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Francoise Mirguet

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Assoc Professor, Ancient Hebrew and the History of Emotions
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 0202
Faculty Affiliate | Jess Schwartz Associate Professor of Hebrew and Near Eastern Cultures
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 0202

Francoise Mirguet's current research focuses on emotions and the history of the self in late antique Jewish literature, written in Hebrew and Greek. She teaches Biblical Hebrew, ancient Jewish literature, and the beginnings of Christianity. She also teaches an interdisciplinary course on compassion, as well as a team-taught course entitled "Emotions across languages, cultures, and history." 

Mirguet's new book is entitled An Early History of Compassion: Emotion and Imagination in Hellenistic Judaism (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Her short article Compassion: Between a Mosaic Precept and a Common Human Potential (2017) gives an aperçu of the book.

Her first book, La représentation du divin dans les récits du Pentateuque, was published in 2009 by Brill. She has also published several peer-reviewed articles in different journals. Some of her latest articles include The Study of Emotions in Early Jewish Texts (Journal for the Study of Judaism 50, 2019) and What is an 'Emotion' in the Hebrew Bible? An Experience that Exceeds Most Contemporary Concepts (Biblical Interpretation 242016). 

During the academic year 2016-2017, Mirguet was a Harry Starr Fellow at the Center of Jewish Studies at Harvard. In fall 2015, she was a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, at the University of Pennsylvania. She spent spring 2013 at the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, in Washington, DC. 

Mirguet co-chairs the section Emotions and the Biblical World in the European Association for Biblical Studies. 

  • Ph.D., Louvain, 2007
  • M.A., Harvard, 2006
  • M.A., Louvain, 2004 
  • B.A., Louvain, 2002, 2004. 
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An Early History of Compassion: Emotion and Imagination in Hellenistic Judaism. Cambridge University Press (2017).
Research Interests: 


  • Emotions
  • Compassion and other emotional responses to others' pain
  • History of the self
  • Body and embodiment
  • Gender and its history 
  • Space
  • Pseudepigraphy 
  • Authorship


Literary Corpuses: 

  • Hebrew Bible and cognate literature
  • Greek scriptures
  • Philo and Josephus 
  • Pseudepigrapha
  • Jewish literature in its Hellenistic and Roman context



Books (authored): 

2017     An Early History of Compassion: Emotion and Imagination in Hellenistic Judaism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (278 pages). 

2009     La représentation du divin dans les récits du Pentateuque. Médiations syntaxiques et narratives. VT.Sup 123; Leiden/Boston: Brill (544 pages). 


Peer-Reviewed Articles: 

2016     “What is an ‘Emotion’ in the Hebrew Bible? An Experience that Exceeds Most Contemporary Concepts.” Biblical Interpretation 24/4-5, 442-465.

2016     “Emotions in Ancient Jewish Literature: Definitions and Approaches” (with D. Kurek-Chomycz). Biblical Interpretation 24/4-5, 435-441.

2014     “Emotional Responses to the Pain of Others, in Josephus’ Rewritten Scriptures and the Testament of Zebulun: Between Power and Vulnerability.” Journal of Biblical Literature 133, 838-857. With responses by Sarah J. Pearce, Donald Lateiner, and David Konstan.

2011     “Tracing Gender in the Story of the Oven of Akhnai: The Beit Midrash Between the Divine and Female Realms.” Nashim 22, 88-110.

2011     “Introductory Reflections on Embodiment in Hellenistic Judaism.” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 21, 5-19.

2011     “Implicit Biblical Motifs in Almodóvar’s Hable con ella and Volver.” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 23, 27-39.  

2010     “Attachment to the Body in the Greek Testament of Abraham: A Reappraisal of the Short Recension.” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 19, 251-275.

2008     “Numbers 16: The Significance of Place. An Analysis of Spatial Markers.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 32, 311-330.

2007     “’Raconter Dieu’ dans le Pentateuque.” Revue Théologique de Louvain 37, 488-551.

2005     “Interprétation de récit, récit d’interprétations. L’exemple de Nombres 16.” Biblical Interpretation 13, 424-437.

2005     “L’effacement du narrateur devant le personnage de Jésus dans le quatrième Évangile. Une inversion des rôles narratifs.” Sémiotique et Bible 120, 27‑40.

2005     “Essai d’interprétation de Lévitique 10.” Études Théologiques et Religieuses 80, 103-113.

2005     “Le motif des cassolettes en Nombres 16,1-17,15. Une riposte théâtralisée.” Estudios Bíblicos 63, 3‑19.

2004     “Les titres shiphah et ’amah. Recherche de lexicographie biblique.” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 116, 242-250.

2003     “Isaac et Ismaël en Genèse 21,1-21. Quand l’entente suscite le rire.” Science et Esprit 55, 75-88.

2003     “Genèse 21-22: Maternité et paternité à l’épreuve.” Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 79, 307-328.


Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters: 

2018     “They Visited Heaven and Refused to Die: Anxieties of Discontinuity in the Testament of Abraham and in Ezra Traditions.” Forthcoming in: T. Nicklas, J.N. Bremmer (eds.), The Figure of Ezra between Early Judaism and Ancient Christianity. Studies in Early Christian Apocrypha; Leuven: Peeters.

2014     “Beyond Authority: The Construction of Scriptures in the Testament of Abraham.” E. Tigchelaar (ed.), Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the Scriptures. Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium (BETL) 270; Leuven: Peeters, 211-230.

2012     “Flavius Josèphe construit son image. Quelques postures d’auteur dans la Vie.” C. Clivaz, et al. (eds.), Écritures et réécritures : La reprise interprétative des traditions fondatrices par la littérature biblique et extra-biblique. BETL 248; Leuven: Peeters, 35-48.  

2012     “’And Aseneth Saw Joseph’: Body Language and Emotions in Joseph and Aseneth 6,1.” A. Wénin, G. van Oyen (eds.), La surprise dans la Bible. BETL 247; Leuven: Peeters, 381-391.  

2008     “La représentation littéraire d’une réalité à venir. La terre promise dans les Nombres.” T. Römer (ed.), The Books of Leviticus and Numbers. BETL 215; Leuven: Peeters, 507-517.

2007     “Voir la mort de Jésus. Quand le ‘voir’ se fait récit.” G. van Belle (ed.), The Death of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel. BETL 200; Leuven: Peeters, 469-479.

2005     “La mise en scène de l’écriture et de la lecture dans le Quatrième Évangile.” Y.‑M. Blanchard, É. Latour, F. Mirguet, B. Oiry, Raconter, voir, croire. Parcours narratifs du quatrième évangile. Cahiers de la Revue Biblique; Paris: Gabalda, 13-31.


Edited Special Issues: 

2016     Guest editors, Françoise Mirguet and Dominika Kurek-Chomycz: Emotions in Ancient Jewish Literature: Definitions and Approaches. Biblical Interpretation 24/4-5.

2011     Guest editor: Embodiment and the Construction of Identity in Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha. Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha


Non Peer-Reviewed Publications: 

2017     “Compassion: Between a Mosaic Precept and a Common Human Potential.” The Bible and Interpretation.

2015     “Emotions in Deuteronomy.” Contribution to D.C. Benjamin, The Social World of Deuteronomy: A New Feminist Commentary. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 91-94.

2014     “Dieu et l’art de (le) raconter: Ou comment en finir avec le narrateur omniscient.” C. Dionne, Y. Mathieu (eds.), Raconter Dieu : Entre récit, histoire et théologie. Le Livre et le Rouleau 44; Namur: Lessius, 49-73.

2013     “Compassion in the Making: Lexicographic Explorations in Judeo-Hellenistic Literature.” Center for Hellenic Studies Research Bulletin 1/2 (online). 


Encyclopedia Entries: 

             “αἰσθάνομαι – αἴσθησις – αἰσθητήριον.” Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck). Submitted and accepted. Publication is projected between 2015 and 2021.

2013     “Emotions in Hellenistic Judaism and the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (Berlin: de Gruyter).


Book Reviews: 

2017     A. Wénin, Abraham ou l’apprentissage du dépouillement: Gn 11,27 – 25,18. Lire la Bible; Paris: Cerf, 2016. Revue Théologique de Louvain 48, 388-389. 

2017     D. Lambert, How Repentance Became Biblical: Judaism, Christianity, and the Interpretation of Scripture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Jewish Review of Books, Spring 2017, 14-16; with a response in Summer 2017 issue. 

2014     A. Chaniotis (ed.), Unveiling Emotions. Sources and Methods for the Study of Emotions in the Greek World (Habes 52). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2012. Classical Review 64/2, 1-3.

2013     V. D. Arbel, Forming Femininity in Antiquity: Eve, Gender, and Ideologies in the Greek Life of Adam and Eve. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Journal for the Study of Judaism 44, 384-385.

2012     W. Loader, The Pseudepigrapha on Sexuality. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011. Review of Biblical Literature (online).

2011     W. Loader, The Dead Sea Scrolls on Sexuality: Attitudes Towards Sexuality in Sectarian and Related Literature at Qumran. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009. Journal for the Study of Judaism 42, 418-419.

2009     “The Francophone Appropriation and Continuation of Narrative Criticism Applied to the Bible: The Example of Point of View.” Poetics Today 30, 353-362. 


Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 231Biblical Hebrew III
JST 231Biblical Hebrew III
HEB 231Biblical Hebrew III
SLC 590Reading and Conference
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
KOR 494Special Topics
SLC 494Special Topics
SLC 590Reading and Conference
SLC 598Special Topics
KOR 598Special Topics
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 232Biblical Hebrew IV
HEB 232Biblical Hebrew IV
JST 232Biblical Hebrew IV
HON 394Special Topics
SLC 394Special Topics
SLC 590Reading and Conference
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
JST 231Biblical Hebrew III
HEB 231Biblical Hebrew III
REL 231Biblical Hebrew III
SLC 494Special Topics
KOR 494Special Topics
HEB 499Individualized Instruction
SLC 590Reading and Conference
SLC 598Special Topics
KOR 598Special Topics
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SLC 394Special Topics
REL 411Judaism/BeginningsChristianity
JST 411Judaism/BeginningsChristianity
HEB 411Judaism/BeginningsChristianity
HEB 598Special Topics

Service to the Discipline (selection):

Member, Steering Committee, “Bible and Emotion” Group, Society of Biblical Literature (National Meetings) (2017-present);

Member, editorial board of the Journal for the Study of Judaism (2017-present);

Member, advisory board of the Journal for the Study of Judaism – Supplement Series (2017-present); 

Co-chair of the “Emotions and the Biblical World” Unit, European Association of Biblical Studies (2013-present);

Member, Steering Committee, “Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha” Unit, Society of Biblical Literature (International Meetings) (2009-2014); 

Member, then co-chair, Steering Committee, “Ancient Israel Religions” Unit, Society of Biblical Literature (International Meetings) (2009-2011).