Jay Michaelson | Academic CV

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson





Ph.D, Jewish Thought, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2013
Dissertation, “I Do Not Look to Heaven, but at What God Does on Earth: Materialism, Sexuality, and Law in Jacob Frank’s Zbior Słow Panskich

Rabbinic Ordination, Non-denominational, Rabbi David Cooper, 2013

M.F.A., Writing, Sarah Lawrence College, 2010

M.A., Comparative Religion, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2001

J.D., Yale Law School, 1997

B.A. Magna Cum Laude, English, Columbia University, 1993


Chicago Theological Seminary, Affiliated Assistant Professor, 2014-present
Taught courses on Religious Liberty and LGBT Equality; Religious Liberty, Civil Rights and Public Policy; Progressive Responses to Anti-LGBTQ Campaigns; and Contemporary Meditation and Buddhist Modernism

Brown University, Visiting Scholar, 2013-14

Harvard Divinity School, Field Education Supervisor, 2012
Supervised student research in LGBT identity and religion 

Boston University Law School, Visiting Assistant Professor, 2007-08
Taught Law & Religion and Environmental Ethics
Faculty member, Boston University Jewish Studies program

City College of New York, Adjunct Professor, 2005
Taught undergraduate course in Jewish mysticism

New York University Law School, Golieb Fellow in legal history, 1999-2000

United States Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Clerk, Judge Merrick Garland, 1998‑99 

Yale University, Instructor, 1996-97
Taught college seminar in Jewish Mysticism
Teaching Assistant, Professor Nicholas Wolterstorff




Academic Articles


“I could see from one end of the world to the other”: Frankist Sexual Antinomianism as Material Mystical Messianism, submission in progress

Queering Martin Buber: Harry Hay’s Erotic Dialogical, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Winter 2018), pp. 31-59

Conceptualizing Jewish Antinomianism in the Teachings of Jacob Frank, Modern Judaism – A  Journal of Jewish Ideas and Experience (Volume 37, Issue 3, 2017)

The Repersonalization of God:  Monism and Theological Polymorphism in Zoharic and Hasidic Imagination, in Imagining the Jewish God (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)

Homosexuality in Modern Judaism, in The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (De Gruyter, 2016)

Queer Theology and Social Transformation: Twenty Years after Jesus Acted Up, Theology and Sexuality (Volume 21, Issue 3, 2015)

Hating the Law for Christian Reasons: The Religious Roots of American Antinomianism, in Jews and the Law, Marc Galanter, Victoria Saker Woeste, and Ari Mermelstein, eds. (Quid Pro, 2014)

A Minyan of Masculinities: German and Zionist Constructions of the Jewish Man (review), H-Net Reviews (February, 2015)

Gay Men’s Interpretation of the Bible, in The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Receptio(De Gruyter, 2013)

Kabbalah and Queer Theology: Resources and Reservations, Theology and Sexuality, Volume 18, Number 1 (2012)

Queering Kabbalistic Gender Dimorphism, in Queer Religion, Donald Boisvert and Jay Johnson, eds. (Praeger, 2011)

Chaos, Law, and God: The Religious Meanings of Homosexuality, 15 Mich. J. of Gender & Law 41 (2008)

In Praise of the Pound of Flesh: Legalism, Multiculturalism, and the Problem of the Soul, 6 J. L. Society 98 (2005)

On Listening to the Kulturkampf, or, How America overruled Bowers v. Hardwick, Even though Romer v. Evans Didn’t, 49 Duke L.J. 1559 (2000)

Geoengineering: A Climate Change Manhattan Project, 17 Stan. Envtl Law Journal 73 (1998)

Rethinking Regulatory Reform: Toxics, Politics, Ethics, 105 Yale L.J. 1891 (1996)



The Heresy of Jacob Frank: From Jewish Antinomianism to Esoteric Myth (currently under review)

Jewish Enlightenment: Ten Years on the Slippery Slopes of Neo-Hasidic Mysticism, Postmodern Buddhist Meditation, and Heretical Flexidox Spirituality (Ben Yehuda Press, 2019)

The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path (Ben Yehuda Press, 2015)

 Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment  (North Atlantic Books, 2013)

Rethinking Religious Liberty: The Hidden Assault on Civil Rights (Report, Political Research Associates, 2013)

God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality (Beacon, 2011) 

Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism (Shambhala, 2009)

God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness, and Embodied Spiritual Practice (Jewish Lights, 2007)




Religious Liberty and/Or Civil Rights, Religious Studies Lecture, University of Kansas, May 2019
Holy Madness in Comparative Perspective, American Academy of Religion, 2018
What is Masterpiece Cakeshop Really About?, Rutgers Law School, April 2018
Meditation and Toxic Masculinity: Sex, Gender, and Patriarchy in American Buddhism, Smith College, March 2018
Antisemitism and Xenophobia in the Age of Donald Trump, SUNY New Paltz, 2017
Queering Jewish Theology: Boundaries and the Boundless, Castaneda Lecture, Chicago Theological Seminary, 2017
The Antinomianism of Jacob Frank: Between Philosophical Critique and Esoteric Myth, Lehrhaus 2017
Religious Exemptions: Civil Rights and the Parameters of Liberty, Univ. of Arkansas, 2015
The Antinomianism of Jacob Frank: Between Philosophical Critique and Esoteric Myth, Univ. of Pittsburgh, 2017
Queer Theology and Social Transformation: Points of Contact, Points of Conflict, Univ. of Pittsburgh, 2017
Religious Exemptions: Civil Rights and the Parameters of Liberty, Univ. of Pittsburgh Law School, 2017
Same Sex Marriage as Resistance in an Age of White Supremacy, American Academy of Religion, 2016
Religious Liberty and Civil Rights, Univ. of Central Florida, 2016
Mysticism and Activism, Union Theological Seminary, 2015
The Scholar-Practitioner, American Academy of Religion, 2015
Religious Exemptions: Civil Rights and the Parameters of Liberty, Univ. of Arkansas Law School, 2015
Jesus Acted Up: Twenty Years Later, American Academy of Religion, 2014
Can There Be a Jewish Contemplative Studies?, Int’l Symposium for Contemplative Studies, October 2014
What is the Meaning of Frankist Sexual Antinomianism?, Association for Jewish Studies, 2014
Queer Theology and Social Transformation, Boswell Lecture, Pacific School of Religion, 2014
Religious Refusals: Legal, Political and Ethical Implications, Yale Law School, 2014
Was Frankism the Link Between Kabbalah and Enlightenment?, Association for Jewish Studies, December 2013
Religious Freedom and Equal Treatment: An International Look, Brooklyn Law School, October 2013
Frankism as Skeptical Antinomianism, Association for Jewish Studies, December 2012
The Erotic Dialogical: Harry Hay in the Light of Martin Buber, CUNY, October 2012
Rabbi Professor: Neo-Hasidism as Spiritual Bricolage, Van Leer Institute, June 2012
Homosexuality, Law, and Religion, Michigan Psychological Association, 2012
Queering God, Torah & Israel, Bunis Lecture, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, 2012
Queering Kabbalistic Gender Dimorphism, American Academy of Religion, 2011
Queer Activism & Queer Scholarship, Pacific School of Religion, 2011
God, Gender, and Justice, University of Chicago, 2011
Liminality, Identity, and the ‘Good Gays,’ Vanderbilt University, 2011
Homosexuality and Liminality, Berkeley Graduate Theological Union, 2010
Embodiment in Jewish Spiritual Practice, Academy of Jewish Religion, 2009
Homosexuality, Liminality, and Law, Boston University Law School, 2008
Vedanta & Neo-Hasidism, American Academy of Religion, 2007
Anti-legalism and anti-Judaism, Cardozo Law School, 2006
The New Jewish Culture and the Archair Revival, Lehigh University, 2006
Kabbalah and Eros, Drew University, 2004




Heresy and Antinomianism; LGBTQ Issues and Religion; Religious Liberty and Civil Rights; Queer Theology; Contemporary Spirituality; Buddhist Modernism and Contemporary Meditation; Modern and Postmodern Jewish Theology; Law and Religion; Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah.





New York Society for Professional Journalists Award for best opinion writing, 2011 and 2014

Lambda Literary Award finalist, 2012

Forward 50, list of fifty most prominent American Jews, 2010

Weinig Traveling Fellowship, 1998

Senior Editor, Yale Law Journal, 1997

Olin Fellowship in Law, Economics, and Public Policy, 1997

Ambrose Gherini Prize for best article on international law, Yale Law School, 1997

Israel Peres Prize for best note in Yale Law Journal, 1996

Dorot Fellowship, 1993

James C. Caraley Prize for student activism, Columbia University, 1992