Christine Hayes

  • Robert F. and Patricia Ross Weis Professor of Religious Studies

Christine Hayes is Robert F. and Patricia R. Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica. Before joining the Yale faculty in 1996, she was Assistant Professor of Hebrew Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University for three years. Her published works include several books and many articles in Vetus Testamentum, The Journal for the Study of Judaism, The Harvard Theological Review, and various scholarly anthologies.

Hayes is active in professional and academic organizations, currently serving as co-editor of the Association for Jewish Studies Review and as an editor of the Encyclopedia for the Bible and its Reception. A specialist in talmudic-midrashic studies, Hayes offers undergraduate courses on the literature and history of the biblical and talmudic periods (including Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and Introduction to Judaism) as well as advanced text courses and graduate-only seminars. In 2005, Hayes was awarded the Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities. She has served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Religious Studies as well as for the Program in Judaic Studies. Recent university service includes the Committee on Yale College Education and the Committee on Majors. From 2004-2006, Hayes was a fellow of the Whitney Humanities Center


  • “What is (the) Mishnah? Concluding Observations” in Association for Jewish Studies Review 32 (2008) 2:291-97
  • “Legal Truth, Right Answers and Best Answers: Dworkin and the Rabbis” in Dine Yisrael: Studies in Halakhah and Jewish Law 25 (2008) 73-121
  • “Abrogation of Torah Law” entry for The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, 2009
  • “Theoretical Pluralism in the Talmud: A Response to Richard Hidary,” in Dine Yisrael: Studies in Halakhah and Jewish Law 25 (2010)
  • “Legal Realism and Sectarian Self-Fashioning in Jewish Antiquity,” in Sects and Sectarianism in Jewish History, University College London (2011)
  • In Press: Introduction to the Bible. Yale University Press. Forthcoming 2012;
  • The Emergence of Judaism: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspectives. Fortress Press, 2010;
  • Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud, Oxford University Press, 2002. Finalist for the 2003 National Jewish Book Award in Scholarship.
  • Between the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds, Oxford University Press, 1997. Awarded the Salo Baron Prize for a first book in Jewish Thought and Literature, by the American Academy for Jewish Research, 1999