This is the home page for Justin Jaron Lewis, at the University of Manitoba. Welcome to my world.

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion, and some of my courses also count for credit in Judaic Studies or Central and East European Studies. I teach Religion and Sexuality, Storytelling and Religion, and most of our department’s courses on Judaism. For the most recent course listings see Teaching.

My research is mostly about storytelling and Judaism, usually both at the same time. See Research for updates on my work in progress. Most of my published work can be accessed at researchgate.net or academia.edu. I maintain two other WordPress sites for specific projects: Thoughts On Death (Menakhem Oldendorf, 1504), a gem of early Yiddish literature; and, with independent scholar Judy Barrett, The Aramaic Language of the Zohar.

Not everything I write is of an academic nature. Some other work will be posted from time to time in Writing. And here is a personal note.

7 responses »

  1. Hi Justin, I really enjoyed your article called “Light pollution cause of increased atheism”. I’m an atheist and chuckled at the title and clicked through. It was actually beautifully written, and of course I appreciated your inclusive words at the end.

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    • Hi Rob! I am getting the sweetest responses from atheists to that article! And of course as I tried to explain I am only bothered by dogmatic atheism just as I am by dogmatic religion. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

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      • Good! And I really like the theory that less exposure to the beauty of the skies reduces people’s tendency to “think mystically.” It’s certainly plausible. It’s quite a feeling to see the Milky Way clearly when you get away from the city lights.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Justin,
    Thanks to the pandemic, I am reading a lot of my non-fiction books. They tend to be neglected while I read novels. I have been reading a book, “Women in Storytelling,” dating years back, to a conference in Sidney before the one that I presented at, and that was years ago. I’ve just finished your very interesting article about women in the Torah and the connections to traditional ways of storytelling in Hasidic culture. I so enjoyed reading it. First because I am a storyteller and a woman, then because I am curious about almost everything. Maybe that is first! So I loved learning something I didn’t know before. Also, I loved the way you wrote. There is life in it as well as learning of the academic variety. I enjoyed the way you put references in parentheses in the text. I thought that IF I wanted to pursue some idea in your piece, having the relevant footnote about further reading right there was most useful, and not just for academically trained folks. I also enjoyed the clarity in your proceeding through the topic; very sure-footed. When I am telling a story, and doing my job well, it feels like I am very sure-footed. Not necessarily knowing how I am getting to places in the tale, but choosing the words well that will get me and the audience to those places.
    You were doing that for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading, the learning, and your thinking. Thank you.

    yours,
    Melanie Ray, Vancouver storyteller

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Melanie! Your well-informed, thoughtful appreciation is truly appreciated. Women as storytellers and protagonists in Hasidic tales continue to be a topic of research and interest for me. — Wishing you good health and good reading, and hoping I will get to hear you tell stories some time!

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