Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament Carol A. Newsom has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. The induction ceremony for this year’s 164 new fellows took place on October 8, 2016 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Newsom was one of four scholars inducted from Emory University. The others were Sander L. Gilman (psychiatry), Melvin J. Konner (sciences), and Kevin L. Young (English). As AAAS members, they will be called on to contribute to the academy’s studies in science and technology, global security, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities and education.

“This weekend the Academy formally welcomes into its membership a group of esteemed leaders from across the nation and world,” said Don Randel, chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors. “We are honored to include these new members, who have demonstrated both excellence in their fields and a commitment to serving society.”

A member of the Candler faculty since 1980, Newsom became the second woman to hold a tenure-track position, and the first female faculty member appointed to a chaired professorship. Along with her teaching at Candler, she is a senior fellow at Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. Her research focuses on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Wisdom tradition, the book of Daniel, apocalyptic literature, and theology and the environment.

Newsom has written and edited 13 books and scores of articles, book chapters, translations, encyclopedia articles and reviews. She is co-editor of the acclaimed Women’s Bible Commentary (Westminster John Knox, 3rd ed., 2012), now in its third edition, which explores the implications of and challenges long-held assumptions about the Bible’s portrayal of women and other marginalized groups.

She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Copenhagen, Birmingham-Southern College, and Virginia Theological Seminary in recognition of her scholarship in Old Testament theology and her innovative work with a team of international scholars in transcribing, translating and providing commentary on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

She has received several prestigious research fellowships, including grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Henry Luce Foundation, and has won several awards for excellence in teaching and mentoring, including Emory University’s Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award.

Newsom is past president of the Society of Biblical Literature and an honorary member of the Society for Old Testament Study. From 2012 to 2014, she served as director of Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion.

Newsom joins E. Brooks Holifield, Charles Howard Candler Professor Emeritus of American Church History, as the second Candler faculty member to be inducted into the Academy in the last five years.

Since its founding in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership of 4,800 Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners, and brings a wide range of expertise to the academy's multidisciplinary analyses of contemporary issues.

Top photo: Newsom signs the book of AAAS members after she is inducted. Photograph by Martha Stewart.