Global Humanities and Religions Faculty and Staff

Nathaniel B. Levtow

Nathaniel B. Levtow

Director, Humanities Institute; Associate Professor, Global Humanities and Religions

Office: LA 156
Fax: 406-243-5313
Office Hours:

Autumn 2017:  Tues Thurs 2:00 - 3:30 pm and by appointment

Current Position

Associate Professor, Global Humanities and Religions

Driector, Humanities Institute


Teaching areas: religion, biblical studies, ancient studies

Selected courses taught: Introduction to the Humanities; Introduction to the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament; Introduction to New Testament Studies; Judaism; Theory and Method in the Study of Religion; Prophets and Prophecy; God, Gods and Goddesses; Origins of Judaism and Christianity; Religion and Violence


Courses Fall 2017:

LS (GHR) 151:  Introduction to the Humanities (Bible, Greeks, Romans)


Courses Spring 2018:

RLST 205 L:  Introduction to the New Testament

RLST 391.1:  Creation and Destruction in the Bible

Personal Summary

Associate Professor Nathaniel Levtow writes and teaches about religion, history and the Bible. His courses and publications explore biblical traditions from comparative-historical perspectives and focus on the intersection between religion, politics and literature. He draws on social, anthropological and cognitive-scientific methods to understand biblical religions. He is currently writing a book about the destruction of texts and images in antiquity.

After completing his BA in religious studies and physics at Middlebury College, Dr. Levtow received his MTS from Harvard Divinity School and his PhD from Brown University, where he received the 2006 Joukowsky Foundation award for best dissertation in the humanities. His subsequent book, Images of Others: Iconic Politics in Ancient Israel (Eisenbrauns, 2008), examines the political aspects of iconoclasm in the Bible and ancient West Asia. He is a Trustee of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and was a U.S. Department of State Educational and Cultural Affairs Fellow in 2011 and 2001-2002. Before joining the UM faculty in 2006 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. He is a recipient of the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin (2015) and was a Visting Scholar in the Theology Faculty of Humboldt University in Berlin (2015-16). In 2011 he received the Cox Educational Excellence Award for Teaching at the University of Montana. Dr. Levtow's archeological research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (2013, 2015-16).


Ph.D., Brown University; M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School; B.A., Middlebury College

Research Interests

Iconoclasm, text destruction, ritual, representation, religion and violence


Upcoming talk:  The Curses of Zinçirli.  EABS/SBL International Meeting. August 11, 2017. Berlin, Germany.

UM Research View:

Gallery talk:  Prinz-Georg // Raum für Kunst

Selected Publications

"Memorial (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament).” In Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception. Edited by C.Helmer,  S. McKenzie, T. Römer, et al. Walter DeGruyter, forthcoming.

“Cognitive Perspectives on Iconoclasm." In New Perspectives on Ritual Violence in the Hebrew Bible. Edited by S. M. Olyan. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

“Monumental Inscriptions and the Ritual Representation of War.” In Warfare, Ritual, and Symbol in Biblical and Modern Contexts. Edited by B. Kelle, F. R. Ames and J. Wright. Ancient Israel and Its Literature. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014.

“Artifact Burial in the Ancient Near East.” Pages 141-51 in The One Who Sows Bountifully: Essays in Honor of Stanley K. Stowers. Edited by C. J. Hodge, S. M. Olyan, D. Ullucci and E. Wasserman. Brown Judaic Studies. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013.

“Text Destruction and Iconoclasm in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East.” Pages 311–62 in Iconoclasm and Text Destruction in the Ancient Near East and Beyond. Edited by Natalie N. May. Oriental Institute Seminars 8. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2012.

“Text Production and Destruction in Ancient Israel: Ritual and Political Dimensions.” Pages 111–39 in Social Theory and the Study of Israelite Religion: Essays in Retrospect and Prospect. Edited by S. M. Olyan. Society of Biblical Literature Resources for Biblical Study. Leiden: Brill, 2012.

Images of Others: Iconic Politics in Ancient Israel. Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California, San Diego 11. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2008.

“Abraham,” “Judah,” Jehoahaz,” “Manna.” In The Routledge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religions. Edited by E. Orlin. New York: Rutledge, 2015.


Society of Biblical Literature, European Association of Biblical Studies, American Schools of Oriental Research, American Academy of Religion