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Department of Religion
Washington, District Of Columbia
Areas of Expertise
Judaism, History of Jewish Though, and Jewish Ethics
Robert Eisen is Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies and Chair of the Department of Religion at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The focus of his most recent research is approaches to peace and violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Within this broad area of research, he is currently working on more specific projects. He is conducting research on how war has been treated in Jewish law since the creation of the State of Israel. He has also been investigating the role that religion plays in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His other areas of interest also include Jewish philosophy and biblical interpretation.
Eisen is author of three books that reflect his varied interests: Gersonides on Providence, Covenant, and the Chosen People (State University of New York Press, 1995); The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2004); and The Peace and Violence of Judaism: From the Bible to Modern Zionism(Oxford University Press, 2011). He also co-edited Philosophers and the Jewish Bible (University of Maryland Press, 2008) with Charles Manekin.
Eisen has received a number of grants and awards to support his research, including a Fulbright research grant at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1999-2000. He was also given a teaching award in 2005 from George Washington University in recognition of his contributions in the classroom.
Eisen is active in adult education initiatives. He served from 1991-2008 on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Jewish Studies which brings lecturers to Washington from academic institutions all over the world. He has also lectured and taught widely in the Jewish and non-Jewish communities in Washington and elsewhere.
Eisen is active as a consultant on issues of religion and international conflict with an interest in fostering better relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims throughout the world. For this purpose, he has participated in a number of high-level dialogues and consultations in Washington and abroad. He serves on the Middle East Advisory Board for Search for Common Ground. He is also on the advisory board of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.