Postdoctoral Fellow, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel)
Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:June-July 2016
Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:»Madame Blavatsky’s Theories of Rebirth. A Window into Nineteenth Century Cultural History«
While in residence at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften I will be finishing my book manuscript entitled »Helena Blavatsky’s Theories of Rebirth: A Window into Nineteenth-Century Intellectual and Cultural History«. The project explores the doctrines of metempsychosis and reincarnation of one of the most influential women of the nineteenth century, the »great-grandmother« of the New Age Movement. It contextualises Blavatsky’s doctrines in relation to various aspects of contemporaneous intellectual and cultural life, for example, Hellenism, Egyptology, Scientific theories and the encounter between the West and Hindu and Buddhist thought. The first study to explore such a wide variety of historical contexts through the lens of just one doctrine, it will demonstrate the emergence of a form of modern religion and the intellectual and cultural roots of ideas that have become commonplace in today’s spiritual marketplace. (Julie Chajes)
Research partner:Julie Chajes follows the invitation of Christian Wiese (Professor of Philosophy of Jewish Religion at Goethe University Frankfurt) and the DFG-Graduiertenkolleg (Research Training Group) 1728 »Theologie als Wissenschaft«.
Scholarly profile of Julie Chajes In 2012, Julie Chajes received her PhD from the University of Exeter (United Kingdom) with a dissertation entitled »The Concept of Reincarnation in Theosophy«. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
Main areas of research:Cultural history, intellectual history, the nineteenth century, Spiritualism, esotericism, Theosophy, Kabbalah
- (ed. with Boaz Huss), Theosophical Appropriations (Goren Goldstein Library of Jewish
Thought), Ben Gurion University Press 2016 (forthcoming).
- (ed. with Boaz Huss and Asher Benjamin), Primary Sources of the Cosmic Movement,
(Goren Goldstein Library of Jewish Thought), Ben Gurion University Press 2016 (forthcoming).
- »Blavatsky and Monotheism: Towards the Historicisation of a Critical Category«, in: Journal of Religion in Europe, Volume 9, Issue 1, 2016.
- »Alice and Laurence Oliphants ‘Divine Androgyne’ and the Woman Question«, in: Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.