Carsten L. Wilke

Academic Rank: 
Budapest, Nador u. 11
+36 1 327-3000x2785

As faculty member of two CEU departments and Director of CEU's Center for Religious Studies, I teach classes on the religious history of Europe and the Mediterranean region, and in particular on Jewish history and culture from the Middle Ages to modernity. My academic background combines a training in Jewish Studies, obtained at the University of Cologne and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with a diploma in Religious Studies from the École Pratique des Hautes Études of Paris. Before coming to CEU in 2009, I have taught at the Universities of Heidelberg, Düsseldorf, and Brussels, and I held research positions in France, Germany, Mexico, and the USA.

In my research, I am interested in the transcultural aspects of European Jewish history, with focus areas in Jewish-Christian relations, the history of scholarship and the book, Sephardic Jewry and early modern Iberian crypto-Judaism, and the modernization processes of the nineteenth century. My latest book publications are the monograph Farewell to Shulamith: Spatial and Social Diversity in the Song of Songs (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017), and the collective volumes Modern Jewish Scholarship in Hungary (with Tamás Turán, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016) and Isaac Orobio: The Jewish Argument with Dogma and Doubt (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018). Collective research projects in which I am presently involved include Sephardic Manuscripts of the Early Modern Period: Literary Diaspora and Clandestine Polemics (with Harm den Boer, University of Basel, Switzerland), Jewish Cemetery Inscriptions in Europe (database project, with Marcin Wodziński, University of Wrocław, Poland), andThe Alliance Israélite Universelle in Germany, 1860-1914 (with Michael Brocke, Salomon Ludwig Steinheim-Institut, Essen, Germany).

Of the classes I have taught at CEU, the following are offered on a rotating basis:

  • Historiography: Themes in Its History and Approaches to Its Theory (co-taught with Daniel Ziemann)
  • Scripture and Authority in Book Religions
  • Judaism and Christianity
  • Problems and Paradigms in Jewish Studies
  • Medieval Jewish Civilization
  • Social History of European Jewry in a Comparative Perspective
  • Schisms and Divisions in Jewish History
  • Zionism: From Diaspora Movement to State-Building
  • Jewish Cultural Heritage

Moreover, I have taught classes on

  • Religious and Cultural Transfers across the Eastern Mediterranean (co-taught with Nadia Al-Bagdadi)
  • Post-Secularism and its Precedents: Religious Counterdiscourses to Modernity (co-taught with Aziz Al-Azmeh)
  • Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (co-taught with Matthias Riedl)
  • Divine Love in Religious History
  • Sephardic Jewry
  • Paths to Jewish Emancipation
  • Transnationalism and the Jews of the Nineteenth Century
  • Israel: Nation-Building and Society
  • Jewish Thought in the Twentieth Century

In years of sufficient student interest, I teach advanced reading classes in Medieval Hebrew, Yiddish of various linguistic stages, and academic German. My teaching program has included an introductory field seminar "Excursions into Jewish History and Culture," taught off-campus on various Budapest sites related to ancient, medieval, modern and present-day Jewish life. 

Academic/Professional Experience and Achievements

  • Visiting Professor, Centre Interdisciplinaire d'Étude des Religions et de la Laïcité (CIERL), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, 2018
  • Visiting Professor, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 2016
  • Research Member, Steinheim Institute for German Jewish History, Duisburg, 2006-2009
  • Research Fellow, Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 2008-2009
  • Visiting Professor, Institut d'Études du Judaïsme (Institut Martin Buber), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, 2008
  • Visiting Professor, Institut für Jüdische Studien, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, 2006-2007
  • Visiting Professor, Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (College of Jewish Studies) Heidelberg, 2005-2006

Grants, Research Fellowships, and Awards

  • Visiting Research Fellowship, Center for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg, 2018
  • CEU Outstanding Research Award 2016
  • Visiting Research Fellowship, Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies - Jewish Scepticism, Hamburg, 2015-2016
  • CEU Research Support Scheme, 2011
  • German Research Foundation, Bonn, 1995-1999, 2003, 2007, and 2008-2009
  • Mauricio Amado Foundation, Studio City CA, 2008-2009
  • French Jewish Book Award, Joint Jewish Social Fund (FSJU), Paris, 2008
  • The Ashkenazi Community of Mexico, Mexico City, 2002-2005
  • Holocaust Memorial Foundation, Paris, 2003-2004
  • Foundation for Science and Technology, Lisbon, 2001-2003
  • Foundation of French Judaism, Paris, 1990-1991 and 2001
  • Gerda Henkel Foundation, Düsseldorf, 1999-2000
  • Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan/Israel, 1998
  • Government of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf, 1988-1990
  • German Academic Exchange Service / The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1984-1985

CEU doctoral supervision:


PhD, Jewish Studies, University of Cologne, 1994 (summa cum laude)
Diploma, Religious Studies, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, 1994
MA, Jewish Studies/Romance Philology/Philosophy, University of Cologne, 1987

File Attachments