About – Gideon Aran

Gideon Aran is a professor of sociology and anthropology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His field of expertise is the social scientific study of religion, on the one hand, and extremism, militancy and violence, on the other hand.

Gideon Aran Aran studied at the Hebrew University (B.A., Ph.D.), University of Chicago (M.A.) and Princeton University (Post-Doc). He was an active affiliate of the Fundamentalism Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a senior associate in the Hebrew University Interdisciplinary Research Center in Jewish Studies. Aran spent previous sabbatical years in University of California Davis and Berkeley.

In recent years he focused his teaching and writing on the intersection where the above two meet, namely fundamentalism and contemporary as well as historical forms of ultra-religiosity; oppositional underground cells; political (Ethno-National) charismatic radical cults; and religious terrorism, in various Western and Middle Eastern contexts, especially in the Jewish/Israeli one and with regard to the conflict with the Palestinians in particular.

Aran’s research combines intensive case study based on fieldwork with theoretical-comparative perspective. His latest academic publications concern:

  • “Jewish Religious Violence”
  • “Religiosity and Super-Religiosity”
  •  “Blasphemy”
  •  “The Roots of the Bloc of the Faithful, Jewish Settlers’ Sub-Culture”
  • “Zionist Theology and Contemporary Messianism”

Currently he is writing up the results of an extensive field study of (mostly) Palestinian suicide bombing, tentatively labeled The Cult of Dismembered Limbs (to be printed in U of California Press). In this study the center of Aran’s scientific interest gravitates towards specialization in terrorism and specifically religious suicide terrorism.

Professor Gideon Aran
Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology
Hebrew University
Israel 91905

Email: gideon.aran@mail.huji.ac.il

Phone: 972-2-5883331 (Office)
972-2-5345801 (Home)
Fax : 972-2-5324339 (Office)

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