a simple picture of Brian Ogren

Brian Ogren specializes in Jewish thought and is particularly interested in philosophy and kabbalah during the early modern period. He was raised in California and was educated in Jerusalem, where he lived for thirteen years. He has also spent extensive periods of time researching in Europe. Dr. Ogren's concentration has been upon the flow and reception of ideas amongst diverse intellectual communities, and he has explored uses of intellectual discourse as a means of asserting authority and of forming identity. He is particularly interested in textual exploration, including manuscript study, hermeneutics and historical and canonical exegesis. In other words, he is interested in the unexplored historical record of thought and in ways of eliciting meaning from texts and contexts through variant forms of interpretation.

Dr. Ogren's first monograph, entitled Renaissance and Rebirth (Brill 2009), treats notions of reincarnation in Italian Renaissance Jewish and Christian humanist thought. His second monograph is entitled The Beginning of the World in Renaissance Jewish Thought (Brill 2016) and discusses notions of creation in Italian Jewish philosophy and kabbalah between 1492 and 1535. In addition to these and to several articles on kabbalah and philosophy, he has published an edited volume on time and eternity in Jewish mysticism. Currently, Dr. Ogren is working on a project dealing with Jewish thought in early America. Dr. Ogren's work continually examines issues of center and periphery, as well as continuity and change, in regard to Jewish philosophical and mystical traditions.

Courses:
FWIS 101 The Bible in Popular Culture
FWIS 177 Bizarre Biblical Stories
RELI 104 Introduction to Jewish Mysticism
RELI 108 Introduction to Judaism
RELI 116/MDEM 116 Mysticism Throughout the Ages
RELI 215/FILM 215 Mystic Cinema
RELI 300/504 Religions in America
RELI 302/526 People of the Book
RELI 363 Jewish Philosophy
RELI 472/582 Kabbalah Seminar

Awards:
2017 Sid and Ruth Lapidus Fellowship, American Jewish Historical Society
2015-16 Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Fellowship, Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence, Italy

Specialization:
Jewish Philosophy, Kabbalah, Hebrew Bible Interpretation, Jewish-Christian Relations, Religious Polemics, the Jewish Textual Tradition, Jewish Thought in America

Academic History:
PhD, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Jewish Thought, 2008
M.A., Jewish Civilization, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2001
B.A., Religious Studies; East Asian Studies,University of California at Santa Barbara, 1997