Jewish Mysticism: Literature and Legacy of the Kabbalah|
Spring 2019 not offered
Mysticism challenges our conventional modes of experiencing reality and describing the mystery of being. It transcends commonplace distinctions between the sacred and the profane and upends traditional definitions of the human and the divine. Mystical contemplation and meditative practice have long occupied a central role in the Jewish religious tradition and have succeeded in transforming and remaking that tradition in every generation. This course will examine the central teachings and ongoing legacy of Jewish mysticism from its classical origins to modern times, with special emphasis on Kabbalah, Hasidism, and modern movements of Jewish renewal. We will consider the questions and controversies that defined Kabbalah and Hasidism in their formative contexts and the reasons for their revival among Jews and non-Jews alike in our day. In our study of Jewish mysticism, we will take the core texts of the mystical tradition as our starting point while paying close attention to alternative forms of creative expression, from poetry and storytelling to music and dance.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (RELI-MN)(RELI)
Gershom Scholem, MAJOR TRENDS IN JEWISH MYSTICISM
David Blumenthal, UNDERSTANDING JEWISH MYSTICISM: A SOURCE READER
Daniel Matt, ZOHAR: THE BOOK OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Rachel Elior, THE MYSTICAL ORIGINS OF HASIDISM
Martin Buber, HASIDISM AND MODERN MAN
Aryeh Kaplan, JEWISH MEDITATION: A PRACTICAL GUIDE
|Examination and Assignments: |
Four short written assignments and a final research paper.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the "Historical Traditions" requirement for the Religion Department major.