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Dr. Agata Paluch

Institut für Judaistik

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin, Projektleiterin der Emmy Noether Forschungsgruppe “Patterns of Knowledge Circulation”

Fabeckstraße 23/25
Raum -1.1116
14195 Berlin


Agata Paluch is head of the Emmy Noether Research Group “Patterns of Knowledge Circulation: The Transmission and Reception of Jewish Esoteric Knowledge in Manuscript and Print in Early Modern East-Central Europe”, funded by the DFG (German Research Council). She received her PhD in Hebrew and Jewish studies from University College London in 2013. Her work has focused on the interplay between Jewish and non-Jewish esoteric traditions in East-Central Europe, the histories and literatures of Jewish mysticism, and Jewish manuscript cultures in early modern Europe. She held postdoctoral fellowship from the Gerda Henkel Foundation, Herbert D. Katz Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She has also studied history and Jewish thought in Krakow, Warsaw, and Jerusalem and, in addition, has worked as a cataloguer of Hebrew manuscripts for the Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project at the British Library.

Agata Paluch’s first book concerned Nathan Neta ben Shlomo Shapira of Kraków (1585-1633), the most famous mystical thinker stemming from the Jewish intellectual environment of Poland, who has remained one of the least studied figures in modern scholarship, despite the fact that he is generally acknowledged as the most important early-modern Eastern European kabbalist, whose influence on later mystical circles in this part of Europe is well attested. Paluch’s book aimed to integrate Nathan Shapira’s kabbalah in the broad panorama of early modern Jewish mystical trends, arguing for a more pluralistic perspective on the historical development of the kabbalistic traditions.

Agata Paluch’s current research concerns the materiality of textual transmission, particularly in the context of the production of kabbalistic manuscripts in the age of nascent print. It examines the role and forms of Jewish manuscript culture in early modern East-Central Europe in the processes of transmission and circulation of knowledge.

Selected Publications

  • Megalleh ‘Amuqot: The Enoch-Meṭaṭron Tradition in the Kabbalah of Nathan Neṭa Shapira of Kraków (Cherub Press, 2014) 
  • “The Ashkenazi Profile of Kabbalah” (Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts, 2011)
  • “Intentionality and kabbalistic practices in early modern East-Central Europe,” Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism 19 (2019), 83-111
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