Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Professur christlich-jüdisches-Verhältnis

Prof. Dr. Karma Ben Johanan




Burgstr. 26, Raum 422

Telefon: 2093-91776

E-Mail: benjohak[at]


Sprechzeiten: n. V. per Mail




Karma Ben Johanan holds the new chair in Jewish-Christian relations at the Faculty of Theology at HU. She studied history at Tel Aviv University, and held research and teaching positions at the University of California, Berkeley, The Gregorian University in Rome, and the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Her research focuses on institutionalized religions in the late-20th and early 21st century, Jewish-Christian polemic and dialogue, secularization and political theology. She is especially interested in conservative religious thought, and in the way in which traditions are negotiated within contemporary intellectual and cultural contexts.


Areas of Specialization: 

Modern History and Religious Studies, Jewish-Christian Relations, Secularization, Political Theology.




2016 Ph.D. from the Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies, Tel Aviv University

2010 M.A. summa cum laude in Comparative Religion, School of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University

2008 The Adi Lautman Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding Students, Tel Aviv University



2020- Professor of Jewish-Christian Relations, The Faculty of Theology, The Humboldt University of Berlin

2019- Fellow, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Bad Homburg

2017-2020 Postdoctoral Fellow, The Polonsky Academy for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

2016-2017 Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of History, The University of California, Berkeley

2015 Visiting Lecturer, The Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome

2014 Visiting scholar, Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII, Bologna



2021 Zalman Shazar Prize for Best Book in Jewish History

2021 Minerva Stiftung, German-Israeli Minerva School, "What Do We Mean When We Talk About Jewish-Christian Dialogue?", Humboldt University of Berlin and the Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society at the University of Haifa

2017-2020 The Shalom Hartman Institute, Fellow at the David Hartman Center for Intellectual Excellence

2019 Fellow, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Bad Homburg

2016-2017 Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship 

2014-2016 The Shalom Hartman Institute Scholarship for Women in Judaic Studies

2013-2016 Fellow, the Program for Judaism and Human Rights, the Israel Democracy Institute, Jerusalem

2015 Joseph and Ilse Neuberger Scholarship for Research Students, Minerva Institute for German History, Tel Aviv University

2014-2015 Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center Doctoral Scholarship, Tel Aviv University 

2014 Pedagogica Foundation Grant for Graduate Students, Tel Aviv University

----- Nadav Foundation Scholarship for Excellent Students in the field of Jewish Peoplehood, Tel Aviv University

----- Doctoral Dissertation Prize, the Comper Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism and Racism, University of Haifa

----- Yaniv Foundation Scholarship for Doctoral Students in Judaic Studies, Tel Aviv University

2013-2014 Dan David Prize Scholarship for Outstanding Doctoral Students, Tel Aviv University

----- Open University Center for the Study of Relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims Research Grant 

2012-2014 Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism Fellowship, Tel Aviv University

2013 Ignatz Bubis Fund Scholarship for Judaic Studies, Tel Aviv University

2011- 2013 Martin Gehl Fund Scholarship for Outstanding Achievements, Tel Aviv University

2010 President's Scholarship for Excellent Students, Tel Aviv University

2008 Finkelstein Excellence Scholarship for Advanced Students of the Humanities, Tel Aviv University

2004-2008 Adi Lautman Fellowship for Outstanding Students, Tel Aviv University




Conferences Organized

September 2022 German-Israeli Minerva School, "What Do We Mean When We Talk About Jewish-Christan Dialogue?", The Humboldt University of Berlin and the Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society at the University of Haifa

July 2022 International conference "Political Theology in Jewish and Christian Contexts: Reception Histories and Controversies with Carl Schmitt", The Humboldt University of Berlin, the Katholische Akademie, Berlin, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, and the Political Theology Network, Philadelphia.

August 2021 Symposium "Adolf Stoeckers Antisemitismus und die Berliner Stadtmission", Institut Kirche und Judentum (The Humboldt University of Berlin), Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung (The Technical University of Berlin), the Evangelische Akademie, and the Berliner Stadtmission

November 2020 Online symposium "Tolerance and Intolerance in Israel/Palestine: Religion, Plurality, and Difference", The Humboldt University and the University of Frankfurt.
Together with Prof. Christian Wiese, the University of Frankfurt.

July 2019 Workshop "Political Theology. Disciplined and Undisciplined", Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin.
Together with Prof. Vincent Lloyd and Prof. Daniel Weidner.

2019 Lecture Series for the General Public, "Heretical Thoughts", The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.
Together with Dr. Yochi Fischer and Dr. Dafna Schreiber.


Editorial and Advisory Positions

2021 Political Theology

Associate Editor

--- Berliner Theologische Zeitschrift

Board Member

--- Selma Stern Zentrum

Associate Member of the Kollegium Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg

--- Saint Leo University's Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies

Board Member

2017-2019 Political Theology

Book revies co-editor






K. Ben Johanan, A Pottage of Lentils: Mutual Perceptions of Christians and Jews in the Age of Reconciliation [Hebrew]. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University Press (2020). 460 pp

K. Ben Johnan, Jacob's Younger Brother: Christian-Jewish Relations after Vatican II (a revised and expanded translated edition of the above), Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Forthcoming, April 2022


Peer-Reviewed Articles

K. Ben Johanan, "Uncensored: Rabbinic Contempt for Christianity in the Era of Interfaith Tolerance", Harvard Theological Review: 114:3 (2021), pp. 393-416.

K. Ben Johanan, "Is Christian-Antisemitism Possible? The History of an Intra-Catholic Debate (1965-2000)" [Hebrew]. Zion, a special issue on Antisemitism (Summer 2020), pp. 345-359.

K. Ben Johanan, "A Portrait of the Critic as a Churchman: Joseph Ratzinger and the Catholization of the Modern Project" [Hebrew]. Theory and Criticism, Vol. 52 (Summer 2020), pp. 139-164.

K. Ben Johanan, “Wreaking Judgment on Mount Esau: Christianity in R. Kook's Thought”, Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 106, No. 1 (Winter 2016), pp. 76–100.


Chapters in Books

K. Ben Johanan, “Jewish-Christian Relations and the Irrevocable Problem of Political Theology", in: Catholic Approaches to the Land and State of Israel, ed. By Gavin D’Costa and Faydra Shapiro. Catholic University of America press. In press. 

K. Ben Johanan, "Converting Talmud, Converting Philosophy", in: Talmud and Philosophy, ed. Sergey Dolgopolsky. Under Review.

K. Ben Johanan, "Major Transitions in the Church's attitude to Jews and Judaism", in: D. Porat, K. Ben Johanan, and R. Braude (eds.), In Our Time: Documents and Articles on the Catholic Church and the Jewish People in the Wake of the Shoah [Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: The Tel Aviv University Press, 2015), pp. 13-19.


Edited Volumes

K. Ben Johanan, and Brandy Daniels (eds.), (How to Do) Political Theology Without Men, special issue of Political Theology. Forthcoming, 2023.

K. Ben Johanan, Yochi Fischer and Ido Harari, Sacred Places in A Secularized and Globalized World, double special issue of Political Theology. Forthcoming, 2024.

D. Porat, K. Ben Johanan, and R. Braude (eds.), In Our Time: Documents and Articles on the Catholic Church and the Jewish People in the Wake of the Shoah [Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University Press, 2015).