J. H. Chajes: Visual Kabbalah and the Diagramming of the Divine

J. H. Chajes, associate professor, department of Jewish history, Haifa University, will deliver a lecture entitled “It’s Good to See the King: Visual Kabbalah and the Diagramming of the Divine” on Thursday, February 27, at 4:00 p.m. in Alumni Hall 100 on the Vanderbilt campus.

Most students of kabbalistic literature find themselves “visualizing” its cosmogonic and cosmological teachings. The iconic Tree of Life is certainly the best known kabbalistic symbol and is often the first thing conveyed to those being exposed for the first time to this lore. Few realize that complex graphical scrolls have been a genre of kabbalistic literature in their own right since the Renaissance and that, from the late seventeenth century, such scrolls became an indispensable tool to Lurianic kabbalists.

Chajes, director of the Center for the Study of Jewish Cultures at Haifa University, will introduce this little-known genre and explain the origins and functions of these amazing kabbalistic artifacts. Cosponsors of the lecture are the Department of Religious Studies and the Department of History of Art. For more information, call Lindsey Bunt at 615.322.5029 or email her at lindsey.bunt@vanderbilt.edu.

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