Elliot R. Wolfson

Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies; Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies

Queens College, MA 1979; Brandeis University, MA 1983, PhD 1986

Office: 53 Washington Square South, Room 104

Phone: (212)998-8986

Personal Homepage

Research Interests

Jewish mysticism and philosophy; gender construction and the history of religion; symbolism and myth; philosophical hermeneutics and the phenomenology of religious experience


Elliot Wolfson received bachelor and master of Arts degrees from Queens College of the City University of New York, where he pursued the study of philosophy, focusing especially on phenomenology, hermeneutics, and existentialism. he received master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees from Brandeis University, where he specialized in the study of the Kabbalistic texts and traditions that have remained central to his scholarly work. He is the Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, where he has taught since 1987.

External Affiliations

Association for Jewish Studies; American Academy of Religion; World Congress of Jewish Studies; Medieval Academy of America; American Academy of Jewish Research; American Academy of Arts and Sciences; American Society for the Study of Religion

Select Publications

Giving Beyond the Gift: Apophasis and Overcoming Theomania. Fordham University Press, 2014.

A Dream Interpreted Within a Dream: Oneiropoiesis and the Prism of Imagination. Zone Books, 2011.

Open Secret: Postmessianic Messianism and the Mystical Revision of Menahem Mendel Schneerson. Columbia University Press, 2009.

New Studies in Jewish Philosophy, edited with A. Hughes. Indiana University Press, 2009.

Luminal Darkness: Imaginal Gleanings From Zoharic Literature. Oneworld Publications, 2007.

Footdreams and Treetales: 92 Poems. Fordham University Press, 2007.

Alef, Mem, Tau: Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death. University of California Press, 2006.

Venturing Beyond: Morality and Law in Kabbalistic Mysticism. Oxford University Press, 2006.

Language, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination. Fordham University Press, 2005.

Pathwings: Poetic-Philosophic Reflections on the Hermeneutics of Time and Language. Station Hill/Barrytown Press, 2004.

Suffering Religion, edited together with Robert Gibbs. Routledge, 2002.

Abraham Abulafia--Kabbalist and Prophet: Hermeneutics, Theosophy, and Theurgy. Los Angeles: Cherub Press. 2000.

Reading the Veil: Concealment and Secrecy in the History of Religions. New York: Seven Bridges Press. 1999.

Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics. State University of New York Press. 1995.

Circle in the Square: Studies in the Use of Gender in Kabbalistic Symbolism. Albany: State University of New York Press. 1995.

Through a Speculum That Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism. Princeton University Press. 1994.


American Academy Award for Excellence in Constructive and Reflective Studies awarded to A Dream Interpreted Within a Dream: Oneiropoiesis and the Prism of Imagination (2012);Fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania (2012-2013); Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem (spring 2009); Lynette S. Autrey Visiting Professor, Humanities Research Center, Rice University (fall 2007); National Jewish Book Award in Scholarship awarded to Language, Eros, Being (2006); Visiting Professor at the Humanities Center, Johns Hopkins University (spring 2005); Brownstone Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College (spring 2003); Crown-Minnow Visiting Professor of Theology and Jewish Studies, University of Notre Dame (fall 2002); Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Visiting Professor of Jewish Mysticism (spring 2002); Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem (fall 2000); Shoshana Shier Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Toronto, (spring 1998); Visiting Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton (spring 1996); American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in Historical Studies, awarded to Through a Speculum That Shines (1995); National Jewish Book Award for Excellence in Scholarship, awarded to Through a Speculum That Shines (1995); Regenstein Visiting Professor in Jewish Studies, University of Chicago, The Divinity School, winter quarter (1992).

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