JES 502 Chapters of the Heart: The Power and Perils of Spiritual Autobiography

Faculty: Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell (Profile)


Autobiography and memoir can be rich resources for sharing one’s journey towards, through, or away from a faith tradition or community. These forms also can serve as a powerful prism through which to view classical Jewish texts. In this course, we will meet a range of Jewish writers and thinkers who have used their own life stories to illuminate Torah and construct a meaningful personal engagement with Jewish textual tradition, while creating an entry point for others’ spiritual exploration. We will explore how, as teachers and guides living in a memoir-obsessed culture, exploring our own stories can enhance our spiritual journeys and open spiritual paths for others.

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