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Jens Augspurger, University of London
Virtual Zoom/No preregistration required
In recent decades, commodified Kabbalah has gained popularity and attracted
large groups of non-Jewish practitioners from all over the world, and
especially from Europe, North America and Central America. In addition to
on-site and online teaching, many providers of Kabbalah emphasize their
connection to the Jewish homeland.
This talk explores the political lives of non-Jewish Kabbalah tourists in
Israel/Palestine. Religious tourism inevitably reflects distinct political
trajectories through its itineraries, references to religious affairs, and
positioning in the conflict. This study therefore focuses on the tourists’
perceptions of Israel/Palestine, as their experiences and expectations are
mediated by their own spiritual aspirations. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim
religious tourism to Israel/Palestine, and its impact on the perception of the
land and on political issues, have been widely discussed.
Jens Augspurger is a PhD candidate at London's School of Oriental and African
Studies and a doctoral fellow of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes
(German Academic Foundation). His research interests are in the anthropology of
religion with a particular focus on spiritual movements, the politics of
spirituality, and intersections with political philosophy. Jens’ doctoral
research explores the complex relationships and correspondences that spiritual
tourists entertain with their destinations.
Please contact Shaul Magid for any questions.
Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.