Dr. Marianna RuahMidbar Shapiro - Zefat Academic College

Dr. Marianna RuahMidbar Shapiro

Name: Marianna Ruah-Midbar Shapiro

Position: Department Head and Founder; Senior Lecturer

Department: Mysticism and Spirituality

Phone Number: 972-4-6927854

Email: M.RuahMidbar@GMail.com 

Areas of Interest: 

  • Alternative Spiritualities; 
  • Contemporary Religion; 
  • Invention of Tradition in Contemporary Judaism; 
  • New Religious Movements in their crossroads with mainstream as aperture to cultural critic


An assortment of courses:

  • Introduction to Contemporary Spiritualities; 
  • Spiritual Perceptions of Time; 
  • Gender, Religion and Spirituality; 
  • Alternative Medicine and Spiritual Healing – A Cultural Outlook; 
  • Spirituality in the Internet, the Internet in Spirituality; 
  • Judaism in the New Age


An assortment:

  • John Templeton Foundation – “Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapies” (a co-reseach on “Jewish Psychology Methods in Israel – Between Orthodox and Secular Jews, Religion and Spirituality”)
  • Zefat Center for the Study of Communities and Cultures in the Galilee (Neo-Shamanism in the Galilee)
  • The Mindscapes Program, University of Haifa (prize for my course “Jewish Spirituality in the New Age”)



Articles in Refereed Journals – an assortment:

  • Ruah-Midbar, Marianna (2012). “Current Jewish Spiritualities in Israel: A New Age”, in Modern Judaism – A Journal of Jewish Ideas and Experience 32.1 (February 2012): 102-124.
  • Ruah-Midbar, Marianna, and Nurit Zaidman (2013). “'Everything Starts Within' – New Age Values, Images, and Language in Israeli Mainstream Advertisements”, Journal of Contemporary Religion 28.3: 421-436. 
  • Ruah-Midbar, Marianna, and Adam Klin Oron (2013). “'Tell me who your Enemies are' – Israeli Government Reports on NRMs”, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 52.4: 810–826.
  • Ruah-Midbar, Marianna (2014). “A channeler, a healer, and a shaman meet at the rabbi’s: The roadmap of Israeli Judaism(s) in the New Age”, in Iyunim: Multidisciplinary Studies in Israeli and Modern Jewish Society – Thematic series 7 (Special issue edited by Gideon Katz, Shalom Ratzabi, Yaacov Yadgar: Beyond Halacha: secularism, traditionalism and ’New Age’ culture in Israel). Sde Boker: Ben-Gurion Institute for the study of Israel and Zionism, 2014. pp. 498-528. [Hebrew]
  • Ruah-Midbar, Marianna (2014). “The Sacralization of Randomness – The Theological Imagination and the Logic of Computerized Divination Rituals”, in Numen – International Review for the History of Religions 61.5-6 (2014): 619-655.
  • Ruah-Midbar Shapiro, Marianna, and Ruah Midbar, Omri (2017). “Outdoing Authenticity: Three Postmodern Models of Adapting Folklore Materials in Current Spiritual Music”, in Journal of Folklore Research – An International Journal of Folklore Research 54.3 (Sep.-Nov. 2017): 199-231.
  • Ruah-Midbar Shapiro, Marianna (2018). “Abracadabra! Postmodern therapeutic methods: Language as a neo-magical tool”, in Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 17.49 (Spring 2018): 3-17. 
  • Ruah-Midbar Shapiro, Marianna, and Sharon Warshawski (2018). “Trance, Meditation and Brainwashing – The Israeli Use of Hypnosis Law and the New Religious Movements Scene”, in The Journal of CESNUR 2.4 (July-August 2018).
  • Ruah-Midbar Shapiro, Marianna. “'It's a Game Everybody's Already Playing' – Versions of the ‘Creating-Our-Reality’ Motif in the Discourse of Alternative Spiritualities”, in Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 17.51 (Winter 2018): 115-133.
  • Ruah-Midbar Shapiro, Marianna (Forthcoming). “The Temptation of Legitimacy – Lilith’s Adoption and Adaption in Contemporary Feminist Spirituality,” in Modern Judaism – A Journal of Jewish Ideas and Experience.

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Ruah-Midbar, Marianna (2006). The New Age culture in Israel: A methodological introduction and the ‘conceptual network’‏. Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University. [Hebrew]




A few examples: 


Subject of Lecture

Subject of Session

Place of Conference

Name of Conference



Virtual Spirituality and Self Confidence: Imitators, Equivalents and Better-than-Original

Jewish Mysticism and Contemporary Spirituality

Tel Aviv University

The 7th ICSCS

May 3, 2015


Thinking of the New Age as an "Ideational Network"

Spirituality Now - Israel 2016: Theory, Major Trends and Central Issues

University of Haifa

The 8th Israeli Conference for the Study of Contemporary Spiritualities

December 31, 2015

Dr. Lila Moore

The Film Noah (2014) as an Intersection Between Alternative Spiritualities and Popular Culture

Case Studies II

Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

CESNUR International Conference

July 5, 2017


Lilith's Comeback in Contemporary Feminist Spiritualities

New Religious Movements

Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan

The 2nd Annual Conference of the Israeli Association for the Study of Religion on the Scriptures

March 11, 2018


The Contemporary Emergence of a Sacred Alternative Geography in the Galilee


Tel-Hai College, Qiryat Shmona

The International Inaugural Workshop of the Tell-Hai Center for the Study of Religions

March 1, 2018