JWST100 - THEMES JEWISH TRADITION

Course topics will vary; they have included The Binding of Isaac, Responses to Catastrophes in Jewish History, Holy Men & Women (Ben-Amos); Rewriting the Bible (Dohrmann); Performing Judaism (Fishman); Jewish Political Thought (Fishman); Jewish Esotericism (Lorberbaum) Democratic culture assumes the democracy of knowledge - the accessibility of of knowledge and its transparency. Should this always be the case? What of harmful knowledge? When are secrets necessary? In traditional Jewish thought, approaching the divine has often assumed an aura of danger. Theological knowledge was thought of as restricted. This seminar will explore the "open" and "closed" in theological knowledge, as presented in central texts of the rabbinic tradition: the Mishnah, Maimonides and the Kabbalah. Primary sources will be available in both Hebrew and English. Spring 2017: IBERIAN CONVERSOS: JEW? CHRISTIAN? STUCZYNSKI This course is simultaneously an introduction to the converso (Marrano, New Christian or Anusim) phenomenon and a historiographical reassessment of many of its central debated issues such as: religious identity, theology, ethnicity, economy and society, the influence of suspicion, persecution and exclusion in the converso group, and the question of modernity. Primarily focused on late medieval and early modern Spain and Portugal, including their colonies in America, Africa and Asia, the course will also deal with the converso diaspora, whether Jewish-Sephardic or Christian, as well as with later reverberations during the 20th-21st centuries, in Portugal's Belmonte, the American Southwest and Spanish Majorca.
Section 401 - SEM
Fall 2016: Secret Knowledge: Esotericism in Jewish Culture. Professor Menachem Lorberbaum, Katz Center Fellow. Description: Democratic culture assumes the democracy of knowledge - the accessibility of knowledge and its transparency. Should this always be the case? What of harmful knowledge? When are secrets necessary? In traditional Jewish thought, approaching the divine has often assumed an aura of danger. Theological knowledge was therefore thought of as restricted. This seminar will explore the "open" and "closed" in theological knowledge, as presented in central texts of the rabbinic tradition: the Mishnah, Maimonides and the Kabbalah. Primary sources will be available in both Hebrew and English.
W 0900AM-1200PM

LORBERBAUM, MENACHEM

MCNEIL BUILDING 409

Jewish Studies Program
711 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
215-898-6654 / 215-573-6026 fax / jsp-info@sas.upenn.edu