Project data

Maps of God - Building a Portal to Visual Kabbalah

Initiative: Niedersächsisches Vorab (only specific calls)
Call : Research Cooperation Lower Saxony – Israel
Allocation: Aug 13, 2018

Project information

The significance and impact of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) on central currents of western culture is as unexpected as it is undeniable. An ilan is quintessentially defined as a kabbalistic "Map of God", inscribed on a large parchment roll. The creation of such cartographic iconotexts, in which writing and image are inseparable, was in fact a natural outgrowth of a characteristic feature of kabbalistic discursivity. For a number of years, Prof. Chajes and Dr. Baumgarten from Haifa University have been devoted to undertaking basic research of this genre, resulting in numerous publications and a database of over six hundred artifacts. As the large format of ilanot - often nearly a meter wide and up to ten meters in length - and their nonlinear representation of the divine topography rule out traditional forms of presentation and publication, such as printed books, Prof. Chajes and Dr. Baumgarten have teamed with SUB Göttingen to create a digital humanities platform required for the advanced study-as well as introductory presentation-of the ilanot to scholars and the broader public.In "Maps of God" a prototype infrastructure will be created that allows the researchers to track image-text units in their specificity and more complex compound configurations, while inviting users to explore the most stunning and significant artifacts of visual Kabbalah.

Project participants