Associate Professor
Religious Studies


Ph.D., Princeton University

Research Interests

Judaism; religious thought; religion and politics; theories and methods; religious ethics

Regional and Thematic Interests



Elias Sacks joined the University of Colorado faculty in 2012, and works on the Jewish tradition, religious thought, and theories and methods in the study of religion. After receiving his A.B. from Harvard University and studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he earned an M.A. in Religion from Columbia University (2007) and a Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University (2012). His research focuses on the modern period, with particular areas of interest including Jewish thought, Jewish-Christian relations, philosophy of religion, religion and politics, hermeneutics, and religious ethics. His current book project, entitled The Living Script: Moses Mendelssohn’s Philosophy of Judaism, explores the conception of Jewish practice in the Hebrew and German writings of Moses Mendelssohn, the eighteenth-century philosopher generally seen as the founder of modern Jewish thought. Sacks’s recent and forthcoming articles explore Mendelssohn as well as other figures in medieval and modern Jewish thought, including Moses Maimonides, Baruch Spinoza, Hermann Cohen, and Jacob Taubes. Sacks also serves as a translator for a new English edition of Mendelssohn’s writings (Brandeis University Press, 2011, finalist for the National Jewish Book Award), along with a new collection of Cohen’s works and an anthology of responses to Spinoza (Brandeis University Press).

Selected Publications

2016 Moses Mendelssohn’s Living Script: Philosophy, Practice, History, Judaism. Indiana University Press.

2014 “Spinoza, Maimonides and the Politics of Prophecy.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 21, no.1: 67-98.

2012 “‘Finden Sie mich sehr amerikanisch?’: Jacob Taubes, Hermann Cohen, and the Return to German-Jewish Liberalism.” Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 57: 187-210

2012 “Moses Mendelssohn.” Oxford Bibliographies in Jewish Studies, edited by David Biale. Oxford University Press.

2011 Selections from the writings of Moses Mendelssohn (Hebrew). In Moses Mendelssohn: Writings on Judaism, Christianity, and the Bible, edited by Michah Gottlieb, and translated by Allan Arkush, Curtis Bowman, and Elias Sacks. Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought. Brandeis University Press. Finalist for 2011 National Jewish Book Award.