André LaCocque is Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Bible at Chicago Theological Seminary, and the founding Director of the Center for Jewish and Christian Studies at Chicago Theological Seminary. Believing that one cannot understand Christianity without understanding its roots in Judaism, and that true ecumenical spirit requires a serious commitment to multifaith engagement and learning, he worked tirelessly to develop programs and possibilities for the Center.
Under his leadership, the Center launched a doctoral program in comparative studies and coordinated a number of groundbreaking conferences, including: “Religious Pluralism: The Dialogue Between Jews and Christians” (1986), “New Testament and Judaica/Judaism” (1987), “Islam: The Way of Commitment” (1987), “From Assimilation to Jewish Self-Assertion in Philosophical Thought” (1988), “Exodus and Liberation” (1989), “Election and Peoplehood” (1991).
On the cutting edge of interfaith consciousness in seminary education, Dr. LaCocque also recognized early on the importance of bringing study of Islam into the conversation, and the center became the Center for Jewish, Christian and Islamic Studies. In 1990, he organized the first academic conference on women in Islam, “Muslim Women Scholars on Women.”
Dr. LaCocque’s reputation for extraordinary biblical scholarship is well-established, bringing a dynamic and compelling combination of literary, theological, psychological and anthropological lenses to bear on the text. Some of his most influential volumes include: Thinking Biblically: Exegetical and Hermeneutical Studies (with Paul Ricoeur; Univ. of Chicago Press, 1998), Romance, She Wrote: A Hermeneutical Essay on Song of Songs (TPI, 1998), The Feminine Unconventional: Four Subversive Figures in Israel's Tradition (OBT; Fortress Press, 1990), Jonah: A Psycho-Religious Approach to the Prophet (Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1990), Ruth: A Continental Commentary (Augsburg Fortress, 2004), and Esther Regina: A Bakhtinian Reading (Northwestern University Press, 2007).
His most recent books comprise a trilogy on innocence in the Hebrew Bible:
The Trial of Innocence: Adam, Eve and the Yahwist (Wipf and Stock, 2006).
Onslaught Against Innocence: Cain, Abel and the Yahwist (Cascade, 2008).
The Captivity of Innocence: Babel and the Yahwist (Cascade, 2010).