Introduction to Jewish Mysticism

REL-R 541 — Spring 2023

Days and Times
TR 1:15PM - 2:30PM
Course Description

This course introduces students to the major concepts, texts, customs, and movements of the Jewish mystical tradition called Kabbalah. The course examines Kabbalah from its origins in medieval Spain through its development in North Africa, Italy, and eastern Europe, to contemporary America and Israel. We will explore the various ways Jewish mystics have understood mystical experience, scripture, gender, the meaning of life, human psychology, and the messiah. Students will develop skills for reading religious texts, thinking about the relationship between historical context and religious experience, and tracking how ideas develop across different eras and locations. 

Instructor: Brian Hillman