RELIGION 471 - Seminar: Topics in the Study of Judaism
Section: 001 Hasidic Texts (Cycle of the Year)
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Religion (RELIGION)
Department: LSA Studies in Religion
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Hasidism, that popular revival movement that rocked East European Jewry in the 18th and 19th centuries, has been called “Mysticism become ethos”, i.e., mysticism turned into a way of life. One of the hallmarks of this movement is its celebration and rich symbolic rereading of sacred time. In this course we will learn to read (decode, historically contextualize, and interpret) key Hasidic texts in the Hebrew original. Our focus will be on the cycle of the year, and on the mystical interpretation of the Sabbath. Among the key texts to be explored are:

  • teachings associated with the Baal Shem Tov, the charismatic figure around which Hasidism coalesced;
  • the contemplative master, Dov Baer of Mezritch;
  • the storyteller-and radical mythopoet, Nahman of Bratslav;
  • and such creative figures as the Gerer and Slonimer masters.

Primary texts will be supplemented with secondary literature(in English) drawn from history and religious studies. We will also explore cultural details such as performed music (niggun) and storytelling.

Pre-requisites: intermediate or advanced Hebrew. Background in either Religious Studies, Literary Studies, or Jewish mysticism is helpful.

Written work includes 2-3 short essays and a translation project.

RELIGION 471 - Seminar: Topics in the Study of Judaism
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Tu 7:30PM - 10:00PM
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