Jewish Texts and Traditions

Students in this sub-field will engage in the historical, philological and cultural study of Jewish literatures from Late Antiquity to the present day. Currently, our program offers two primary concentrations:
1) Rabbinic literature and culture
2) Jewish mysticism both medieval and modern, with a particular interest in Hasidism and Kabbalah in early modernity.

Training in this program draws from a variety of theories and methods current within religious studies and related disciplines (philology, critical theory, gender and sexuality studies, philosophy, ritual studies, etc) in the department and across the university. Advanced knowledge of Hebrew for reading both classical sources and modern scholarship is a prerequisite for admission to the program, and students continue to develop their linguistic skills (Hebrew, Aramaic, and other relevant cognate languages) in the program.

Students will generally specialize in a geographic area or chronological period, but all are expected to develop competence across different periods of Jewish thought. Master’s level training in Religious Studies, Jewish Studies or Divinity is strongly recommended. Students are required to take 2 courses outside their chosen field and courses with 5 different faculty members in Religious Studies during their first two years in the program.