Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Ellen Haskell

Ellen Haskell

Associate Professor
Ph.D. History of Judaism, University of Chicago Divinity School 2005
edhaskel@uncg.edu
Office Hours: Mondays, 3:30-4:45 or by appointment

Dr. Haskell is the recipient of an American Association of University Women American Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship for the academic year 2012-2013.

Areas of Academic Interest

  • Jewish Thought and Jewish Literature
  • Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah
  • Rabbinic Literature
  • Theories of metaphor
  • The role of imagery in religious thought
  • Gender and Jewish religious imagery
  • Jewish Mysticism in Contemporary Culture

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • REL 202: Hebrew Bible
  • REL 215: Judaism
  • REL 311: Topics in Biblical Studies
  • REL 312: Judaism and the Construction of Gender: Female Images of God in Judaism
  • REL 312: Judaism and the Construction of Gender: Gender, Sexuality and Holiness
  • REL 341: Topics in Jewish Thought: Kabbalah
  • REL 341: Topics in Jewish Thought: Kabbalah in Popular Culture

Personal Statement

As a scholar of Jewish mystical literature who is interested in history and culture, I seek connections between theological developments, religious imagery and socio-historical contexts. My current project focuses on an interpretation of Sefer ha-Zohar that demonstrates this classic text's responsive relationship to its cultural and historical environment.

Book

Suckling at My Mother’s Breasts: The Image of a Nursing God in Jewish Mysticism. Albany: SUNY Press, November 2012.

Journal Articles

“The Death of Rachel and the Kingdom of Heaven: Jewish Engagement with Christian Themes in Sefer ha-Zohar.” Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures 38:1 (2012): 1-31.

“Divine Domesticity: Marriage, Gender, and the Household in Medieval Jewish Mysticism.” INTAMS Review: Journal for the Study of Marriage & Spirituality 16:1 (2010): 48-64.

“Metaphor, Transformation and Transcendence: Toward an Understanding of Kabbalistic Imagery in Sefer hazohar.” Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History 28:3 (2008):335-362.

Book Chapter

“Bathed in Milk: Metaphors of Suckling and Spiritual Transmission in Thirteenth-Century Kabbalah.” In Figuring Religions: Comparing Ideas, Images, Activities, ed. Shubha Pathak. Albany: SUNY Press, March 2013.

Presentations

“Inside the Palace of Images: The Zohar’s Encounter with Medieval Christian Visual Culture,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, (November 2012).

“Cleaving to the Other Side: The Zohar’s Perspective on Conversion to Christianity,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 2011.

“The Death of Rachel and the Kingdom of Heaven: Jewish Appropriation of Christian Themes in Sefer ha-Zohar,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 2009.

“The House in the Center of All: Divinity as Dwelling Place in Sefer ha-Zohar,” Association for Jewish Studies 40th Annual Conference, December 2008.

“Divine Domesticity: Marriage, Gender and the Household in Jewish Mysticism,” Henry Samuel Levinson Lecture, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, April 2008.

“Divine Domesticity: Marriage, Gender and the Household in Jewish Mysticism,” Franklin & Marshall College Guest Lecture Series, March 2008.

“Kabbalistic Spirituality of the Home: The Divine Feminine and the Domestic Life of Medieval Jewry,” The Louis J. Kuriansky Fall Annual Conference, “The Appeal of Kabbalah and Mysticism in Contemporary Culture,” University of Connecticut, November 2007.

“The Image of God as a Suckling Mother in Sefer Ha-Zohar,”Association for Jewish Studies 38th Annual Conference, December 2006.

“Metaphor and Mother’s Milk: Suckling as Spiritual Transmission in Rabbinic Literature,” Association for Jewish Studies 37th Annual Conference, December 2005.

“Metaphor, Transformation, and Transcendence: Toward an Understanding of Kabbalistic Imagery in the Book of Zohar,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 2005.

“Bathed in Milk: The Image of God as a Suckling Mother in Thirteenth Century Kabbalah,” University of Chicago Feminist Theories and the Study of Religion Club panel “Divine Representation: Inversion, Appropriation and Embodiment,” April 2005.

Community Scholarship

Scholar in Residence, Adath Jeshurun Congregation, Louisville KY, May 2012.

“The Zohar: A Mystical Look into the Torah,” Judea Reform Congregation, Durham NC, April 2009.

“Kabbalah,” Beth David Synagogue, Greensboro NC, November 2008.