English summary

Welcome on my personal website

Academic curriculum

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, Sorbonne, since 1998. Member of the academic board of the Alberto Benveniste Center for Sephardic Studies and the Sociocultural History of the Jews since its foundation (2002).

Research interests

– 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 f Israel » in Jewish memory, etc.
– Jean-Christophe Attias is currently working on the place and function of the Bible in Jewish culture and imagination.


J.-C. Attias published or edited about fifteen 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)

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).

Public life

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).

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