Religious Studies | Introduction to Jewish Mysticism
R341 | 25601 | S. Magid

The above course carries COLL A & H and Culture Studies A
distribution. Note: Jewish Studies majors obtain online
authorization from Dept of Jewish Studies

This course will examine the structure, history, and doctrines of
the Jewish mystical tradition from its origins in medieval Provence
until the twentieth century. The course will be divided into three
parts. First, we will explore modern debates about mystical religion
more generally focusing on the question of essentialism and
constructivism regarding mysticism and mystical experience. We will
read, among others, Evelyn Underhill, Walter Stace, William James,
Gershom Scholem, Robert Forman, and Steven T. Katz. The second part
of the course will survey the trajectory of Jewish mysticism from
the works of Scholem to present-day scholars in the field. The
third, and central, part of the course will consist of close
readings of medieval and modern Kabbala in translation. Texts will
include The Book Bahir (12th century), the works of Azriel of Gerona
(13th century), Abraham Abulafia (13th century), the Zohar (13th
century), the Sabbatean Abraham Miguel Cardozo (17th century), the
Baal Shem Tov (18th century), and Abraham Isaac Kook (20th
century).Meets with R541.