We shall explore the onset of psychoanalysis in the cultural context of the early twentieth century, emphasizing the question of religion. We shall focus on Homan's mourning religion hypothesis, Peter Gay's secularization hypothesis, Hillman's mythic hypothesis and Kirschner's romantic roots hypothesis. We shall give special attention to the question of the interrelationship between German and Jewish thought and psychoanalysis.
The course will be devoted to close reading of the work Sha'ar ha'Kavvanot (the Gate of Contemplation), from the writings of R. Yitzhak Luria according to the reception of R. Hayyim Vital, in the edition of the latter's son, R. Shmuel Vital. The course will grant students investing the required effort the keys to approach the complex literature of Lurianic Kabbalah in general, and especially the concept of Kavvanot.