Research Workshop of the Israel Science Foundation


Text & Image in Religious Cosmography: Reading Ilanot and Parallel Artifacts

9:45-10:45 Greetings & Introduction

Prof. Daniel Gutwein, Chair, Dept. of Jewish History

Introduction to Ilanot & Presentation on current ISF Research by Dr. Chajes:

Cosmological Forests: A Cultural History of Kabbalistic Cartography

10:45-12:45 Session I – Chair: Prof. Jonathan Schorsch

Prof. Daniel Abrams: Text & Paratext in Early Kabbalah

Prof. Hartley Lachter: Mapping Divine Territory: Commentaries on the Ten Sefirot from Late 13th Century Castile

Dr. Ronit Meroz: They Said it Before: On Systematic Visual Thinking Before the ARI

14:00-15:00 Session II – Keynote Presentation – Chair: Dr. Adam Afterman

Prof. Moshe Idel: “A Kabbalistic Mandala: From David ben Yehudah he-Hasid to Luria”

16:15-18:45 Session III: The Gross Family Ilanot

Practicum devoted to studying the original scrolls in this collection

Day Two – Tuesday July 26

9:00-11:00 Session IV – Chair: Prof. Chaim Hames

Prof. Marc M. Epstein: Maps and Memes: Visible and Invisible Universes in Jewish Visual Culture

Prof. Abraham Melamed: Divine King, Human King: Representations of Monarchy in Illuminated Manuscripts

Prof. Daniel Stein Kokin: The Jericho Labyrinth: The Rise and Fall of a Jewish Visual Trope

11:15-13:15 Session V – Chair: Dr. Zur Shalev

Prof. Marla Segol: Text, Form and Image: Considering Method

Dr. Ayala Meir: The Cosmic Circle of Ibn al-Sid al-Batalyawsi: The Representation of a Humanistic World View

Prof. Tzvi Langerman: Circles of Reality: Illustrations Accompanying Philosophical Texts, From the Early Ismailis to Haydar Amoli

14:30-16:30 Session VI – Chair: Prof. Hartley Lachter

Prof. Chaim Hames: Connecting Heaven and Earth: Joachim of Fiore’s Liber figurarum

Dr. Zur Shalev: Maps, Pilgrimage, and Devotion

Prof. Catherine Harding: Cosmos, Creation and Self: The Religious Diagrams of Opicinus Canistris

16:45-18:45 Session VII – Chair: Prof. Boaz Huss

Dr. Evelien Chayes: Earthly Stones, Heavenly Stones: From the Priestly Breastplate and Christian Architecture to a Christian Kabbalistic Diagram

Prof. Daniel Stolzenberg: The Hybrid Image and the Christian Kabbalah: The Roots of Kircher’s Trees

Prof. Fabrizio Lelli: The Sephirotic Tree of Elijah Menahem Halfan

Day Three – Wednesday July 27

9:00-11:00 Session VIII – Chair: Prof. Daniel Stolzenberg

Prof. Amos Megged: Time & Space in Mesoamerican Cosmology

Dr. Dan Martin: The Cosmic Purusha and the Body Mandala: A Unique Example from 11th Century Tibet

Dr. Naama Vilozny:  “This is the Image of Evil…” – Text-Image Relationship in the Babylonian Incantation Bowls”

11:15-12:45 Session IX – Chair: Prof. Fabrizio Lelli

Dr. Raz Chen: Images of Nothing Around 1600

Dr. Yael Justus-Segal: “Pure verity understanding and recovering of divers secret” in John Dee’s Diagrams and Maps

14:15-16:15 Session X – Chair: Prof. Catherine Harding

Dr. Menachem Kallus: The Truly Great Parchment: Oxford 1949

Prof. Jonathan Schorsch: Jewish Angels in the Light of Comparative (Art) History

Prof. Boaz Huss: “The first official government medal which can also be seen as an amulet”: Contemporary Representation and Reproduction of Kabbalah in an Official Medal of the State of Israel

16:35-17:30 Session XI – Chair: Dr. Yossi Chajes

Open discussion about lessons learned, next steps, publication, etc..

Funding provided by the Israel Science Foundation and the University of Haifa, with additional funding from the Dean of the Humanities, Rector and President of the University, the City of Haifa, and The Wolfson Chair for the Study of Jewish Cultural Heritage. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of William & Lisa Gross.

The program is available here:  Ilanot ISF Workshop Program.pdf