Laura Suzanne Lieber

Professor of Religious Studies

External address: 
118B Gray Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90964, Durham, NC 27708-0964
(919) 660-3510

My primary area of research is in the area of synagogue poetry ("piyyut") from Late Antiquity and the Byzantine period. I examine these works from a variety of perspectives, including literary, performative, and comparative (particularly with early Christian hymnography in Syriac and Greek), and also as a genre of early Jewish biblical interpretation. In recent years, I have begun to integrate the study of material culture into my analysis of these literary works, as part of taking a more fully "contextual" approach to literary analysis. My most recent work approaches late ancient hymnography through the lens of theater studies and performance.


  • Ph.D., University of Chicago 2003
  • M.A., Hebrew Union College 1998
  • B.A., University of Arkansas at Fayetteville 1994

Lieber, LS. "Kedushah (In preparation)." In Cambridge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religions.. (Chapter)


Lieber, LS. "Portraits of Righteousness: Noah in Early Christian and Jewish Hymnography." Zeitschrift fuer Religions- und Geistegeschichte 61 (2009): 332-355. (Academic Article)

Lieber, LS. "The Exegesis of Love: Text and Context in the Early Synagogue." Review of Rabbinic Literature 11 (2008): 73-99.

Lieber, L. "The Poet and the Tower-Builders: A Translation and Analysis of Yannai's Piyyut for Genesis 11." Review of Rabbinic Judaism 8, no. 1 (June 1, 2005): 163-188. Full Text

Lieber, LS. "The Generation that Built the Tower: Yannai on Genesis 11." Review of Rabbinic Judaism 8 (2005): 161-188.

Lieber, LS. "Jewish living: A guide to contemporary reform practice." JOURNAL OF RELIGION 82, no. 4 (October 2002): 670-671. Full Text

Lieber, LS. "Review of Mark Washofsky, Jewish Living: A Guide to Contemporary Reform Practice." Journal of Religion 82 (2002): 670-671. (Review)

Lieber, LS. "Review of Samuel Balentine, The Torah's Vision of Worship." Journal of Religion 82 (2002): 269-270. (Review)