Bernard Stuart Jackson, b. 1944, holds degrees from Liverpool (LL.B. (Hons), l965), Oxford (D. Phil., 1969), Edinburgh (LL.D., 1987) and Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati (D.H.L., honoris causa, 1998).
I have held posts at the Universities of Georgia (USA, 1968-69) and Edinburgh (1968-76), Preston Polytecyhnic (1976), Liverpool Polytechnic (1977-85), and the Universities of Kent (1985-89), Liverpool (Queen Victoria Professor of Law, 1989-97) and Manchester (Co-Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies, 1997-2009; Director of the Agunah Research Unit, 2004-2009), and Visiting Appointments in Jerusalem, Oxford, Harvard, Paris, Bologna and Brussels. I have been (part-time) Professor of Law and Jewish Studies at Liverpool Hope University since 2009. After an undergraduate law degree at Liverpool (my home town), I commenced research into early Jewish law under the supervision of Professor David Daube, Regius Professor of Civil Law at Oxford. My thesis was published as Theft in Early Jewish Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972). At Edinburgh I taught Roman Law and Comparative Law (including Jewish law), and introduced the teaching of Judaism at New College (the Divinity School). At Liverpool Polytechnic I taught modern English law and Jurisprudence. At Kent I collaborated in the introduction of an MA in Jewish and Islamic Law. At Liverpool I developed a number of courses in the History of Jewish Law, which I continued to teach at Manchester, including courses specifically on Jewish family law – also the area of my main research at Manchester, where I directed a five year project on a major problem restricting the wife’s right to divorce in Jewish law (published as Agunah: The Manchester Analysis, Liverpool, Deborah Charles Publications, 2011). The latter project led me into problems of the interaction of Jewish and secular law and I responded to the controversy prompted by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2008 lecture to the English judges in “‘Transformative Accommodation’ and Religious Law”, Ecclesiastical Law Journal 11 (2009), 131-53. I have since been consulted by the British Academy on a research project initiated by their Policy Center in this area.
At Liverpool Hope, I have taught Introduction to Judaism and Law and Narrative in the Hebrew Bible to undergraduates, and Jewish Bible Interpretation to MA students. My biblical interests extend to the New Testament, and in 2008 I published Essays on Halakhah in the New Testament (Leiden: E.J. Brill). In 2012-13, I shall teach two new courses: a 2nd year undergraduate course on “Philosophy of Law: Secular and Religious”, reflecting a longstanding research interest (reflected, inter alia in my Semiotics and Legal Theory (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985) and Making Sense in Law. Linguistic, Psychological and Semiotic Perspectives (Liverpool, Deborah Charles Publications, 1995), and an MA course on “Law, Religion and Judaism”, also reflecting my own research in this area (for a full list see http://www.legaltheory.demon.co.uk/lib_biblioBSJ1.html). My contributions to Jewish law have been recognised by an honorary degree from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, the Presidency of the Jewish Law Association, and the recent presentation to me by colleagues of a Festschrift entitled Wisdom and Understanding. Studies in Jewish Law in Honour of Bernard S. Jackson (Jewish Law Association Studies XXII, 2011).