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Michael Coogan      

Preeminent Biblical Scholar

One of the leading biblical scholars in the United States, Michael Coogan is author of God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says. For several decades, his introductory course on the Old Testament has been a perennial favorite among students at Harvard University. At the podium and in God and Sex, Coogan examines one of the most controversial aspects of the Bible: What it really says about sex, and how contemporary understanding of biblical literature is frequently misunderstood or misrepresented. In the engaging and witty voice generations of students have appreciated, he explores the language and social worlds of ancient Israel, early Judaism, and early Christianity, showing how much innuendo and euphemism is at play, and illuminating the sexuality of biblical characters, including God.

Coogan is also the author of A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in Its Context (2009), The Old Testament: A Very Short Introduction (2008), and The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures (2006; 2010), and editor of The New Oxford Annotated Bible (2001; 2007; 2010). He is Director of Publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum, Professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College, and Lecturer on Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Harvard Divinity School.

In addition to Nova’s The Bible’s Buried Secrets, Coogan has appeared on several television and radio programs, including Morning Edition (NPR), and a National Geographic program on “Lost Cities of the Bible.”

An avid presenter, Coogan has regularly attended, and frequently given papers and/or chaired sessions, at national and regional meetings of The Society of Biblical Literature, The American Schools of Oriental Research, The Biblical Colloquium, and The Boston Theological Institute — Old Testament Group. He has also attended, on an occasional basis, national and regional meetings of the Catholic Biblical Association, the Israel Exploration Society, and the Archaeological Institute of America.

Over the years Coogan has lectured for various community and church groups, such as The Office for Catechesis of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Carlton-Willard Village, The Cathedral School of Religion (St. Paul’s Cathedral, Boston), The Friends of the Fogg Art Museum, The Peabody Museum Association, The Harvard Semitic Museum, The Cambridge Archaeological Seminar, The First Parish in Lincoln, the Wellesley Kiwanis Club, and the Theological Opportunities Program (Harvard Divinity School). In addition, he has frequently been a faculty member of the Biblical Archaeology Society Seminars.

Coogan has written more than two dozen articles in scholarly journals and collections of essays, and is a contributor to such standard reference works asThe New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, The Encyclopedia of Religion, The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, and The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Collaborative works that he conceived and edited include Oxford Biblical Studies Online, The Oxford Companion to the Bible, The Illustrated Guide to World Religions, and The Oxford History of the Biblical World. He contributed the introduction, notes, and translation of the book of Job for the forthcoming revision of The New American Bible; has edited and written many other books, book reviews, and popular essays.

Coogan has also taught at Boston College, Wellesley College, Fordham University, and the University of Waterloo (Ontario), and has participated in and directed archaeological excavations in Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, and Egypt.

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