Prof. Israel Bartal
30 teaching hours, equivalent to 3 ECTS

Israel Bartal is Professor Emeritus of Jewish History, and the former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2006-2010). He served as the Chair of the Historical Society of Israel (2007-2015). Since 2016 he is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences. Professor Bartal taught at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, McGill, University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers, as well as at Moscow State University and the Central European University in Budapest. He is the author of The Jews of Eastern Europe. 1772-1881 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005). Published also in Hebrew, Russian and German.

From Messianism to Nationalism will draw a broad picture of the emergence of modern Jewish culture. Beginning with intellectual and religious movements that emerged in the 17th century, it will trace the lesser -known roots of the cultural renaissance of Jewish creativity that took place at the turn of the 20th century. Mysticism, pietism, radical messianism, Western Enlightenment, Romanticism, critical scholarship, social reform and modern nationalism have simultaneously shaped a multifaceted culture, full of contradictions and loaded with tensions. “West’ and ‘East”, “scientific” and “mystical”, “conservative” and “radical” – all have merged together into a plethora of Jewish modernist movements. The course breaks with the outmoded dichotomies inherited from the 19th century Wissenschaft des Judentums (the Science of Judaism). It presents a nuanced image of more than two centuries of heterogeneous culture, by bringing into view a Jewish past more varied, more vital, and free from the yoke of ideological contours or political dictates.

Prof. Israel Bartal