The Sociology of Contemporary Jewish Mysticism in Comparative Perspective

[RG #115] The Sociology of Contemporary Jewish Mysticism in Comparative Perspective

September 1, 2008 - August 31, 2009

Organizers:

Jonathan Garb (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Philip Wexler (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

The research group seeks to address the vibrancy of contemporary Jewish mysticism, both as a social movement and as an emerging research field, as well as the absence of comparative and social scientific study of this exciting temporary development. Our goals are to draw on the significant strength of the academic expertise of the group members in the sociology and social psychology of religion, the study of classical and contemporary Kabbalah and the comparison between mystical systems. We believe that this will serve to support and enrich the work of Israeli researchers who are exploring numerous case studies, yet without a strong theoretical and comparative foundation.

Some of the central themes we will explore include: topics in Jewish mysticism, with an emphasis on contemporary and "modern" Jewish mysticism; studies in comparative mysticism, where we will explore both historical and contemporary questions, especially in Buddhism and Christianity, but also with regard to Islam; more general issues that touch on the theory and method of the study of mysticism. Within this last category, we will explore sociological, anthropological, social psychological and psychological questions that traverse the specific traditions and modern expressions of the varieties of contemporary mysticism.

 

Members

men

Yoram Bilu

FELLOW
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Yoram is a professor in the Department of Sociology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
men

Jonathan Garb

FELLOW
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jonathan is a professor in the Department of Jewish Thought at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
men

Boaz Huss

FELLOW
Ben-Gurion University
Boaz is a professor in the Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
men

David Loy

FELLOW
Xavier University
David is a professor in the Department of Ethics, Religion and Society at Xavier University.
men

Zvi Mark

FELLOW
Bar-Ilan University
Zvi is a professor in the Department of Literature of the Jewish People at Bar-Ilan University. His research interests are Hasidism and Hebrew literature.
men

William Parsons

FELLOW
Rice University
William is a professor in the Religious Studies Department at Rice University.
men

Philip Wexler

FELLOW
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Philip is a professor in the School of Education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
men

Elliot R. Wolfson

FELLOW
New York University
Elliot is a professor in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University.