Jews Speaking About God: A Historical Exploration
To: 19 July 2021
This six-week course explores the different ways Jews have spoken of God throughout their history. Guided by Paul Forgasz, we will re-examine conventional understandings of biblical representations of the divine. An encounter with the rabbinic mind will reveal the daring ways in which the rabbis of the classical period of Judaism gave expression to their ideas about God. We will investigate how medieval Jewish philosophers and mystics attempted to bridge the gap between humankind and the divine, and consider how the Jewish encounter with the modern world impacted on discourse about God. Finally, we will examine how the trauma of the Holocaust forced Jewish religious thinkers into a fundamental reassessment of traditional beliefs about God.
Facilitator: Paul Forgasz’ career has spanned both the secondary and tertiary sectors of education. For more than a decade he was the Headmaster of the secondary school campus of Mount Scopus College, a large K-12 Jewish day school in Melbourne. He lectured in Jewish history and comparative religion at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Education and also taught about Jewish education, as well as school leadership, in the university’s Faculty of Education. Paul has maintained an active involvement for many years in Jewish adult education, particularly through the Jewish Museum of Australia’s community education program. Since 2010, under the auspices of the Jewish Museum of Australia, Paul has also led a number of sell-out Jewish study tours to various European destinations including Spain, Italy, Germany, Vienna, Poland and Lithuania. In 2022/23, Paul is planning to conduct a first-time tour of Jewish Greece.
Please note, you are welcome to book this course any time before Monday 21 June at a discounted rate of $180 for non-members and $165 for Museum members. All students will receive a recording of the first class (held on Zoom on 07 June). From Monday 21 June, this course will be held in person at the Jewish Museum of Australia.
Image: Three Torah Pointers (Yadim), North Africa, possibly Morocco, 19th C, silver, donated by the Gandel family, Jewish Museum of Australia Collection 5006.3
$165 Museum Member (discounted rate)