Associate Professor, Religion Studies
Director, Berman Center for Jewish Studies
(610) 758-2130 (office)
31 Williams Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Hartley Lachter, Associate Professor of Religion Studies, holds the Philip and Muriel Berman Chair in Jewish Studies, and serves as the director of the Berman Center for Jewish Studies. His scholarship focuses on medieval Kabbalah, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between Jewish historical experiences and the development of kabbalistic discourses. His work explores how medieval Jewish-Christian debates, as well as disruptive moments of violence and forced conversion, shape Jewish mystical literature and serve as a form of cultural resistance for some pre-modern Jews. His recent book, Kabbalistic Revolution: Reimagining Judaism in Medieval Spain, was published by Rutgers University Press.Hartley Lachter’s teaching interests include course on Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah, survey courses on Judaism and Jewish thought, theory and method in the study of religion, and explorations of contemporary religious extremism and violence. In both his work and his teaching, Dr. Lachter invites his readers and students to consider how religious identities are negotiated through the production of public discourses that shape,and are shaped by, the interactions across identity boundaries. Hartley Lachter lives in Allentown, PA, with his wife, Dr. Jessica Cooperman, who is a Religion Studies professor at Muhlenberg College, where she directs the program in Jewish Studies. Hartley and Jessica have two daughters, Zoe and Mollie.