Jan Assman

Jan Assman is a renowned authority on Egyptology whose work has had a major impact on our understanding of religion and culture in the ancient and modern worlds. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Konstanz after many years working at the University of Heidelberg. Following an early career that saw him direct major excavations at important archaeological sites in Upper Egypt, Assman, in partnership with his wife Aleida, began to develop a theory of cultural memory that has proven enduringly influential. His work has explored the connections between ancient Egyptian religion and the development of monotheism, and in particular the influence of Egyptian thought on early Judaism. He has recently extended this into an examination of how the legacy of ancient religion was transformed by the Enlightenment, a theme expounded in his Polity book Religio Duplex: How the Enlightenment Reinvented Egyptian Religion.