Spring 2014 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Patterson, David
Discipline and Number
HUHI 7368 Section 001
R Time 1:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
Kabbalah & Jewish Tradition

Description of Course:


This course is a study of the fundamental principles of Judaism and its relation to the Jewish mystical tradition. Topics explored include basic texts and teachings of Judaism, medieval mysticism, Kabbalah, Lurianic mysticism, Chasidism, and others. The purpose of the course is to determine (1) how and why the Kabbalah is expressive of the deepest tenets of Judaism, (2) what distinguishes Jewish mystical thought as Jewish and as mystical, and (3) how Jewish mystical thought might be related to other ways of thinking. Key issues to be addressed in these considerations include concepts of God, origins of the world, concepts of humanity, the nature of good and evil, meaning in life, etc.

Required Texts:

Book of Genesis and Book of Exodus from any Bible

Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Judaism: History, Belief and Practice, Routledge 2003, ISBN 0415236614

Abraham Joshua Heschel, Between God and Man: An Interpretation of Judaism, Free Press, 1997, ISBN 068483331X

Moshe Hallamish, An Introduction to the Kabbalah, SUNY Press, 1999, ISBN 0791440125

Aryen Kaplan, Meditation and Kabbalah, Weiser Books, 1989, ISBN 0877286167

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Students will be evaluated in the basis of (1) a paper proposal (10%), (2), an analytical term paper of at least 5,000 words (80%), and (3) class participation (10%).

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