Michael Swartz


Professor Swartz specializes in Jewish mysticism, magic, and ritual in Late Antiquity and the early medieval period. His research focuses on ancient Jewish mystical prayer, the ritual cultivation of memory (what he calls the "scholastic" magic of the Jewish Merkavah mystics) and extends to his current work on sacrifice and ancient Hebrew liturgical poetry. His publications include Avodah: Ancient Poems for Yom Kippur (2005) co-authored with Joseph Yahalom, Scholastic Magic (1996), and Hebrew and Aramaic Incantation Texts from the Cairo Genizah: Selected Texts from Taylor-Schechter Box K1 (1992), with Lawrence H. Schiffman. He also served as the Associate Editor for Judaica for the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Religion (2005). Professor Swartz is the author of a recent book entitled The Signifying Creator: Non-Textual Sources of Meaning in Ancient Judaism (2012) and is currently working on a history of ideas of sacrifice in post-biblical Judaism.

Areas of Expertise
  • Rabbinic Literature
  • Jewish Mysticism
  • PhD, New York University

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