Madrasa-Midrasha | Mystical Reading in Islamic & Jewish Traditions

Monday, November 14th 2022, 12:00pm
GTU Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Road Berkeley, CA 94709

Madrasa-Midrasha ​| Mystical Reading in Islamic & Jewish Traditions

Please join the GTU's Madrasa-Midrasha Program for an online event on mystical reading in Islamic and Jewish traditions, featuring Fateme Montazeri (UC Berkeley) and Sam S.B. Shonkoff (GTU).

Dr. Montazeri's talk is titled "Mystical interpretations of the Qur’anic accounts of Moses" and will focus on the Quranic accounts of Moses and their mystical exegesis according to an early mystically-oriented commentary by Ja’far al-Sadiq (d. 765). Dr. Montazeri will show how the Quranic figure of Moses offered the opportunity for the Sufis (Muslim mystics) to elaborate on the intensity and intimacy of encountering with the divine in the Sufi tradition.

Dr. Shonkoff's talk is titled "Reading as Revelatory in Jewish Mysticism." In Jewish mysticism, "Torah" is not simply a collection of stories and commandments; it is a portal into the deepest recesses of divinity. In this talk, Dr. Shonkoff asks: What does this mean about the nature of God, the temporality of revelation, and the practice of reading?


This event will be offered in a hybrid format, with the in-person location taking place in the Dinner Boardroom in the GTU Library. A light lunch will be provided, so please register beforehand.

Click Here for In-Person Registration

Click Here for Zoom Registration





Fateme Montazeri earned her PhD in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of California, Berkeley in 2022. She investigated in her dissertation the reception of Hafiz, the fourteenth century Persian poet. Before that, she studied at the Graduate Theological Union as well as the University of Tehran. Her research focuses on pre-modern Persianate literature, Islamic mystical poetry, Islamic arts of the book, and cultural history of the Muslim world.


Sam S.B. Shonkoff is the Taube Family Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at the GTU's Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, where he teaches on Jewish religious thought as well as methods in the study of religion. His scholarship focuses primarily on German-Jewish and Hasidic theologies, as well as appropriations of Hasidic spirituality in relatively secular spheres.




We would like to thank the Walter & Elise Haas Fund for the generous support of the Madrasa-Midrasha Program at the GTU.