College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Religious Studies > Faculty > Alexei Sivertsev

Alexei Sivertsev

  • Professor
  • ​Ph.D., New York University​
  • Religious Studies
  • Faculty
  • 773-325-4988
  • ​LPC 2333 N. Racine, Ste. 203 

Alexei Sivertsev is a historian of religion with a background in Hebrew, Judaic, late Roman and early Byzantine studies. His research focuses on Jewish cultures in late antiquity, the period between the fourth and the eighth centuries C.E., situating these cultures within the broader context of the Roman and post-Roman Near East. Sivertsev’s past work focused on the role of households in the formation of Jewish religious norms and practices, which he examined in his book Households, Sects, and the Origins of Rabbinic Judaism (Brill, 2005). Sivertsev’s more recent work has focused on the influence of Roman imperial models on the development of messianic themes in Judaism in the fifth through eighth centuries C.E., resulting in the book Judaism and Imperial Ideology in Late Antiquity (Cambridge University Press, 2011). He is currently working on a book on the function of images in Jewish and non-Jewish settings in the sixth and the seventh centuries, provisionally entitled Impossible Form: Judaism, Christianity, and the Language of Paradox in Late Antiquity. The book examines a series of Hebrew and Aramaic Jewish texts that use image as a key category in their discourse. In this work Sivertsev attempts to situate these texts within the broader cultural milieu of late antiquity and read them as another configuration of semiotic and conceptual norms of the day. In doing so, he hopes to add another dimension to our understanding of late antique Jewish culture and, at the same time, introduce a new and, until recently, virtually untapped body of evidence for the pre-iconoclastic theory of image.

Research Interests
- History of Jewish culture in antiquity
- Judaism and Christianity in antiquity
- Epistemology and forms of knowledge

Courses Frequently Taught
 REL 107  Judaism in History: Bible to 1492
 REL 108  Judaism in History: 1492 to Present
 REL 109  Jewish Religious Worlds