Professor Nathan Katz is Professor and Chair
of the Department of Religious Studies at Florida International University
in Miami. He is the author of a dozen books and more than one hundred
scholarly and popular articles. He has won four Fulbright awards for
research and teaching in South Asia, where he has lived for more than
seven years. He has been named a "Master Teacher" by the Florida Humanities
Council for an unprecedented seven years in a row, and in 1994 his classroom
excellence was recognized with a Florida State University System Teaching
Incentive Program award.
Dr. Katz came to FIU in 1994,
where he developed and chaired a Program in Jewish Studies. In 1995
he became the founding chair of the Department of Religious Studies.
The department now has eight full-time and a dozen adjunct faculty,
teaches 2,000 students each year, and enrolls 50 graduate students.
At FIU, he has also been very active in developing the Asian Studies
Program. He was responsible for the visit of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama to FIU in 1999. Recently, he has been developing Israel programs
for FIU students and faculty, and directing the Endowment for the Comparative
Study of Spirituality.
Dr Katzís research spans the religious traditions of South Asia. He
has written more than a dozen books about Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism.
His latest work Who Are The Jews of
India? has been published by the University
of California Press. His other books include The Last Jews of Cochin:
Jewish Identity in Hindu India (1993), Ethnic Conflict in Buddhist
Societies: Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma (1988), and Buddhist
Images of Human Perfection (1982).
Dr. Katz is Editor of an academic journal devoted to exploring the interactions
and affinities between Indian and Jewish civilizations, Indo-Judaic
Studies. He has been a pioneer in establishing dialogues between Jews
and Hindus and Buddhists, on international and local levels. In 1990
he was invited to participate in the historic Tibetan-Jewish dialogue,
hosted by the Dalai Lama at his palace in Dharamsala, India. He was
a featured character in Rodger Kamenetzís best-seller, The Jew in the
Lotus, and he made an appearance in the film of the same title.
Dr. Katz has been interviewed on numerous television and radio programs,
including PBSís "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly," NCBís "Good Morning
America," and NPRís "All Things Considered." He is featured in a 5-part
video series, "Reconnecting West and East: Judaism and Eastern Religions."
He has lectured at universities and other academic institutions around
the world, including Oxford Univ., Univ. of Vienna, Hebrew Univ., Yakar
Institute (Jerusalem), Benares Hindu Univ., Chulalongkorn Univ. (Bangkok),
Peradeniya Univ. (Sri Lanka), Harvard, Columbia, Penn State, Univ. of
Washington, Amherst College, College of William and Mary, Trinity College,
Univ. of Florida, Judah L. Magnes Museum (Berkeley), Newark Museum,
Tampa Museum of Art, Univ. of Kansas, Univ. of Pittsburgh, Univ. of
Saskatchewan, Institut Monumenta Serica (Germany), the East-West Center
(Honolulu), and the Univ. of California at Santa Barbara. He has also
been a consultant to the U.S. District Court for South Florida and to
the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem.
At FIU, he teaches religions of South Asia, Buddhism, Asian Judaism,
world religions, introduction to religious studies, the sacred texts
seminar, and the methods seminar.
Katz serves on the Florida Commissioner of Educationís Holocaust Education
Task Force, and was presented with the Keser Shem Tov Award by Congregation
Ohr Chaim of Miami Beach in 1997. He lives with his wife, Ellen Goldberg,
and their son, Rafael Yehiel.
He will be leading the Judaic Tour to
India, for which undergraduate or graduate credit through Florida
International University is available. Contact Professor Katz directly