Notes on the Contributors
Shraga Bar-On is Head of the David Hartman Center for Intellectual Excellence at the Shalom Hartman Institute and teaches Jewish Thought and Talmud at Shalem College, both in Jerusalem (Israel). His research deals mainly with the literature of the Second Temple, rabbinic thought, and contemporary Jewish identity. His last book, Lot Casting, God and Man in Jewish Literature: From the Bible to the Renaissance, was published by Bar-Ilan University Press (2020).
Alessia Bellusci is a historian of Hebrew culture, particularly interested in the reconstruction of Jewish magical behaviors and in the transmission of technical knowledge in late antique, medieval, and early modern Judaism. In her work, which is chiefly text-oriented and based on the direct examination of manuscript sources (Genizah fragments, European and Oriental medieval codices), she studies the magical phenomenon in its historical development, attempting to understand its impact on religious, cultural, and social aspects of Hebrew culture. In 2018, she was awarded the Shai Bleimann recognition for her PhD dissertation by the Middle East & Islamic Studies Association of Israel. Bellusci is a Blaustein Judaic Studies Postdoctoral Associate in Medieval Jewish History at Yale University. She held previous fellowships from the Italian Council of Research and the Yad Ha-Nadiv/Beracha Foundation.
Charles Burnett PhD (Cambridge), Fellow of the British Academy, and Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music, is Professor of the History of Islamic Influences in Europe at the Warburg Institute, University of London. His work centers on the transmission of Arabic science and philosophy to Western Europe, which he has documented by editing and translating several texts that were translated from Arabic into Latin, and by describing the historical and cultural context of the translations.
Amos Geula is Lecturer for literature of the Sages (midrash and haggadah) in the Department of Hebrew literature (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), director of the Research Authority, and lecturer of the interdisciplinary program at the Herzog Academic College. Holding a Bachelor of Science in Biology, with a MA and PhD in Hebrew literature (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), he wrote his dissertation on Lost Aggadic Works Known Only from Ashkenaz: Midrash Abkir, Midrash Esfa and Devarim Zuta. His research mainly deals with Jewish literary works in Southern Italy between the eighth and tenth centuries. He is the editor of the Jewish Studies Series, co-published by the Research Authority of Herzog Academic College and the World Union of Jewish Studies, and has published articles in a variety of fields in Jewish studies. His forthcoming publication is an Ashkenazi commentary on the Torah based on a Vatican manuscript.
Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum is a Tutor at the University of Wales Trinity St David. Her PhD thesis from the Warburg Institute formed the basis of her book, The Daimon in Hellenistic Astrology: Origins and Influence (2016). Her areas of interest are the history of astrology; the concept of the daimon in antiquity; astronomy, astrology, and medicine; divination and cosmology; and concepts of fate in antiquity. Recent articles are “Porphyry of Tyre on the Daimon, Birth and the Stars” (2018) and, with Alexander Jones, “P. Berl. 9825: An elaborate horoscope for 319 CE and its significance for Greek astronomical and astrological practice” (2017). Among other texts, she has edited Johannes Kepler’s astrological writings, Kepler’s Astrology (2010), and, with Charles Burnett, From Māshāʾallāh to Kepler: Theory and Practice in Medieval and Renaissance Astrology (2015).
Helen R. Jacobus earned her doctorate at the University of Manchester (UK) in the Department of Religions and Theology, under the supervision of George J. Brooke. She received the 2011 Sean W. Dever Memorial Award for her paper published as “4Q318: A Jewish Zodiac Calendar at Qumran?” in The Dead Sea Scrolls: Texts and Contexts, ed. Charlotte Hempel (2010). Helen was an Honorary Research Associate at University College London, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, from 2011 until 2018 and was appointed Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester in 2019. Her publications include Zodiac Calendars in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Their Reception: Astronomy and Astrology in Early Judaism (2014), a revision of her doctoral thesis. Her research areas are the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew Bible, Second Temple literature, and early Jewish documents, early Jewish calendars and liturgical cycles, the use of the zodiac in Judaism from antiquity until the modern period, as well as a wide range of different aspects of Biblical interpretation.
Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas holds a BA in Classics and a PhD in Hebrew Language and Literature. She is now a research fellow at the Institut für Jüdische Studien (Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster), and has been a fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg IKGF, Warburg Institute, Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Sidney M. Edelstein Centre for History and Philosophy of Science, and the Departments of History of Science and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. The core of her research is medieval scientific manuscripts, pre-modern science and technology (including instruments), and pre-modern divinatory techniques and theories. She is co-editor of Astrolabes in Medieval Cultures (2017 and 2019) and author of Astrolabe Knowledge in Ashkenaz (forthcoming) and El cielo de Sefarad: Los judíos y los astros (2011). She has written articles and chapters on medieval Jewish science, scientific instruments, and Jewish divination and is currently preparing two books: A Cultural History of Astrolabes among Jews: Texts and Instruments and a critical edition and translation of Judah ben Solomon al-Ḥarizi’s Sefer goralot (on geomancy).
Dov Schwartz was Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Bar Ilan University and head of the departments of philosophy and music. He was the head of interdisciplinary programs at this university. Currently he is the head of the Department of Philosophy, as well as the Warhaftig Institute for Research on Religious Zionism. He is a senior researcher at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He has written forty-five books and hundreds of articles on Jewish thought.
Michael D. Swartz is Professor of Hebrew and Religious Studies at the Ohio State University and received a PhD from New York University. He is the author of The Mechanics of Providence: The Workings of Ancient Jewish Magic and Mysticism (2018); The Signifying Creator: Non-Textual Sources of Meaning in Ancient Judaism (2012); Scholastic Magic (1996), and Mystical Prayer in Ancient Judaism (1992); and co-author, with Joseph Yahalom, of Avodah: Ancient Poems for Yom Kippur (2005) and Hebrew and Aramaic Incantation Texts from the Cairo Genizah (1992), with Lawrence H. Schiffman. He also served as the Associate Editor for Judaica for the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Religion (2005).
Blanca Villuendas Sabaté is an Arabic philologist working at the Center for Islamic Theology at the University of Tübingen since April 2017, as a post-doctoral research assistant for the Chair of Islamic Doctrine. Her research is related to the intellectual history of the Islamic world and aims to contribute to this field with the study of primary sources in Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic, producing editions of manuscript texts and studying their history and transmission. She is particularly interested in working on examples of global traditions that challenge the boundaries of religious and cultural identities. This is the context for her study of Judaeo-Arabic divinatory texts in the Cairo Genizah, which was the base of her MA (geomancy) and PhD (dream interpretation) theses at the Spanish National Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). Currently she is expanding research on these topics by further investigating the Arabic legacy.
Joseph Ziegler is the Head of the School of History at the University of Haifa. He is the author of Medicine and Religion c. 1300: The Case of Arnau de Vilanova (1998) and the co-editor of The Invention of Racism in the West (2009). Over the last two decades he has published extensively on various aspects of learned Latin physiognomy in the Middle Ages, most recently “The Ruler’s Body in Pre-Modern Learned Physiognomy,” in Macht der Natur—gemachte Natur: Realitäten und Fiktionen des Herrscherkörpers zwischen Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit, ed. M. Gadebusch Bondio, B. Kellner, and U. Pfisterer (2019). His contribution in this book is his first venture into Hebrew physiognomy.