Top of page
Skip to main content
Main content

Jill RobbinsProfessor Emerita

Jill Robbins received her B.A. in English with distinction from Cornell University, her M.Phil. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from Yale University. Her research and expertise are in the areas of classical texts (the Bible, rabbinic literary criticism, figural interpretation, history of biblical interpretation); 19th and 20th century thought; and critical movements: phenomenology, hermeneutics, existentialism, deconstruction, Russian formalism, semiotics, philosophy of language, philosophical ethics. Before coming to Emory, she taught for 17 years at the State University of New York at Buffalo in Comparative Literature and English. In 1984-85 she was appointed a Georges Lurcy Fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University. In 1992-93 she was granted an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship.

She has authored two books, Altered Reading: Levinas and Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999) and Prodigal Son/Elder Brother: Interpretation and Alterity in Augustine, Petrarch, Kafka, Levinas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991). She is also the editor of Is It Righteous to Be?: Interviews with Emmanuel Levinas (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001). At Emory, she holds a joint appointment with Religion and the Department of Comparative Literature.


  • PhD, Yale University, 1985
  • MPhil, Yale University, 1982
  • BA, Cornell University, 1979

Research and Teaching 

  • Theories of religion: Durkheim, Weber, Geertz
  • Philosophical and biblical hermeneutics
  • Sacrifice and gift in French pre-war and post-war writing