Query: Jewish Philosophy in the Arts

Benjamin Pollock's picture

I am trying to develop a course/series of courses that examine Jewish philosophical questions which arise in the context of the arts. I would be very interested to hear from colleagues about works of painting, music, literature, and/or film they have used in the classroom to bring out questions of Jewish thought, or about philosophical issues that arise specifically through these media. Please feel free to post or to correspond with me over email: benjamin.pollock@mail.huji.ac.il.

Sounds like a great course!

My work is in Jewish comics and graphic novels, so assuming that you're also open to that medium, J.T. Waldman's Megillat Esther (published by JPS) is a good text that considers Jewish salvation - what does it look like and how should Jews go about ensuring it? I can dig up other comics/graphic novels if you'd like to add that medium.

A good work painting would be Chagall's White Crucifixion (I suspect you know that one already).

In general, a good topic to cover (for which you can use a very large array of pieces) would be what is divinity and God, looking at how God is physically depicted and considering what the philosophical ramifications of such representations might be. Potentially put it in conversation with Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed.

Happy to continue the conversation in whatever form you'd like. My email is th1425@nyu.edu

Talia Hurwich