Michael G. Azar, PhD

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Associate Professor of Theology/Religious Studies

michael.azar@scranton.edu 

Michael G. Azar holds a PhD in New Testament from Fordham University (2013) and an MA in theology from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (2005).  His current research focuses on ancient and modern Christian-Jewish interaction, particularly in light of Orthodox Christianity in the Holy Land (روم أرثوذكس). His other scholarly pursuits include New Testament studies, especially apocalyptic thought and the "parting of the ways," and the effects that contemporary sociopolitical policies have on scholarly understandings of the ancient world. 

Undergraduate: 
  • TRS 121x Bible: Sacred Story and Meaning (First-Year Seminar)
  • TRS 121 Introduction to the Bible
  • TRS 315 John’s Gospel and Letters
  • TRS 318 Apocalypse of John
  • TRS 490 Theology Capstone Seminar: The Life and Afterlife of Paul the Apostle

Graduate: 

  • TRS 501 New Testament Exegesis
  • TRS 550 Christology

Study Abroad: 

  • TRS 284 Saints and Sinners in Nazi Germany (Summer study abroad in Germany)
  • TRS 290 Christianity in the Middle East (Intersession study abroad in Jerusalem)

Select Publications:

  • Exegeting the Jews: The Early Reception of the Johannine “Jews” (Bible in Ancient Christianity 10; Leiden: Brill), 2016.
  • “Theosis as Limitation: The Case of the Apocalypse and Martyrs,” Journal of Theological Studies (accepted; forthcoming 2022).

  • “The Role of Scripture in Jewish-Christian Dialogue: An Orthodox Perspective,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Orthodox Christianity (ed. Eugen Pentiuc; forthcoming 2021).

  • “Israel: The People of God on Palm Sunday in the Orthodox Church,” in The Byzantine Liturgy and the Jews (ed. Alexandru Ionita; forthcoming 2021).

  • “Mission to the Jews (Greek and Latin Patristics and the Orthodox Churches),” Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (forthcoming 2021). 

  • “The Eastern Orthodox Tradition, Jews, and the Gospel of John,” in The Gospel of John and Jewish-Christian Relations (ed. Adele Reinhartz; Lanham, Md.: Lexington/Fortress, 2018), 21–46.
  • “The Law and the New Life in Romans 7:1–6: Eastern-Western Dialogue and Romans,” in Participation, Justification and Conversion: Eastern Orthodox Interpretation of Paul and the Debate between Old and New Perspectives on Paul (WUNT 442; ed. Athanasios Despotis; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017), 247–76.
  • “Origen, Scripture, and the Imprecision of ‘Supersessionism,’” Journal of Theological Interpretation 10.2 (2016), 157–72.
  • “John Chrysostom and the Johannine ‘Jews,’” in The School of Antioch: Biblical Theology and the Church in Syria (ed. Vahan S. Hovhanessian; Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2015), 41–48.
  • “Prophetic Matrix and Theological Paradox: Jews and Judaism in the Holy Week and Pascha Observances of the Greek Orthodox Church,” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 10.1 (2015), 1–27.
  • “‘Bow Your Head Low to the Great; Rescue the Oppressed from the Oppressor’: Ben Sira and the Struggle with Elitism,” in Festschrift in Honor of Paul Nadim Tarazi 3: Studies in Intertestamental, Extra-Canonical, and Early Christian Literature (ed. Tom Dykstra; Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2015), 23–36.
  • “Orthodox Americans, the Orthodox Peace Fellowship, and Iraq,” in For the Peace from Above: An Orthodox Handbook on War, Peace, and Nationalism (rev. ed.; ed. Hildo Bos and Jim Forest; Rollinsford, N.H.: Orthodox Research Institute, 2011), 279–94.
  • “The Scriptural King,” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 50.3 (2006), 255–75.

Recent Presentations: 

  • “The Deification of ‘Witnesses’ in John’s Apocalypse,” Annual Meeting of the Catholic Biblical Association (CBA), Denver, CO, July 2018.
  • “Eastern Orthodox Identity, Jews, and John’s Gospel,” Annual Meeting of the SBL, Boston, MA, November 2017.
  • “The Logos and Lamb of the Lord’s Passover: Patristic Antitypes of the Johannine Type,” Annual Meeting of the CBA, Washington, DC, August 2017.
  • “Reading John’s ‘Jews’ through Eastern Orthodox Thought and Practice,” 2017 Corcoran Chair Conference: The Gospel of John and Jewish-Christian Relations, April 2017.
  • “‘Freed from the Law?’ Orthodox Fasting and Paul’s View of the Law,” Annual Meeting of the Orthodox Theological Society in America (OTSA), Boston, MA, September 2016.
  • “Old, New, Neither: Romans 7 and an Eastern Orthodox Perspective,” Annual Meeting of the CBA, Santa Clara, CA, August 2016.