Michael T. Miller

Dr. Michael T. Miller is the Associate Fellow of the Polish Institute of Advanced Studies PIASt.

Dr. Michael T. Miller works in Jewish Studies, specialising in Jewish mysticism and philosophy, and Black Judaism.

His monograph, The Name of God in Jewish Thought (Routledge 2016) offers a philosophical/theological examination of Jewish mystical traditions regarding the relationship of naming to identity, incorporating apocalyptic, rabbinic, and kabbalistic texts analysed through the lens of thinkers such as Rosenzweig, Benjamin, and Levinas.

He taught in Jewish Studies and Philosophy at Liverpool Hope University from 2016-2019, was a Research Fellow at FAU Erlangen-Nurnberg, and is currently a Gerda Henkel fellow working at the Polish Institute of Advanced Studies where he pursues research into the African Hebrew Israelite community.

Research project: The Evolution of a Black-"Jewish" Hebrew Israelite group from Messianic Revolutionaries to State-Sponsors, 1969 – 1990

In his project Dr. Michael T. Miller looks at the formative decades of the African Hebrew Israelites, an African American community of self-defining Jews who have lived in Israel since 1969, having fled the USA, believing its punishment and destruction was imminent.

Now an accepted and integrated part of Israeli society with growing membership around the globe, the AHIJ are an increasingly prominent part of the Israeli, Jewish, and African American religious scenes, as well as an important New Religious Movement on the global stage. They are a community of 4,000 in Israel living by their own interpretation of Mosaic law and engaged in health and community building works in several African countries.

They have attracted the attention of several scholars who have worked on their lifestyle and place in Israel, but no work has so far been carried out into a critical period of their history: the two decades of strife during which they transformed from a radical, apocalyptic and revolutionary movement who were at war with the west, persecuted by Israeli and American governments, into sponsors of and by the Israeli state, engaged in “hasbara” public relations and even representing Israel on the world stage, and gaining financial support from the US government.

Dates of stay: 01 October 2020 - 31 July 2021