Competition: US & Canada
Martha Himmelfarb was born in New York City. Her primary research interests include conceptions of the apocalypse, priesthood, and other topics in ancient Judaism and Christianity. Ms. Himmelfarb graduated with a B.A. from Barnard College in 1974, and received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981. She joined the religion faculty at Princeton University in 1978 and served as chair of the department from 1999 to 2006; currently she is the William H. Danforth Professor of Religion there.
Her published books include Tours of Hell: An Apocalyptic Form in Jewish and Christian Literature (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983; rpt., Fortress, 1985), Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (Oxford UP, 1993), and A Kingdom of Priests: Ancestry and Merit in Ancient Judaism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).
She is the recipient of numerous honors, including fellowships from the New Jersey State Council for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Ms. Himmelfarb was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to research the impact of the rise of Christianity on ancient Jewish eschatology for a forthcoming book.