our Time, Verso, 2020.
Courses taught at the Ecole pratique des hautes études
Christianity and Islam in the Eyes of Medieval Jews (2005-2006); Gender in Medieval Jewish Culture (2006-2007); Converts, Apostates, Penitents and Marranos (2007-2008); Emergence and development of a Jewish Critical Thought from Saadia Gaon up to Spinoza (2008-2009); Bible and Jewish Culture (2009-2010); Judaism and Wandering (2010-2011); The Jews and the Bible, A Synthesis (2011-2012) ; Representations of Moses in Jewish Culture and Thought (2012-2014) ; Nature in Judaism (2014-2016) ; Judaism and Hybridity (2016-2019).
As an intellectual, Jean-Christophe Attias takes an active part in the French public debate. Especially involved in the fight against racism and discriminations, he cofounded the « Pari(s) du Vivre-Ensemble », an annual culture festival.
- Seligmann Award against Racism, Injustice and Intolérance (2006).
- Prix Goncourt de la Biographie (pour Moïse fragile, Paris, Alma, 2015).