Is Territory Sacred? Unexpected Kabbalistic Teachings

June 15, 2023 $0.00 - $18.00
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A virtual event presentation by Dr. Nathaniel Berman


What can kabbalistic teachings contribute to a world in which rival claims to sacred land continue to cause such suffering? It is true that some kabbalistic teachings make such conflicts worse – bestowing specific sites with absolute value, making compromise impossible. Other kabbalistic teachings, however, insist that we look for true sacredness in unexpected places – strange lands, remote villages, barren deserts – rather than in official holy sites. These teachings embody the deepest kabbalistic imperative: to seek out the holiest in the most profane, whether in the world or in our own souls. We can trace the roots of such teachings too often neglected strands of biblical texts and we can see them flourishing in the  writings of key Hasidic sages.


Nathaniel Berman is the Rahel Varnhagen Professor in Brown University’s Department of Religious Studies. He is the author of Passion and Ambivalence: Colonialism, Nationalism, and International Law (Brill 2011) and Divine and Demonic in the Poetic Mythology of the Zohar: the ‘Other Side’ of Kabbalah (Brill 2018).

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Thursday, June 15, 2023, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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