Neta Stahl

Neta Stahl

Associate Professor, Head of the Hebrew and Yiddish Subdivision, Director of The Stulman Program in Jewish Studies

Contact Information

Research Interests: Modern Hebrew literature, religion and literature, narrative theory, genre theory

Education: PhD, Tel Aviv University

Neta Stahl’s primary research interests lie at the intersection of literature, religion, and culture. She works on a broad range of modern Hebrew writers, from S.Y Agnon and Uri Zvi Grinberg to the contemporary author Yoel Hoffmann. 

She won grants from National Endowment for the Humanities and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and received the Koret Publication prize for first book in Jewish Studies.

Her most recent book, The Divine in Modern Hebrew Literature was published in March 2020 with Routledge. The book offers a panoramic and multilayered analysis of the various strategies in which modern Hebrew writers, from the turn of the nineteenth century through the twenty-first century pursued in their attempt to represent the divine in the face of metaphysical, theological, and representational challenges.

Stahl is also the author of Other and Brother: The Figure of Jesus in the 20th-Century Jewish Literary Landscape (Oxford University Press, 2013), which is an expanded English edition of her Hebrew book, TZELEM YEHUDI (Resling Press, 2008).  In 2017 she published her book Drawings of the Heart: The Poetics of Yoel Hoffmann (Reslings Press, in Hebrew). In this book, Stahl shows how basic reading norms are challenged in Hoffmann’s novels. One of her main arguments is that a central motivation for Hoffmann’s writing is a quasi-systematic literary study of the question: “What is a Man?”. Stahl suggests to read Hoffmann’s work as a literary-anthropological project that is meant, in Hoffmann’s words, to render “the precise man that we remember… the hero of this book that we’re writing (and all of the books that we’ve written to date).” These lines are taken from two different paragraphs of Hoffmann’s latest book, Moods (2010), which in many ways, summarizes the entire body of Hoffmann’s work.

Stahl has served as the director of the Stulman Program in Jewish Studies at Johns Hopkins since 2017. In 2020 she became the co-editor of LyreStudies in Poetry and Lyric (Bar-Ilan University Press), which focuses on Jewish poetry.


The Divine in Hebrew Literature (New York & Oxfordshire : Routledge, March 2020).

The Poetics of Yoel Hoffmann: Drawings of the Heart (in Hebrew). (Tel Aviv: Resling Academic Press, 2017).

Other and Brother: The Figure of Jesus in the 20th-Century Jewish Literary Landscape (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).  

Jesus Among the Jews: Representations and Thoughts ed. Neta Stahl (London and New York: Routledge, 2012).

TZELEM YEHUDI: Representations of Jesus in Twentieth Century Hebrew Literature (in Hebrew). (Tel Aviv: Resling, 2008).  

Book Chapters and Articles

“’Like a Cow That Gave Birth to a Seagull’: Amos Oz, Yoel Hoffmann and the Birth of The Same Sea,The Journal of Israeli History 38:2 (2021), 1-19.

“The Aesthetics of the Divine in Anakreon Al Kotev Ha-Itzavon,” in Tamar Wolf-Monzon and Avidov Lipsker (eds.), The Poetry of Uri Zvi Greenberg in the 1920s [in Hebrew] (Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University Press, 2020), 441-461.

"The Dead Christ: Ekphrasis in Three Turn-of-the-Millennium Israeli Novels,” in The Place of Christianity in Modern Hebrew and Japanese Literature: Its Roots and its Contemporary Expressions - The 10th CISMOR Annual Conference on Jewish Studies,18-19 May 2019. Edited by Ada Taggar Cohen & Doron B. Cohen (Kyoto: The Center for Interdisciplinary Study of the Monotheistic Religions, Doshisha University, 2020), 27-47.

“Between the Literary and the Historical Jesus: Teaching the Modern Hebrew Writers’ Jesus,” in Zev Garber (ed.), Teaching Jesus: Pedagogy and Exegesis, (New York: Routledge, 2015), 109-120.

“Jesus and the Pharisees through the Eyes of Two Modern Hebrew Writes: A Contrarian Perspective,” Hebrew Studies 56 (2015): 357-365

“Jewish Writers and Nationalist Theology at the Fin de Siécle,” in Emma Mason (ed.), Theological Issues in Literature and the Abrahamic Faiths, (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), 75-85.

“‘He Who Employs Funny Rhymes in His Speech’”: Parodied Poetics in the Works of Uri Zvi Greenberg and S. Y. Agnon,” Prooftexts: Journal of Jewish Literary History 34:1 (2015), 53-78.

“Theomorphism and Modern Hebrew Literature’s Search for the Divine: Brenner and Shlonsky as a Case Study,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 22 (2015), 62-85.

“Conceptions of Time and History in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Train Stories,” Comparative Literature, 66:1 (2014), 322-339.

“Jesus as the New Jew: Zionism and the Literary Representation of Jesus,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 11:1 (2012), 1-22.

“‘We left Yeshu’: On Three Twentieth Century Hebrew Poets’ Longing for Jesus,” in Neta Stahl (ed.), Jesus among the Jews, (London and New York: Routledge, 2012), 187-202.

“Not Being at One’s Home: Yoel Hoffmann and the Formal Representation of Otherness,” Prooftexts: Journal of Jewish Literary History, 30:2 (2011), 217-237.

“‘Man’s Red Soup’: Blood and the Art of Esau in the poetry of Uri Zvi Greenberg,” in Mitchell Hart (ed.), TheSignificance of Blood in Jewish History and Culture (London and New York: Routledge: 2009), 160-70.

“Uri Zvi Before the Cross: The Figure of Jesus in the Poetry of Uri Zvi Greenberg,” Religion & Literature, 40:3 (2008), 49-80.

“‘Why Have You Forsaken Me?’ – Avot Yeshurun and Jesus of Krasnitaw”, Iggud: Selected Essays in Jewish Studies, Vol. III: Literature, Language, and Art (Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 2007), 215-228.