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dr Barbara Krawcowicz

dr Barbara Krawcowicz


I'm a graduate of Warsaw University (Ph.D., Philosophy, 2006) and Indiana University Bloomington (Ph.D., Religious Studies and Jewish Studies, 2013).

Most of my work centers on modern and contemporary Judaism and is shaped by the question how Jews reinvent their religious ideas, identities, and ritual practices in response to events or processes that put into question the current form of Judaism and hence demand its refashioning. I am interested in those moments in the history of Jewish religious thought and practice when communities and individuals confront what they perceive as crises or challenges (e.g. modernity, political emancipation, secularization, feminism, political entanglements, encounters with other religions, etc.). I study such moments of tension and creativity using historical discourse analysis.

While my primary area of expertise is Judaism, I firmly believe that the study of this tradition should not be divorced from the larger questions relevant for the study of religion and society. Following Jonathan Z. Smith and Jacob Neusner, I believe that various aspects of Judaism - or any other social formation we call "religion" - should not be studied as subjects important in themselves but rather as exempli gratia of broader, theoretical, questions often asked in our field. 

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  • Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion
  • History of Religious Studies
  • Critical Religion
  • Modern and Contemporary Religious Jewish Thought
  • Holocaust and post-Holocaust Theology
  • Judaism and Gender
  • History of Ideas



History, Metahistory, and Evil: Jewish Theological Responses to the Holocaust. Boston, MA: Academic Studies Press, 2020.

William James: pragmatyzm i religia. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, 2007.

Edited volume:

Thinking with Jonathan Z. Smith: Mapping Methods in the Study of Religion. NAASR Working Papers. Londyn: Equinox, under contract.

Peer-reviewed articles

„Teodycea w czasie Holokaustu. Wojenne kazania rabina Szlomy Zalmana Unsdorfera”. Zagłada. Studia i materiały, 15 (2019).

“It Is Not Magic, It Is Smith: Comparison in a Study of Jewish Theology.” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, 31 (2019).

“Religious Studies, Theology and the Sociopolitical.” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, 30 (2018).

 “Richard L. Rubenstein and the Death of ‘Ghetto Judaism’.” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Spring 2015.

“Paradigmatic Thinking and Holocaust Theology.” The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 22 (2014).