International Studies — Jewish Studies & Social Justice — Middle Eastern Studies — Peace and Justice Studies — Theology and Religious Studies
Aaron  Hahn Tapper

Aaron Hahn Tapper

Associate Professor

Aaron J. Hahn Tapper, the Mae and Benjamin Swig Associate Professor in Jewish Studies, is the founding Director of the USF Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice.

Aaron completed his Ph.D. in the Religious Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he studied the History of Religions, Modern Islamic Movements, Nonviolence and Religion, Political Religion, and wrote his Dissertation on the relationship between the socio-political context of Israel and Palestine, Jewish and Islamic religious law, and power. With an MTS from Harvard Divinity School and a BA from Johns Hopkins University, his primary academic interest is the intersection between identity formation, social justice, and marginalized groups.

Aaron has lived and studied abroad in a number of places, including Bir Zeit, Cairo, Fes, the Hague, and Jerusalem. Academically fluent in multiple dialects of Hebrew and Arabic, he has received numerous awards and fellowships for his work, including the Harvard University Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, and the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. In 2003 he founded Abraham's Vision, a conflict transformation organization working with Muslims, Jews, Palestinians, and Israelis, for whom he served as Co-Executive Director through May 2013. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Transformative Education, an educational initiative aiming to create empowering educational programs to transform societies into their potential, which he co-founded in 2008.

During the 2013-14 academic year, while on sabbatical leave, he was conducting research on reconciliation in Australia as a Fulbright Senior Scholar.

Administrative Appointments

Director, Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice
Mae and Benjamin Swig Chair in Jewish Studies

2015, Book
Judaisms: A Twenty-First Century Introduction to Jewish Identities
Scheduled to be published Spring 2015
University of California Press
2015, Book Chapter
Who is a Jew? Reflections on History, Religion, and Culture
“Will the ‘Real’ Jew Please Stand Up! Karaites, Israelites, Messianists, and the Kabbalah Centre”
Scheduled to be published Spring 2015
Purdue University Press

2013, Article
“A Pedagogy of Social Justice Education: Social Identity Theory, Intersectionality, and Empowerment”
Conflict Resolution Quarterly 30, no. 4 (Summer 2013): 411-445
2013, Encyclopedia Entry
“Nonviolence in Religions”
International Encyclopedia of Ethics
2011, Book
Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, Contentions, and Complexities
Co-Editor and Essay Author, “The War of Words: Jews, Muslims, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on American University Campuses”
Palgrave Macmillan

2005, Article
“Hamas Pacifists and Settler Islamophiles: Defining Nonviolence in the Holy Land”
Tikkun Magazine (July/August): 56-58

2005, Article
“Towards a Jewish Theology of Nonviolence”
Tikkun Magazine (March/April): 56-58

2002, Article
“The ‘Cult’ of Aish Hatorah: Ba’alei Teshuvah and the New Religious Movement Phenomenon”
Jewish Journal of Sociology 44, nos. 1 and 2: 5-29