The Prague Centre for Jewish Studies established at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in 2012 is an interdisciplinary platform of the Faculty of Arts for the study of, and research in the field of Jewish history and culture. The activities of the Centre are governed by its Statute.
The Centre is an important place enabling coordination of research activities in the field of Jewish studies and related disciplines. It organises conferences, workshops and guest lectures. The Centre also collaborates intensively with academic departments related to Jewish Studies at other Charles University faculties and other Czech universities, institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and Jewish Museum in Prague.
Although the Centre as an interdisciplinary platform does not have the status of a FA CU department or institute, its teaching and scientific activities are performed in close cooperation with the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Institute of Czech and Comparative Literature, Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies and Institute of Germanic Studies. Members of the Centre participate in the teaching of language, literary science, history and philosophy subjects in the follow-up Master’s degree Jewish Studies programme and also in the preparations for the implementation of the recently accredited Bachelor’s degree Hebrew and Jewish Studies programme, which will open for the first time in the academic year 2019/2020.
The core of the research focus of the Centre is Jewish culture in dialogue with other cultural, religious, ideological and value systems. In other words, we investigate the various ways in which Judaism has dealt with the notion of “the other” and “the different” and, on the other hand, the response of majority cultures to the otherness of Jewishness.
The most prominent themes of our research interest include reflection on the historical polemics between Judaism and Christianity and Islam, the various aspects of the relations between the religious and philosophical views of the world, and the meeting points of Jewish culture and Czech and German literature in the 19th to 21th centuries. During the study of these themes special attention is paid to the media of the interactions, i.e. to the literary genre, religious and cultural practice, and media images articulating and spreading the confrontations and interactions within Jewish communities and beyond.
|Daniel Boušek (Academic faculty member of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies): Hebrew mediaeval and Renaissance travel literature; Judeo-Arabic literature and language; the cultural history of the Jews in Islamic countries in the Middle Ages and Jewish-Islamic polemics.||Jiří Holý (Academic faculty member of the Institute of Czech and Comparative Literature and member of the Board of the Centre): New Czech literature; the theme of the Holocaust in Czech and Slovak literature.||Pavel Kocman (Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Prague Centre for Jewish Studies): history of the Jews in the Czech Lands in the Middle Ages and in the early modern period; sources for the history of the Jews; economic and social history of the Jews in Moravia in the early modern period.||Milan Lyčka (Academic faculty member of the Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies and member of the Board of the Centre): Phenomenology and philosophy of religion; Jewish philosophy.|
|Olga Sixtová (Scientific member of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies): Jewish book culture in the early modern period and the history of Hebrew typography in Prague.||Pavel Sládek (Academic faculty member of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and member of the Board of the Centre): Mediaeval and early modern rabbinic literature; the history of material text; Hebrew typography (1530–1650) and Jewish learning in the 16th century and “New Science”.||Jana Tomešová (PCJS administrator, “external” Lauder Schools teacher): the relation between philosophy and Judaism; mediaeval Jewish philosophy; translations of Hebrew philosophical texts.||Petr Jan Vinš (Lector at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Secretary General of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in the Czech Republic): Yiddish language; Yiddish literature after 1800; war poetry and prose; the Shoah in Yiddish literature.|
|Aleš Weiss (Doctoral student at the Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies; Lauder Schools teacher): halakhic Judaism and its relation to the non-Jewish world in the Middle Ages and early modern period.||Štěpán Zbytovský (Academic faculty member of the Institute of Germanic Studies and member of the Board of the Centre): Literature written in German in the Czech Lands; German literature 1880 – 1945; myth in modern literature.||Milan Žonca (Academic faculty member of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Chairman of the Board of the Centre): cultural history of Judaism in mediaeval Christian Europe; Judeo-Christian religious interaction and polemic; Jewish philosophy and its influence on religious thought and practice.|
|IV. annual conference: Being Jewish in Central Europe Today, 13. – 15. října 2015, Clam-Gallasův palác. Ve spolupráci s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, Tel Aviv University.||III. annual conference: Židovská Praha pozdní renesance a její reflexe: nové pohledy, 23. října 2014, Clam-Gallasův palác.||II. annual conference: Rozpad židovského života: 167 dní Druhé republiky, 17. – 18. října 2013, Clam-Gallasův palác.||I. annual conference: Židovská studia v 21. století. Praha – Evropa – svět, 17. – 21. října 2012, Clam-Gallasův palác.|