(cross-listed as 01:840:250)
Our course offers a historical survey of Jewish mystical traditions from the Bible and early rabbinic traditions through formative works such as Sefer Yetzirah and the Bahir, the classical statement of kabbalistic theology the Zohar. The course emphasizes primary sources, that is, reading the relevant texts (in English) and working together to understand them as fully as possible. In the course of our reading we will cover a number of topics, including: God’s image, the evolution of the doctrine of Sefirot, the erotic dimension of Kabbalah and more. Though the literature in question was composed and often engaged in religious settings, our class will approach these topics from an academic perspective.