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Rabbinic and Medieval Judaism: Jewish Mysticism


Admission requirements

Admission to MA programme Religious Studies, track Judaism. Otherwise at to the discretion of the teacher.


During the academic year 2012-2013 the subject of the course on Rabbinic and Medieval Judaism will be “Jewish Mysticism”. After a general introduction about the nature of (Jewish) mysticism and its main themes and problems, an historical overview will be given of the different currents and major works of Jewish mysticism, from late antiquity up to the present, with a strong focus on the Rabbinic and Medieval periods. In addition, various representative textual fragments will be read and analyzed.

Course objectives

Knowledge of the major thematic content of Jewish mysticism and its historical trends, especially in the Rabbinic and Medieval periods.


For the timetable, see timetables.

Mode of instruction

Combination of lecture and tutorial.
N.B. Depending on the number of students, the course may be taught in the form of tutored reading of scholarly literature, to be determined in consultation with the teacher.

Assessment method

Assessment through a written paper (ca. 15 pp) on a subject pertaining to Jewish mysticism, to be established in consultation with the teacher. (See also under “mode of instruction”).


Blackboard will be used during the course.

Reading list

To be purchased:

  • J.H. Laenen, Jewish Mysticism. An Introduction (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001) or the Dutch original version:

  • Joodse mystiek. Een inleiding (Kampen: Kok, 2008).

Further literature will be announced .


Via uSis.
In addition to the registration in uSis, students are also expected to self-enroll in blackboard a few weeks before the course starts.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Dr. M.F.J. Baasten.
tel. 071 527 2257.