Lehigh University
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Writer will explore Jewish culture, spirituality in talks

Michaelson, a writer and teacher whose work focuses on spirituality, Judaism, sexuality, and law, will read and discuss his poetry in a presentation entitled “Another Word for Sky: Poetry and Mythmaking through a Queer Eye” at noon in the Humanities Center. Lunch will be provided.

At 4:15 p.m., he will give a talk, “Letter and Spirit: The Archaic Revival in Contemporary Jewish Writing and Culture” in 480 Maginnes Hall. He’ll examine the recent renaissance of Jewish culture, spirituality, and identity among younger educated Jews.

“Young Jews today are congregating on their own for prayer, spiritual practice, and cultural activities,” Michaelson says. “In addition, young Jewish writers are increasingly using religious themes in their work in sharp contrast to a previous generation of secular Jewish writers.”

In his afternoon talk, Michaelson will focus on what these new spiritual and literary movements mean for the Jewish future and whether there are new forms of Jewishness being created and written today.

A recent finalist for the Koret Young Writer on Jewish Themes Award, Michaelson writes the “Fringes” column on emerging Jewish spiritualities for the Forward newspaper. He is also a contributor to the Jerusalem Post, Shma, and other publications. He is the author of God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness, and Embodied Spiritual Practice and is a founder of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture and Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture and Spirituality.

Michaelson’s visit is sponsored by Lehigh’s Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish Studies, the religion studies department, the English department’s Creative Writing Program, LGBTQA Services and the Paul Levy Fund for Jewish Studies. For more information, call the Berman Center at (610) 758-3352.

Tricia Long

Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2007

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