Varieties Of Ecstasy: Philosophical and Religious Traditions from Antiquity to the Renaissance

e-codices-sbeA workshop supported by the Monash-Tel Aviv Collaboration Project and the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilization

26-27 July 2015

Seminar Room, ACJC, 8th floor, H Building,
Monash University, Caulfield Campus

Places at this workshop are strictly limited.
If you wish to register for a place, please contact

[Tues 28 July 11.00-2.30pm, Andrew Benjamin and Ilit Ferber are organizing a separate workshop, same location:
Figures of affect: Suffering, Consolation Care


Download the program… (PDF)
Download the abstracts… (PDF)

Sunday 26 July

9.15 Welcome (Constant Mews)

Professor David T. Runia
The Master, Queen’s College, University of Melbourne
Contemplation and Ecstasy: Greek traditions and the Contribution of Philo of Alexandria

10.30-11.00 Coffee break

Dr Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides
Senior Lecturer , Centre for Ancient Cultures, SOPHIS, Monash University &
Professor David Konstan, Classics, Brown University
Odysseus: Homer’s Hero on a Neoplatonic Journey to Ecstasis and Theological Revelation

Dr Rina Lahav
Researcher, Centre for Religious Studies, SOPHIS;  Dalia Pizmony Biblical Hebrew instructor, ACJC, SOPHIS
Holy to God: self transformation in the traditions of the Jewish Nazirite and Christian monasticism, as outlined in the letters of St Anthony

12.30-13.30 Lunch

Tom Hull
PhD candidate, ACJC, SOPHIS, Monash University
The Moved Mover and the axis of tears: anthropopathic and apophatic depictions of God in Rabbinic and Hekhalot literature

Dr Nathan Wolski
Lecturer, ACJC, SOPHIS, Monash University
‘Like the vision visible in concealment’: Mystical Ascent through Prayer in the Heikhalot (Halls) of the Zohar

3.00-3.30 Afternoon tea

David Solomon
PhD candidate, Department of Translation Studies, Literary and Cultural Studies, Monash University
Ecstasy upon Ecstasy: mystical exegesis of the text of Ezekiel in the ‘later’ Zoharic strata

Merav Carmeli
PhD candidate, Bar-Ilan University, ACJC, SOPHIS
Her Ecstasy is their Ecstasy: Delighting the Shekhinah

Monday 27 July


Professor Yossef Schwartz
Director, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University
Erotic Desire, Ecstasy and Death:  Three Languages of Intellectual Passion in the High Middle Ages

10.30-11.00 Morning coffee

Professor Constant Mews
Director of Centre for Religious Studies, SOPHIS, Monash University
The violence of love and awareness of God in the 12th and 13th centuries: the legacy of Bernard of Clairvaux and Richard of Saint-Victor

Dr Francesco Borghesi
Senior lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies,  University of Sydney
Death by kiss (Mors osculi): A Mystical Approach to Renaissance Philosophy

12.30-1.30 Lunch

Samuel Baudinette
MA candidate, Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, SOPHIS, Monash University
Ecstasy in Rhineland Mysticism: Albert the Great, Meister Eckhart and Henry Suso on the concept of rapture

Raphael Dascalu
PhD Candidate, University of Chicago
Intoxicated with the Divine: Spiritual praxis in the works of Tanhum b. Joseph Ha-Yerushalmi

3.00-3.30 Afternoon tea

Timothy Johannessen
PhD candidate, Melbourne University.
Rending the Veil: images of intoxication in Hâfez’s lyric poetry

Concluding round table discussion