Richard G. Marks Jessie Ball duPont Professor of Religion

Richard G. Marks

Baker 201

2014-present    Jessie Ball duPont Professorship in Religion

2000-2007, 2009-10     Department Head, Religion Department

1998-99, 2004     Visiting Fellow, University College, Oxford University

1996‑present     Professor of Religion, Washington and Lee University

1988-96     Associate Professor of Religion, Washington and Lee University

1993-94     Visiting Professor, Graduate Program of Ethics, Mahidol University, Bangkok

1984‑88     Assistant Professor of Religion, Washington and Lee University

1979‑84     Visiting Professor, Graduate Program of Religious Studies, Mahidol University, Bangkok


University of California, Los Angeles.  Ph.D. in Jewish History (secondary concentration in History of Religions), 1980.  Dissertation:  “The Image of Bar Kokhba in Jewish Literature up to the Seventeenth Century: False Messiah and National Hero”

Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles.  M.A. in Judaic Studies, 1971

Raymond College, University of the Pacific.  B.A. in Liberal Arts, 1967


The history of Jewish views of Hinduism and Indian culture, and Jewish theories of comparative religion which include Hinduism in their framework.

Jewish Travel: a typology

Annotated translation of Jacob Sapir’s Hebrew-language travelogue, Even Sapir (pub. 1864), his India travels


Courses taught: God and the Holocaust, Perspectives on Death and Dying, Travel Mythic and Modern, Judaism, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Modern Jewish Literature in Translation, Introduction to Religion, Introduction to Islam and Judaism, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Judaism: Sages and Mystics, Modern Jewish Thought, Islam, Apocalyptic Literature, Islamic and Judaic Mysticism, Interreligious Dialogue

Selected Publications

“Jacob Sapir’s Journey through Southern India in 1860: Four Chapters on Indian Life from Even Sapir, Translated, Annotated, and Introduced,” Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, Vol. 13 (2013): pp. 73-95.

“Hinduism, Torah, and Travel: Jacob Sapir in India,” Shofar 30:2 (Winter 2012): pp. 26-51.

Review Essay: Letters to a Buddhist Jew, in Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, Vol. 9 (2007): pp. 96-100.

“Hindus and Hinduism in Medieval Jewish Literature,” pp. 57-73 in Indo-Judaic Studies in the Twenty-First Century: a view from the margin, ed. Nathan Katz, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

“The Garden in the Middle,” pp. 71-84 in Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the Buddha, Wisdom Press, 2003.

“Abraham, the Easterners, and India: Jewish interpretations of Genesis 25:6,” Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, Vol. 3 (2000):  pp. 49-70. 

Book: The Image of Bar Kokhba in Traditional Jewish Literature: False Messiah and National Hero, Penn State Press, 1994.

"Teaching Judaism in Thailand,” pp. 67-100 in Approaches to Modern Judaism. Vol. II.  ed., Marc Lee Raphael. Brown Judaic Studies 56.  Chico: Scholars Press, 1984. 

Selected Papers

“Representations of Hinduism in Jewish thought of medieval Spain: toward a history of Jewish concepts of comparative religion.” World Congress of the International Association of the History of Religions, in Erfurt, 2015.

“Jacob in India:  a 19th c. Jew encounters idolatry and holiness among Hindus,” American Academy of Religion, in Chicago, 2008.