Marian Broida


Visiting Assistant Professor in Religion and Interfaith Program Fellow in Chaplains' Office

Dr. Broida has taught Bible and Jewish Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College since the fall of 2015. She completed her MA in Jewish Studies and her PhD in Religion at Emory University in Atlanta, specializing in Hebrew Bible.

Prior to coming to Gustavus, Dr. Broida taught Hebrew, Bible, and Jewish Studies at the Middle East Institute at Georgia State University, at Candler School of Theology, and in the Theology Certificate Program of Metro State Prison for Women in Atlanta.  

Dr. Broida’s publications include a monograph based on her dissertation, Forestalling Doom: ‘Apotropaic Intercession’ in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (Alter Orient und Altes Testament 417, Münster: Ugarit-Forschung, 2014). In it she compares ritual texts and narratives from Assyria, Anatolia, and the Hebrew Bible in which a religious leader such as Moses attempts to ward off a divine decree of doom directed at others. She concludes that ancient Near Eastern ritual texts highlight the intercessor’s use of both persuasive and magical speech, whereas biblical narratives depict intercessors using only persuasion. She has also published in Vetus Testamentum, Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, and an anthology entitled Magic and Divination in the Biblical World (ed. H. Jacobus, A.K. Gudme and P. Guillaume; Gorgias Press, 2013). Her research and teaching interests include the material culture of ancient Israel and the ancient Near East, Jewish Studies, divination and magic in the ancient world, comparative theology, and prophecy.

One of Dr. Broida’s greatest joys is providing avenues for non-Jewish and Jewish students to learn about Judaism. In 2016, she taught a January term course on experiencing the Passover Seder. That April she organized and co-led a campus Seder at Gustavus for approximately 200 students, faculty, and others, with the help of students in her Jewish Studies courses. She also hosted Jewish Studies students at a home Shabbat dinner and took students on field trips to a synagogue in the Twin Cities.

Before her graduate work in Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible, Dr. Broida worked as an RN and freelance writer. In the latter capacity she wrote multiple articles on alternative medicine from a scientific perspective, and published 12 books, mostly for children. Two of her children’s books received awards: Ancient Egyptians and their Neighbors was named a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children in 1999, and Ancient Israelites and their Neighbors was named a Sidney Taylor Honor Book by the Association of Jewish Libraries in 2003.

As an author, Dr. Broida enjoys working with students on improving their writing. As an instructor, she likes to find avenues for creative expression in the classroom. In her Bible classes, students occasionally do art projects, act out biblical passages, listen to music, and sing.   


M.A., Jewish Studies, Emory University 2006; PhD, Hebrew Bible/Religion, Emory University 2013

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
REL-110The Bible102017/FA, 2017/SP, 2016/FA, 2016/SP, and 2015/FA
REL-204Experiencing Passover22018/JN and 2016/JN
REL-244ST:Jewish Bible22017/SP and 2016/SP
REL-120Biblical Hebrew I12017/FA
REL-102Ancient Writing12017/JN