Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

You are here: Home People Michael Legaspi
Michael Legaspi

Michael Legaspi

Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Jewish Studies

222 Weaver Building University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-7891


  1. B.A., Johns Hopkins University, Near Eastern Studies, 1995
  2. A.M., Harvard University, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Hebrew Bible, 2003
  3. Ph.D., Harvard University, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Hebrew Bible, 2006


Before coming to Penn State, Prof. Legaspi taught at Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska) and Phillips Academy (Andover, Massachusetts). As a member of CAMS and Jewish Studies, Prof. Legaspi teaches courses in biblical studies, ethics, and the historical backgrounds of Judaism and Christianity. His principal research interests include wisdom, theological interpretation of the Bible, and the history of biblical interpretation, specifically the intellectual backgrounds of modern criticism in the early modern period and in various strands of the Enlightenment.


Select publications:

Wisdom in Classical and Biblical Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2018).

“Charisma is Ordinary: Max Weber, Philip Rieff, and the Charismatic Faith of Israel” Journal of Jewish Studies (forthcoming).

“Wisdom in Dialogue with Greek Civilization” in Oxford Handbook of Wisdom and Wisdom Literature. Ed. Will Kynes (forthcoming).

“Biblical Higher Criticism and the Legacies of Pre-Modern Interpretation” in Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Interpretation. Eds. Paul M. Blowers and Peter W. Martens (forthcoming).

“An Exegetical Argument for Civil Authority in the De Imperio of Hugo Grotius” Erudition and the Republic of Letters 3 (2018): 1-24.

“Opposition to Idolatry in the Book of Habakkuk” Vetus Testamentum 67 (2017): 458-469.

“Scripture: Three Modes of Retrieval” in Theologies of Retrieval: An Exploration and Appraisal. Ed. Darren Sarisky (T&T Clark; 2017), 155-172.

The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Student Testimonial

“The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is an incredibly helpful community of individuals who love to learn. The faculty members of this department are very thoughtful and provide invaluable assistance to otherwise confused undergraduates. (...)
The smaller department size allows students to establish relationships with faculty and to establish a community in a school that might otherwise seem dauntingly large. The Classics and the study of the ancient Mediterranean world are strong at Penn State. For a school that prides itself on cutting-edge research and applied sciences, Penn State is a superb promoter of the Humanities. This support allows the CAMS department to recruit world-class faculty, provide generous funding and aid to undergraduates, and establish resources for research. The structure of the department was a perfect fit for me and allowed me to explore a wide-range of subjects related to my interests. In my four years in the program, I strengthened my Latin and Greek and was also able to study Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Sumerian. I now look forward to continuing my training in philology as I pursue graduate study.”

Timothy W. Dooley
2011 CAMS graduate

Personal tools
Log in