Research Group

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Tzvi Abusch

FELLOW
Brandeis University
Tzvi is a professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.

Occult Powers and Officiants in Non-official Cults within Near Eastern Cultures

[RG #104] Occult Powers and Officiants in Non-official Cults within Near Eastern Cultures

March 1 - August 31, 2006
Organizers:

Gideon Bohak (Tel Aviv University)
Yuval Harari (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
Shaul Shaked (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

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Magic is a notoriously ambiguous term to define and set apart, but magical texts seem to display a remarkable degree of similarlity in different cultures, languages and historical periods. If the study of Babylonian, Greek, Jewish and Muslim magical texts raises many recurrent problems, the solutions offered in one discipline can often prove worthwhile in other disciplines as well. By focusing on cultures that are geographically related, and between which there existed some channels of cross-cultural transmission, we can trace not only phenomenological similaries, but also geographical and historical continuities and transformations over long periods of time.

One thing shared by all the cultures covered by members of our group is the assumption that there are many occult powers out there (be they demonds, angels, gods, natural forces etc.)|, and that some men and women are better equipped than others to approach these forces and use them for their own aims. Moreover, members of all these cultures took it for granted that there is a body of knowledge (of special rituals, powerful incantations and so on) that can be mastered by competent individuals and that enable them to use these occult forces more effectively. This body of knowledge, and the social tensions involved in using it, are the main focus of all the group's members and the basis of our comparative efforts.

 

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Amy Shuman

FELLOW
Ohio State University
Amy is a professor in the English Department of Ohio State University. Her research interests are folklore studies.
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Ilana Pardes

FELLOW
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Ilana is a professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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Ronit Matalon

FELLOW
Haifa University
Ronit is a professor in the Department of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at Haifa University. Her research interests are women in literature.
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Carola Hilfrich

FELLOW
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Carola is a professor in the Department of General and Comparative Literature at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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Galit Hasan-Rokem

FELLOW
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Galit is a professor in the Department of Hebrew Literature at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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Christoph Markschies

FELLOW
Humboldt University of Berlin
Christoph is a professor in the Department of Theology at Humboldt University of Berlin.
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Arkady Kovelman

FELLOW
Moscow State University
Arkady is a professor in the Center for Jewish Studies at Moscow State University. His research interests are Hellenistic and Jewish culture.
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Alon Confino

FELLOW
University of Virginia
Alon is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Virginia.

Ethnography and Literature: Theory, History and Interdisciplinary Practice

[RG #103] Ethnography and Literature: Theory, History and Interdisciplinary Practice

September 1, 2005 - February 28, 2006

Organizers:

Galit Hasan-Rokem (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Carola Hilfrich (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Ilana Pardes (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

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Our research group aims to contribute to the growing body of research on the nexus of ethnography and literature.

 

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Hedva Ben-Israel

FELLOW
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hedva is a professor in the History Department at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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Emmanuel Sivan

FELLOW
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Emmanuel is a professor in the Department of History at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interests are Islamic radicalism and the nation state.
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Ornit Shani

FELLOW
Tel Aviv University
Ornit is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University.
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Yosef Salmon

FELLOW
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Yosef is a professor in the Department of History at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.