March 28, 2017
Professor of Religious Studies
UC Santa Barbara
The Divine Self in Kabbalah
Respondent: Prof. Adam Afterman, Department of Jewish Philosophy, Tel Aviv University
Elliot Wolfson specializes in the study of Kabbalistic texts and traditions. He has published extensively in the area of Jewish mysticism and philosophy in the medieval and modern eras. Engaging the immense and complex corpus of Kabbalistic texts critically, he also seeks to extend and transform this distinctive tradition of speculative thought. In so doing, he intersects with and contributes to a range of fields and disciplines, including philosophical hermeneutics, the history and phenomenology of religion, and theories of gender and eroticism. His career of textual interpretation moreover inspired him to paint canvases and write poems. His most recent publications are New Studies in Jewish Philosophy, co-edited with A. Hughes (2009), Open Secret: Postmessianic Messianism and the Mystical Revision of Menahem Mendel Schneerson (2009), A Dream Interpreted Within a Dream: Oneiropoiesis and the Prism of Imagination (2011) and Giving Beyond the Gift: Apophasis and Overcoming Theomania (2014). He has also written three poetry collections.