PhD in Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies – PhD programme

The PhD programme is a joint project of the Institute of Contemporary History at the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University.

The head of the academic board of this PhD program is doc. Pavel Sládek (pavel.sladek@ff.cuni.cz).

The Institute of Contemporary History is represented in the academic board by Kateřina Čapková, PhD (capkova@usd.cas.cz).

In case of your interest in this PhD program, please contact one (or both) of them.

Programme characteristics

The study programme Jewish Studies focuses on complex research into Jewish history and culture. It takes into consideration both the social and political aspects and the religious and intellectual dimensions of Judaism. It analyses these aspects in their mutual interconnection. The design of the programme has, in accord with contemporary academic trends, an interdisciplinary approach. Methodologically, it builds on approaches of cultural and social history, literary, and religious studies.

In terms of content, it promotes the study of Jewish history in diasporas (particularly in Europe and Northern America), the study of literature written in Hebrew, Yiddish, and other Jewish languages as well as literature that reflects the Jewish identity and their historical experience. Similar to the study of Jewish philosophy, an equally important role has the study of religious thinking and practice, primarily in those forms that draw from the traditional corpus of Rabbinic Judaism or related texts. Chronologically, the programme’s focal point is freely delimited by the formative period of Rabbinic Judaism; at its heart, however, stands primarily the research of Jewish cultures from the High Middle Ages until the present day with an emphasis on the modern Jewish history and culture of the 19th and 20th century.

The diaspora cultures of Jews are examined in their diversity with special attention to the birth and functionality of Jewish religious, national, and social movements, and to the interconnectivity and interaction of Jewish cultures with others, but also to the history of Jewish migration and the transregional dimension of Jewish experience. Because many aspects of these cultures are ideologically and practically linked to the country of Israel, the programme welcomes research on the cultural products of this geographic region which interpretation requires a broader than only regional delimitation.

Methodologically, the programme has a multidisciplinary design. It pays attention to the historical, contemporary, political, social, economic, and more culturally general phenomena. To study them, it uses historical and literary methodologies but also sociological and religious studies, eventually anthropologic, gender, or cultural studies.

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