Union Theological Seminary Student Life


Hal Taussig

Hal Taussing

Visiting Professor of New Testament


3041 Broadway, BT 604
New York, NY 10027



Union Institute, Ph.D., 1975

Methodist Theological School in Ohio, M.Div., 1973

Antioch College, A.B., 1965


Professor Hal Taussig received the A.B. in Religion from Antioch College in 1965, the M.Div. from Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 1973, and the Ph.D. from Union Institute in 1975. He has taught Masters and Ph.D. studies at Union Theological Seminary for the past 11 years as Visiting Professor of New Testament Studies and is also Professor of Early Christianity at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. Dr. Taussig previously taught at Chestnut Hill College, St. Joseph's University, the School of Theology at Claremont, and Albright College.

His scholarship has several foci. He is a leading scholar of the worship and meals of first and second century “Christianity,” and in recent years has led several national and international projects on how the practice and performance of these meals strongly influenced the emergence of early Christian identities. This scholarship has occasioned Dr. Taussig’s deep involvement in the larger discourse on the character of early Christian social formation. In direct relationship to this sustained social reading of the first two centuries of Jesus/Christ movements, he also convenes at Union a larger project on the integration of newly discovered non-canonical literature into the study of the New Testament and early Christianity. Dr. Taussig has co-chaired with Professor Brigitte Kahl the three international convocations on the New Testament and the Roman empire convened at Union in the past seven years. His 20 years of scholarship on the historical Jesus has occasioned both notoriety and the only current Ph.D. instruction offered in historical Jesus studies in North America.

His books include In the Beginning Was the Meal: Social Experimentation and Early Christian Identity; The Thunder: Perfect Mind: An Introduction and New Translation (with four Union and Columbia Ph.D. students); A New Spiritual Home: Progressive Christianity at the Grass Roots; Reimagining Life Together in America: A New Gospel of Community (with Catherine Nerney, SSJ); Jesus Before God: The Prayer Life of the Historical Jesus; Reimagining Christian Origins (with Elizabeth Castelli); Wisdom's Feast: Sophia in Study and Celebration (with Susan Cole and Marian Ronan); and Many Tables: The Eucharist in the New Testament and Liturgy Today (with Dennis Smith). He has forthcoming essays on Nag Hammadi, Christian origins, and counter imperial motifs in early Christianity in Biblical Interpretation, The Review of Biblical Literature, and The Union Seminary Quarterly Review. He is the co-chair of the national Society of Biblical Literature's Seminar on Meals in the Greco-Roman World. He was co-editor for the Union Seminary Quarterly Review volume on New Testament and Roman Empire, published in fall, 2005.

At Union, he has served, along with Professor Janet Walton and Director of Worship Troy Messenger, as co-leader of the monthly chapel service, “At Table.” He is also the faculty representative and a founding member of Union’s Resource Team for Ministerial and Spiritual Formation, in which capacity he leads monthly workshops on pastoral skills and teaches courses on Introduction to Spiritual Formation.

Dr. Taussig has been bi-vocational for his entire adult life, being both a professor of biblical literature and an active pastor for the past three decades. He has been co-pastor of the Chestnut Hill United Methodist Church in Philadelphia since 1990. He has also been pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church in West Philadelphia for 13 years; the Oekolompad Reformed Church in Basel; Switzerland; and Falls United Methodist Church in Philadelphia.


The Arts of Reading: Exegetical Practicum (Fall 2013)

Seminar: Ritual and Early Christian Meals (with Janet R. Walton, Spring 2014)

Introduction to Spiritual Formation (Spring 2014)

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