Lawrence Fine

Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies
Specialization: 
The Holocaust; Jewish mysticism; Jewish studies; Judaism, eighteenth century to the present; women and Judaism

Lawrence Fine received his Ph.D in 1976 from the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. He has been a member of the Mount Holyoke faculty for thirteen years, after having taught at Indiana University for twelve years. He occupies the Irene Kaplan Leiwant Chair of Jewish Studies, and, in addition to directing the Jewish Studies Program, he is chair of the Religion Department. His field of scholarly research is the Jewish mystical tradition, with a special interest in notions of religious community and mystical experience. He has published four books, including Safed Spirituality (Paulist Press, 1984), Essential Papers on Kabbalah (NYU, 1995), Judaism in Practice: From the Middle Ages through the Early Modern Period (Princeton, 2001), and Physician of the Soul, Healer of the Cosmos: Isaac Luria and his Kabbalistic Fellowship (Stanford, 2003).

Lawrence Fine is a prominent scholar of medieval Judaism and Jewish mysticism. His particular interests include medieval Jewry in Islamic lands and contemporary Jewish spirituality. His field of scholarly research is the Jewish mystical tradition, with a special focus on religious community and mystical experience.

Fine has written four books, most recently Physician of the Soul, Healer of the Cosmos: Isaac Luria and His Kabbalistic Fellowship(Stanford University Press, 2003), an introduction to medieval Jewish history and mysticism through the study of one of its most mysterious and influential figures, Isaac Luria. Fine's other books include Judaism in Practice: From the Middle Ages through the Early Modern Period (Princeton, 2001), Essential Papers on Kabbalah (NYU, 1995), and Safed Spirituality (Paulist Press, 1984).

Fine teaches Introduction to Judaism, Jewish Spiritual Autobiographies, Engendering Judaism: Women and Jewish Tradition, and Contemporary Jewish Ethics. Before coming to Mount Holyoke, he taught at Indiana University for 12 years.