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Robert Alter

Tolerance and Intolerance in the Hebrew Bible

Panel: Text, Translation, Interpretation – Saturday, January 23 (11am – 1pm PST // 2pm – 4pm EST)

Robert Alter is Professor in the Graduate School and Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written prolifically across themes that range from the history of the novel, to the literature of urban experience, to the modernist engagement with tradition, to the poetics of the Bible. He has most recently completed an English translation of the Hebrew Bible. He has worked through several books of criticism to chart the historical and literary implications of sacred scriptural translation. In addition to reflections on his own translation project, Alter has published a book and articles on the collaborative scholarly and theological endeavor to compose the King James Bible in the early seventeenth century. His Pen of Iron: American Prose and the king James Bible charts the influence of this product of the English Reformation on modern American literature. Throughout his work he has illustrated how style — syntax, diction, sound — do and do not resist translation and resonate in the literary traditions to which translations contribute.   

Example of published work:

Robert Alter, Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible (Princeton University Press, 2010),