Dr. Tanja Werthmann

Areas of specialization:

Medieval Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism in the Context of Islamic and Ancient Greek Philosophy

Areas of competence:

Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism, Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism, Ancient Greek Philosophy, Renaissance Platonism, Musicology




Dr. Tanja Werthmann specializes in medieval Jewish philosophy and mysticism in the context of Islamic philosophy and against the background of ancient Greek thought from Plato to the Neoplatonists. Her current research explores the transmission of ancient Greek concepts through their Arabic and Jewish adaptations into early Kabbalistic literature and the ways in which they were appropriated by the early Kabbalists in forming new systems of thought.

Dr. Werthmann completed her PhD in the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Moshe Idel and Dr. Caterina Rigo. Her dissertation is entitled “Forms of Platonic Eros in the Zohar: Metamorphoses of Ancient Greek Metaphysics in 13th Century Kabbalah”. Prior to her PhD, Dr. Werthmann studied Philosophy and Musicology at the University of Heidelberg. Her M.A. thesis focused on ancient Greek philosophy and was written under the supervision of Prof. Jens Halfwassen. Dr. Werthmann also obtained a diploma from the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts with a specialization in piano. In 2019, Dr. Werthmann was awarded the Shlomo Pines Prize.



  • “‘Spirit to Spirit’: The Imagery of the Kiss in the Zohar and its Possible Sources”, Harvard Theological Review 111 (2018), pp. 586-609.
  • “Myth and Metaphysics: The Popularization of Platonic and Neo-Platonic Motifs through Kabbalistic Theosophy”, in: The Popularization of Philosophy in Medieval Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, ed. Marieke Abram, Steven Harvey, Lukas Muehlethaler (Forthcoming).