The Shia holy city of Qom teems with mosques, mullahs and madrassas. So, it was a little surprising to hear Qom religious scholar Hossein Soleimani’s response when I asked him to name his favorite writers.The Center's existence is almost entirely unknown in the West. With additional specialists in Zohar, Midrash, and Jewish philosophy.
“Adin Steinsaltz, for his translation of the Talmud,” he responded promptly. “And also Martin Buber.”
Soleimani was one of several senior faculty members from Qom’s University of Religions and Denominations whom I met during my recent visit to Iran. Soleimani’s field is comparative religions, and he is affiliated with the school’s center devoted entirely to Judaic studies.
Soleimani’s area of specialty is the study of sects in Jewish history — especially during the talmudic period, from about 70 B.C.E. to 500 C.E. Another area of interest, he said, is corporal punishment in the various religions.
Monday, August 31, 2015
A Center for Judaic Studies in Qoms, Iran
THE FORWARD: Reading the Talmud in a Most Unlikely Place — Iran's Holy City (Larry Cohler-Esses).