Short CV/Education and training

  • 1983 – 1995
    Studied biblical studies, Judaic studies, Ancient Near Eastern studies/Assyriology at the University of Tübingen, Germany, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) Munich, Germany, and the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin, Germany

  • 1989
    Magister degree from LMU Munich

  • 1995
    Doctorate under Professors Peter Schäfer, Berlin/Princeton and Joseph Dan, Jerusalem/Berlin/Cambridge, MA, USA

  • 1997
    Lecturer at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (HfJS) (Jewish studies college), Heidelberg, Germany

  • 2002
    Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification) in Jewish studies under Professor Giuseppe Veltri in the area of fine arts, Oriental studies and classical and ancient studies at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Received venia legendi (authorisation to teach) for Jewish studies/Judaic studies

  • 2002
    University lecturer at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (HfJS), Heidelberg

  • 2002
    First Moosnick Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible & Jewish Studies at the Lexington Theological Seminary and the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA

  • 2003
    Harry Starr Research Fellow in Judaica, Centre for Jewish Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

  • 2003
    Professor (C4) of Bible studies and Jewish biblical interpretation at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (HfJS), Heidelberg

  • 2005 – 2006
    Vice rector at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (HfJS), Heidelberg

Selected publications

  • Liss, H.: Creating Fictional Worlds: Peshat Exegesis and Narrativity in Rashbam's Commentary on the Torah, Studies in Jewish History and Culture 25, Leiden / Boston 2011: Brill Publisher.

  • Hanna Liss, Manfred Oeming, Winona Lake (ed.): Literary Construction of Identity in the Ancient World. Proceedings of the Conference Literary Fiction and the Construction of Identity in Ancient Literatures: Options and Limits of Modern Literary Approaches in the Exegesis of Ancient texts, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2010.

  • Liss, H.: Tanach. Lehrbuch der jüdischen Bibel, Schriften der Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Vol. 8, Universitätsverlag C. Winter, 2nd, expanded and updated ed., Heidelberg 2008. 3rd, unchanged edition 2011.

  • Liss, H.: Raschi und sein Erbe. International Meeting of the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien with the city of Worms, ed. with D. Krochmalnik et al, Schriften der Hochschule für Jüdische Studien 10, Universitätsverlag C. Winter, Heidelberg 2007.

  • Liss, H.: Die unerhörte Prophetie. Kommunikative Strukturen prophetischer Rede im Buch Yeshayahu, Arbeiten zur Bibel und ihrer Geschichte Vol. 14, Leipzig 2003.

  • Liss, H.: El'asar ben Yehuda von Worms, Hilkhot ha-Kavod. Die Lehrsätze von der Herrlichkeit Gottes. Edition. Übersetzung. Kommentar, Texts and Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Judaism 12, Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 1997.


Selected projects

  • "Ritual Purity in Medieval Ashkenaz"; project B11 in the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 619 Ritual dynamics.

    The project is concerned with the ritual purity laws in medieval Ashkenaz. It addresses a series of questions: why certain groups, such as the German pious (social dynamic factor: Ashkenazic elite formation), developed either a strengthening of the theoretical engagement with ritual purity laws or an intensification in the practice of purity rituals at certain times (historical dynamic factor: persecution and expulsion of the Jews); which practices were determined by which discourse; and which innovative elements were brought into the discourse on ritual purity laws vis-à-vis the classical rabbinic view from antiquity. www.ritualdynamik.de funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2009 – 2013.

  • Scholarly knowledge, drollery or esotericism? The Masora of the Hebrew Bible in its various material properties (project B4 in the SFB 933 Material Text Cultures).

    The project is focused on the Masoretic commentaries and supercommentaries in the mediaeval exegetic and commentarial literature between 1040 and 1450 and also on select Ashkenazi Bible manuscripts that provide the text of the Masora magna in micrographic script as Masora figurata. For both lines of inquiry, the main issue is the extent to which the Masora tradition is determined by its material components and their designs: How are the various means of representation connected to the different receptions in various social fields (scholarly circles, parish or synagogic practice)? www.materiale-textkulturen.de/index.php funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2011 – 2014.

  • Research Training Group 1728-0 Theology as an Academic Discipline. The historical and systematic analysis of the processes that established the reflexivity of religious traditions.

    Co-applicants: Goethe University Frankfurt (lead institution); Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology, Frankfurt am Main; Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (HfJS) (Jewish studies college), Heidelberg; Mainz University.

    1st spokesperson: Prof. Claus Arnold, Goethe University Frankfurt; designated 2nd spokesperson: Prof. Hanna Liss, Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (HfJS), Heidelberg.

    Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2012 – 2016.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

Editorial and publishing activities:

  • Co-editor of Studies in European Judaism, Brill Publisher, Leiden

  • Main editor of the Internet platform and journal Medieval Jewish Studies online

  • Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, University of Alberta, Edmonton

  • Member of the scientific advisory board to Trumah. Zeitschrift der Hochschule für Jüdische Studien, Universitätsverlag Winter Heidelberg

Additional responsibilities and committee memberships:

  • 2nd chairperson of the Association for Jewish Studies in Germany

    Representative for the subject area Jewish studies / Judaic studies on German Research Foundation (DFG) Review Board 106, Non-European languages and cultures, social and cultural anthropology, Judaic studies and religious studies, Subject Area Nr. 106-05

    Religious studies and Judaic studies.

  • Member of the Research Council for Field of Focus 3 at Heidelberg University.

  • Founding member of the Heidelberg Centre for Cultural Heritage (HCCH) at Heidelberg University

  • Founding member of the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) at Heidelberg University

  • Founding member of the Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology (FIIT), Heidelberg

Additional qualifications

  • venia legendi (authorisation to teach) in Jewish studies / Judaic studies


Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Other activities and achievements/family

  • 3 children (*1996, 1998 and 2004)


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