Dr. Karma Ben-Johanan

Areas of specialization:

Late Modern Europe, Intellectual History, Religious studies


I am a historian of the late-20th and early 21st century, focusing on the history of theology and religious ideas. I am especially interested in conservative religious thought, and in the way in which traditions are negotiated within contemporary intellectual and cultural contexts.

My doctoral dissertation, “Contemporary Conceptions of Judaism and Christianity in Catholic and Jewish Orthodox Theologies”, focused on reciprocal perceptions of Christian and Jewish religious leaders and intellectuals over the past fifty years, in Israel, the United States, and Europe.

My current research is dedicated to the Roman-Catholic project of “New Evangelization”, that is the reintroduction of Christianity to the secularized Western world, as an answer to what theologians and religious activists perceive as Europe’s moral decay.

I received my PhD from the Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies at Tel Aviv University (2016), after graduating from the Adi Lautman Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding Students and completing my M.A. in Comparative Religion, both in Tel Aviv University. I was a Fulbright postdoctoral scholar at the Department of History, the University of California, Berkeley, a visiting lecturer at the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and a visiting scholar at the John XXIII Foundation for Religious Studies in Bologna. I am currently a Polonsky Fellow at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. Additionally, I am a book reviews co-editor for the journal Political Theology.


  • Publications:
    • Ben Johanan, K., Reconciliation and Its Discontents: Unresolved Tensions in Jewish-Christian Relations [Hebrew]. Tel Aviv University Press. Forthcoming.
    • Ben Johanan, K., “Is Christian-Antisemitism Possible? The History of an Intra-Catholic Debate (1965-2000)” [Hebrew]. Zion, a special issue on Antisemitism. Forthcoming.
    • Ben Johanan, K. “Wreaking Judgment on Mount Esau: Christianity in R. Kook’s Thought”, Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 106, No. 1 (Winter 2016), pp. 76–100.
    • Porat, D., Ben Johanan, K., and Braude, R. (eds.), In Our Time: Documents and Articles on the Catholic Church and the Jewish People in the Wake of the Shoah [Hebrew] (Tel Aviv University Press, Tel Aviv, 2015).