Religion Professor Wins Book Award

Eva Mroczek, an assistant professor of religion, has won the DeLong Book History Book Prize for The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity.

Eva Mroczek

The book, published by Oxford University Press, offers new ways to conceptualize how early Jews understood sacred writing, treats early Jewish literary culture on its own terms rather than as a precursor to later Judaism and Christianity, and contributes a literary perspective to the texts of early Judaism. The award is given by the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP).

An announcement of the award states “stripping away scholarly assumptions about early Jewish literary culture, this study tackles the scraps, fragments and scrolls that have, over the centuries, been imaginatively ordered – often, as Mroczek shows, erroneously – into a coherent canon.”

“Book history has been an important intellectual framework for my work on the early history of now-Biblical texts,” said Mroczek, “and I'm particularly proud of this recognition because no book on antiquity has ever received this prize before.”

Mroczek holds a PhD in the study of religion from the University of Toronto and her work on early Jewish literary culture has appeared in the Journal for the Study of Judaism, the Journal of Ancient Judaism and Book History. She came to UC Davis in 2016.

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science