Department of Religious Studies

Dr. Martina Urban

Associate Professor of Religious Studies,

Associate Professor of Jewish Studies

M.A. Freie Universität Berlin

Ph.D. Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Professor Urban's area of expertise is Jewish Intellectual History. Her research focuses on the dialectic of secularization and revalorization of religion in modernity. She examines patterns of appropriation and representation of traditional literature and religious concepts in contemporary contexts and theories of culture and renewal. Her book "Aesthetics of Renewal" offers an analysis of Martin Buber's appropriation of mystical teachings. She is currently working on her second book: Theodicy of Culture: David Koigen's Contribution to the Sociology of Religion, which examines Koigen's use of ethos as a critical term for the study of religion in general, and Judaism in particular.


Aesthetics of Renewal. Martin Buber's Representation of Hasidism as Kulturkritik. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008.



“Facing Plurality (from Marginality): The Jewish Reception of William James in Germany,” forthcoming.


“Towards what Kind of Unity? David Koigen, Leo Baeck and the Monism—Theism-Debate.” Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 54/1 (October 2009): 127-147


“Persecution and the Art of Representation: Schocken’s Maimonides-Anthologies of the 1930s,” Maimonides and his Heritage. Ed. by Idit Dobbs-Weinstein, Lenn E. Goodman and James A. Grady. Albany: SUNY Press, 2009: Ch. 8, 153-179


“Deconstruction Anticipated: Koigen and Buber on a Self-corrective Religion.” Shofar 27/4 (2009): 1-29


“Religion of Reason Revised: David Koigen on the Jewish Ethos.” Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, 16/1 (July 2008): 59-89


“The Jewish Library Reconfigured: Buber and the Zionist Anthology Discourse.” New Perspectives on Martin Buber/Neue Perspektiven zu Martin Buber. Ed. Michael E.J. Zank. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006: 31-60


“Mysticism and Sprachkritik: Buber’s Rendering of the Mystical Metaphor ’ahizat ‘enayim.” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia. 62/2-4, João J. Vila-Chã (Ed.), Entre Razão e Revelação: A Lógica da Dimensão Semítica na Filosofia, (Abril-Decembro 2006): 535-552


“Hermeneutics of Renewal: Biblical Imagery and Tropes of Ecstatic Experience in Buber’s Early Interpretation of Hasidism.” Studies in Spirituality 15 (2005): 1-33


“Retelling Biblical Mythos through the Hasidic Tale: Buber’s ‘Saul and David’ and the Question of Leadership.” Modern Judaism, 24/1 (February 2004): 59-78


“In Search of a ‘Narrative Anthology’: Reflections on an Unpublished Buber Manuscript.” Jewish Studies Quarterly, 7/3 (2000): 252-288


“Ständige Gegenwart. Yeshayahu Leibowitz’ ahistorische Sicht des Judentums.” La storia della filosofia ebraica, ed. Irene Kajon, Archivio di Filosofia 61, 1/3 (1993): 497-507


You can email Martina Urban at

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