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; 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 (forthcoming, 2018)

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 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)





Meditation and Toxic Masculinity: Sex, Gender, and Patriarchy in American Buddhism, Smith College, 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 Minority 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


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


Religious Freedom and Equal Treatment: An International Look, Brooklyn Law School, 2013


Frankism as Skeptical Antinomianism, Association for Jewish Studies, 2012


The Erotic Dialogical: Harry Hay in the Light of Martin Buber, CUNY, 2012


Rabbi Professor: Neo-Hasidism as Spiritual Bricolage, Van Leer Institute, 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





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; Environmental Ethics; 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