Barnard College
Department of Religion
Barnard Department of Religion
219 Milbank Hall, 3009 Broadway, NY, NY 10027, Phone: 212.854.2597, Fax: 212.854.7491
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Alan F. Segal

Alan Segal photograph

219C Milbank Hall
T: 212.854.5419
Office Hours

Alan F. Segal is professor of Religion and Ingeborg Rennert Professor of Jewish Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University in Manhattan. When appointed he was the youngest full professor in the humanities in the university. He was chair of the Department between 1981-1984 and occasionally thereafter.

He was born in Worcester Massachusetts, educated at Worcester Academy, Amherst College (B.A. 1967), Brandeis University (M. A. 1969), Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (B. H. L. 1971) and Yale University (M. A. 1971, M. Phil. 1973, Ph. D. 1975). His studies included English Literature, Psychology, Anthropology, Comparative Religion, Judaica, Christian Origins, and Rabbinics.

Before moving to Columbia University, Professor Segal was appointed to Princeton University for two three-year terms starting in 1974 and to the University of Toronto with tenure. He received tenure at the University of Toronto in 1977, three years after beginning his teaching career.

He was also invited to the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies in Aspen, Colorado and to leadership training at Aspen's Wye Plantation in Maryland. While living in Israel in 1977-1978 on a Guggenheim Fellowship, he lectured at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and Bar Ilan University. He has served as guide on trips to Egypt, Turkey, and Israel and traveled extensively in Europe. He has held fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Annenberg Institute, and the J. S. Guggenheim Foundation.

In the summer of 1988 at the Jubilee celebration in Cambridge England, he became the first Jewish member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas to address the society. He was elected into membership of the American Society for the Study of Religion and the American Theological Association. He was also the first American to be elected president of the Canadian Society for Biblical Studies while living abroad. He has also written many scholarly articles for journals in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Professor Segal's publications include Jews and Arabs: A Teaching Guide (UAHC Press), Two Powers in Heaven (Brill), Deus Ex Machina: Computers in the Humanities (Penn University Bulletin Board), Rebecca's Children: Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World (Harvard University Press), The Other Judaisms of Late Antiquity (Scholars Press). Paul the Convert: The Apostasy and Apostolate of Saul of Tarsus was published by Yale University Press in Spring 1990 and was the Editor's Choice, the main selection of the History Book Club's summer list. It is also a selection of The Book of the Month Club.

His latest book is called Life After Death: The Afterlife in Western Religions (New York: Doubleday, 2004). It was a selection of the History Book Club, the Book of the Month Club, and the Behavioral Science Book Club. It has been featured on the Leonard Lopate Show, Talk of the Nation, and was the cover article of the Globe and Mail Book Review Supplement of Toronto.

Professor Segal lives in Ho-Ho-Kus N. J. with his family. His wife, Meryl Segal, is the Director of Social Work at the Forum School for emotionally disturbed and autistic children.

Complete CV (PDF, 116 KB)


  • Reli V3495: Life After Death
  • Reli V3501: Introduction to Hebrew Bible
  • Reli X3997: Senior Research Seminar
  • Reli G8850: Comparative Scriptural Exegesis

Office Hours (Spring 2007)

Mondays 2-4 PM, Wednesdays 2-4 PM, and by appointment.

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