Most influential Judaism American scholar dies at 84

In a 2008 photo provided by Bard College, Jacob Nuesner, Senior Fellow, Institute of Advanced Theory, Professor of Religion and Theology and Bard Center Fellow stands in his study at home. (Emily Darrow/Bard College via AP)
In a 2008 photo provided by Bard College, Jacob Nuesner, Senior Fellow, Institute of Advanced Theory, Professor of Religion and Theology and Bard Center Fellow stands in his study at home. (Emily Darrow/Bard College via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) -- One of the most influential American scholars of Judaism has died.

Jacob Neusner (NOOSE-ner) died Saturday at his home in Rhinebeck, New York. He was 84 and suffered from Parkinson's disease. Bard College, where he had taught since 1994, confirmed his death. 

Neusner transformed the way Judaism was studied. He made Judaism a topic, alongside Christianity, in secular religious studies programs at colleges and universities.

His translations of rabbinic texts made many accessible in English for the first time. Neusner wrote or edited more than 900 books and articles. His work on Judaism and Christianity was quoted extensively by retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Neusner was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, and earned degrees from Harvard University, Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. A funeral is set for Monday.

 

Copyright 2016. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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