Jewish Religious and Intellectual History

Photo: Jonathan Schorsch

Jewish religious and intellectual history explores how Judaism and Jewish theology have developed, as over the centuries they have encountered and engaged different cultures. The development of the Halakhah, the interpretation of the Bible and the Talmud, Jewish philosophy and liturgy have all been shaped by the political, social, economic and cultural contexts of Jewish life.

Maimonides' (1138-1204) thought was imbedded in the Jewish and Arabic high culture of his time. The Jewish liturgy has responded and again to crucial events and the changing life worlds of Jews. The Reform movement emerged in the context of the hoped-for legal emancipation.

These examples illustrate how studying religious and intellectual history complements the other sub-disciplines of Jewish theology and connects them to historical developments external to Judaism.

Photo: Jonathan Schorsch
Photo: A. Schüler

Prof. Dr. Jonathan Schorsch

Campus Am Neuen Palais / building 15, room 2.01

E-Mail: jschorschuni-potsdamde

Photo: A. Schüler

Substitution of the Chair of Jewish Religious and Intellectual History

M. Thulin
M. Thulin

Mirjam Thulin

Campus Am Neuen Palais / Haus 15, Raum 2.06

E-Mail: mirjam.thulinuni-potsdamde
Tel.: (+49)331/977-1744

n.V. und Anmeldung per Email

Short Biography

2000-2006 Studies in History and Jewish Studies at the Free University of Berlin; 2007-2011 PhD student at the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture - Simon Dubnow (DI); 2011 PhD at the Historical Seminar of the University of Leipzig with the dissertation "Kaufmanns News Service. A Jewish Scholarly Network in the 19th Century." 2011-2012 Research Associate at the Martin Buber Chair for Jewish Philosophy of Religion and Thought, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main. 2012-2017 Free-lance work at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt am Main. Since winter term 2012/13 lecturer at the Martin Buber Chair for Jewish Philosophy of Religion and Thought, and the Department of History, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. WiSe 2022-2023 Substitution of the Chair for Jewish Religious and Intellectual History (Prof. Jonathan Schorsch) at the School of Jewish Theology, University of Potsdam.

2012-2015 Affiliated postdoc of GRK 1728 »Theologie als Wissenschaft«, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main; 2018/2019 Gerald Westheimer Career Development Fellowship of the Leo Baeck Institute New York I Berlin; 2019-2020 Visiting Scholar at the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN; 2014-2015 and 2020-2021 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Research Interests:

History of Knowledge and Science
History and Culture of Jews in the Early Modern and Modern Period
History of the Jews in the USA
Transnational, Transfer, and Global History

Research project:

Economy, Kinship, and Jewish Politics: The History of the Wertheimer Family, ca. 1650–1900

Publications (selection):

Kaufmann’s News Service: A Jewish Scholarly Network in the 19th Century (in German, Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012)

„Instituting Transnational Jewish Learning: The Emergence of Rabbinical Seminaries in the Nineteenth Century,” in: PaRDeS 27 (2021), 53–67

„Jewish Families as Intercessors and Patrons: The Case of the Wertheimer Family in the Eighteenth Century,” in Jewish Culture and History 19 (2018): 39–55

„Wissenschaft in Context: A Research Essay on the Wissenschaft des Judentums,” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 58 (2013), 249–280 (with Kerstin von der Krone)

M. Thulin
M. Thulin



Campus Am Neuen Palais
Haus 2, Raum 2.10