SPARK 2021 – Prof. Ariel Mayse: Jewish Mysticism
Tauber SPARK 2021
Of Mind and Myth: Religious Thinking in Jewish Mysticism
Taught by Professor Ariel Evan Mayes of Stanford University
This three-week course will explore the rich intellectual world of Jewish mysticism both medieval and modern, with a particular focus on the Zohar, Hasidism and neo-Hasidism. We will look at tales of mystical teachers and enter Zoharic poetics of interpreting biblical stories, and will investigate daring Hasidic homilies and their bold new theological visions. We will also consider these sources with an eye to modern moral, spiritual and intellectual questions (including environmental ethics), exploring both the wisdom of the mystical tradition for contemporary Jewish thinking as well as its challenges.
Ariel Evan Mayse joined the faculty of Stanford University in 2017 as an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies and serves as the rabbi-in-residence at Atiq: Jewish Maker Institute (atiqmakers.org). Previously he was the Director of Jewish Studies and Visiting Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Mayse holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and rabbinic ordination from Beit Midrash Har'el in Israel. His most recent publications include Speaking Infinities: God and Language in the Teachings for Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezritsh (University of Pennsylvania, 2020); Hasidism: Writings on Devotion, Community and Life in the Modern World (Brandeis University Press, 2020), edited with Sam Berrin Shonkoff, and The Language of Truth in the Mother Tongue (Magnes Press, 2020, in Hebrew).
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