Professor of Religious Studies
Professor Hecht received his Ph.D. in the History of Religions from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1976. He has special interest in the general history of religions, Judaism and Religion, and Culture. He was trained as a historian of religions under the influence of Mircea Eliade through one of his teachers at UCLA Kees W. Bolle. He has developed an interest for the deep contextualization of religion in its lived environments and most centrally the intersections of religion, politics, and culture. His work is comparative and multidisciplinary, which he considers essential to the larger study of religion. He is currently working with Roger Friedland on the politics of space or the spatialization of religion in their book Jerusalem: The Profane Politics of a Sacred Space, and with Linda Ekstrom on a book-length study of religion and contemporary art tentatively titled Saved from Matter: The Religious Cultures of Contemporary Art.