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Faculty Image Nathaniel Levtow
Office: LA 156
Phone: 406-243-2949
Fax: 406-243-5313


Current Position:

Associate Professor, Liberal Studies Program (Religious Studies)

Fellow, American Academy in Berlin


Nathaniel Levtow writes and teaches about the history, literature, and religions of the ancient world. His research focuses on ancient West Asian and Mediterranean religions. His 2008 book, Images of Others: Iconic Politics in Ancient Israel, examines the political aspects of iconoclasm in the Bible and Mesopotamia. His current research investigates the production and destruction of scrolls and inscriptions in antiquity. Dr. Levtow integrates the study of biblical literature with the cultural history of the ancient world and with modern theoretical approaches to the study of religion.

Office Hours:

On sabbatical AY 2014 - 2015

Field Of Study:

Religion, ancient studies

Research Interests:

Research areas: ancient religions.

Current research interests: text destruction and iconoclasm; social and cognitive theories of religion


Teaching areas: religion, biblical studies, ancient studies.

Spring 2014:

  • RLST 205 (Introduction to New Testament Studies)
  • RLST 391 (Religion and Violence in the Bible and the Ancient World)


Ph.D., Brown University; M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School; B.A., Middlebury College


Society of Biblical Literature, American Schools of Oriental Research, American Academy of Religion, European Association of Biblical Studies.

Professional Experience:

Nathaniel Levtow received a National Endowment for the Humanities Stipend for archaeological research in Jerusalem and Paris in summer 2013. He is a Trustee of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, where he held U.S. State Department Educational and Cultural Affairs Fellowships in 2011 and 2001-2002. Before joining the UM faculty in 2006, he was a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. In 2011 he received the University of Montana's Cox Educational Excellence Award for Teaching. He is the recipient of a Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin (spring 2015) and will hold a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in 2015-2016.

International Experience:

Selected Publications:

“Cognitive Perspectives on Iconoclasm." In New Perspectives on Ritual Violence in the Hebrew Bible. Edited by S. M. Olyan. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

“Monumental Inscriptions and the Ritual Representation of War.” In Warfare, Ritual, and Symbol in Biblical and Modern Contexts. Edited by B. Kelle, F. R. Ames and J. Wright. Ancient Israel and Its Literature. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014.

“Artifact Burial in the Ancient Near East.” Pages 141-51 in The One Who Sows Bountifully: Essays in Honor of Stanley K. Stowers. Edited by C. J. Hodge, S. M. Olyan, D. Ullucci and E. Wasserman. Brown Judaic Studies. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013.

“Text Destruction and Iconoclasm in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East.” Pages 311–62 in Iconoclasm and Text Destruction in the Ancient Near East and Beyond. Edited by Natalie N. May. Oriental Institute Seminars 8. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2012.

“Text Production and Destruction in Ancient Israel: Ritual and Political Dimensions.” Pages 111–39 in Social Theory and the Study of Israelite Religion: Essays in Retrospect and Prospect. Edited by S. M. Olyan. Society of Biblical Literature Resources for Biblical Study. Leiden: Brill, 2012.

Images of Others: Iconic Politics in Ancient Israel. Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California, San Diego 11. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2008.

“Abraham,” “Judah,” Jehoahaz,” “Manna.” In The Routledge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religions. Edited by E. Orlin. New York: Rutledge, forthcoming.