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2008-2009

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)

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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.

 

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Donald Whitcomb

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University of Chicago
Donald is a professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.
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Pierre de Miroschedji

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The French National Centre for Scientific Research
Pierre is a professor in the Department of Archaeology and Enthnology at the French National Centre for Scientific Research.
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Irad Malkin

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Tel Aviv University
Irad is a professor in the Department of History at Tel Aviv University.
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Willem Jongman

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University of Groningen
Willem is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Groningen. His research interests are Roman social and economic history.
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Ronnie Ellenblum

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The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Ronnie is a professor in the Department of Geography at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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Gideon Avni

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IAA/ The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Gideon is affiliated with the Israel Antiquities Authority and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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Jeremy B. Rutter

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Dartmouth College
Jeremy is a professor in the Department of Classics at Dartmouth College. His research interests are Aegean prehistory, Greek archaeology, and ceramic analysis.
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Itzhaq Shai

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Bar-Ilan University
Itzhaq is a professor in the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University.
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Amir Sumaka'i Fink

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University of Chicago/ Tel Aviv University
Amir is a professor in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Chicago and Tel Aviv University.
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Assaf Yasur-Landau

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UC Santa Cruz
Assaf is a professor in the Department of History at University of California, Santa Cruz.
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Robert Schiestl

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Freie Universität Berlin
Robert is a professor in the Department of Egyptology at Freie Universität Berlin.
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Aren M. Maeir

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Bar-Ilan University
Aren is a professor in the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University.