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Michael Weingrad

Michael Weingrad is professor of Jewish studies at Portland State University. He is a frequent contributor to the Jewish Review of Books and Mosaic and is currently working on a book about Jews and fantasy literature.

Unspun

Unspun

Michael Weingrad

I reserve the right to chat with you about all of my reading, whether there be dragons or not.

Perish the Thought

Michael Weingrad

 Bruno Chaouat dares to ask whether, given the moral autism of so many of Theory’s luminaries when facing the basic political questions of our time, his own romance with it has been a similar waste.

The Exilarch’s Lost Princess

Michael Weingrad

In real life, or as much of it as historians can reconstruct, Septimania was a name for the region of southern France that included the Jewish populations of such venerable cities as Carcassonne, Narbonne, and Toulouse. Jonathan Levi leans on the most delightfully far-fetched version of these events in his latest novel.

Brave New Golems

Michael Weingrad

As monsters go, golems are pretty boring. Mute, crudely fashioned household servants and protectors, in essence they’re not much different from the brooms in the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” story.

The Inklings

Michael Weingrad

Leo Strauss may be as devastating as C. S. Lewis in his criticism of facile and destructive dogmas, but Hollywood isn’t planning a film version of Strauss’s Natural Right and History any time soon.

Jews of Dune

Michael Weingrad

In Chapterhouse: Dune, the sixth book in the Dune series and the last Herbert wrote before his death, the Jews show up.

Why There Is No Jewish Narnia

Michael Weingrad

So why don’t Jews write more fantasy literature? And a different, deeper but related question: why are there no works of modern fantasy that are profoundly Jewish in the way that, say, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is Christian?