Abstracts

Atlassing religion: Center and Periphery in geography of Hasidism.

Widespread assumptions that Hasidism was not only transterritorial, but indeed aterritorial, informed much of both scholarship and popular thinking on Hasidism. In the presentation I shall attempt to offer a new conceptualization of Hasidic geography, with the aim of creating a more meaningful, dynamic, and diachronic representation of the spatial aspects of Hasidism . The central category for this analysis will be the relation between the center, where a Hasidic leader resides, and the peripheries with thousands of his followers. I intend to demonstrate that the new sources, new perspectives, and new methodologies can make geography of Hasidism into one of the prime vehicles for the study of its social structure, dynamics, and even spirituality. Special emphasis will be put on the significance of the digital humanities and rich GIS-processed quantitative sources that allow for not only mapping, but indeed atlassing the spatial dynamics of Hasidism. 

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