On Medieval Mystics

Musical and poetic aesthetics across faiths

This episode explores musical and poetic aesthetics across faiths, in particular, their mystical branches. On 30 June 2019, the Woolf Institute partnered with Leo Baeck College London to host an evening of readings and recitation celebrating the beauty of mystical poetry and sacred chant within the Abrahamic faiths in an effort to showcase their common aesthetics and mutual aspirations for spiritual transcendence. In this episode, we will hear recordings from the evening, which were recorded live in the Woolf Institute Library. Featuring performances by Vanessa Paloma Elbaz, Tali Artman, and Cassy Sachar for the Judaic tradition, Wilf Jones and Mother Joanna Burton for the Christian tradition, and Imam Ali Tos and Dunya Habash for the Islamic tradition.

Dr Vanessa Paloma Elbaz is a Research Associate at the Faculty of Music, Cambridge University, working on the ERC-funded project Past and Present Musical Encounters Across the Strait of Gibraltar. Dr Elbaz received her PhD in Jewish Studies, Literature and Civilisation at Sorbonne University in Paris.

Dr Tali Artman is a former Research Fellow at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge. She studies Hebrew literature, folklore and folk literature.

Cassy Sachar is Librarian at Leo Baeck College, London. She completed her MA in Library & Information Studies at UCL and has worked in art and academic libraries for the last 10 years.

Wilf Jones is a graduate in Music, Theology and Education, studying at the Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, and teaching in a secondary school in Cambridge.

Mother Joanna Burton is Associate Lecturer at The Open University.

Imam Ali Tos is Imam of the new Cambridge Mosque. He holds a BA in Theology from Selcuk University in Konya, and an MA in Religious Studies from Howard University (USA).

Dunya Habash is Researcher and Outreach Officer at the Woolf Institute working on the Living in Harmony project.

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