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Jackson School of International Studies; Jewish history, rabbinic literature, Hebrew bible, ancient magic, New Testament and early Christianity, Greco-Roman archaeology, hymnography.
Mika Ahuvia was born in Kibbutz Beit Hashita in northern Israel. She researches the formative history of Jewish and Christian communities in the ancient Mediterranean world. Specializing in Late Antique Jewish history, she works with Rabbinic sources, liturgical poetry, magical texts, early mystical literature, and archaeological evidence. Her dissertation was on angels in Jewish texts from the fourth to eighth century CE.
Ahuvia is fascinated by the daily life of ancient Jews and investigates the different ways they struck a balance between their local religious environment (whether Roman, Christian, or Zoroastrian) and biblical, rabbinic, and other Jewish traditions.
She co-authored an article with John Gager on the portrayal of Mary the mother of Jesus in the Toledot Yeshu, an early medieval Jewish satire of Jesus’ life as recorded by the gospels. There she paid careful attention to the sympathy shown to Mary in the Jewish sources and how it might reflect broader Jewish interest in the figure of a messianic mother. In another article in a volume on Jewish and Christian Cosmogony in Late Antiquity, Ahuvia analyzed depictions of the abyss in late antique church mosaics in the Transjordan region and the Near Eastern, Greco-Roman, as well as Jewish and Christian sources that may have inspired emphasis on this abstract concept.
Professor Ahuvia currently holds the Marsha and Jay Glazer Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies.
- Princeton University, Ph.D., 2014