Dr. Sophia Katz

Dr. Sophia Katz

I am a lecturer in the Department of East Asian Studies at Tel-Hai College and the head of Tel-Hai Center for the Study of Religions. My research interests include Confucian and Neo-Confucian thought, and comparative philosophy, theology, and religions. I am especially interested in comparisons of ideas found in the writings of Chinese thinkers with the ideas of religious thinkers of other cultural backgrounds. Currently, I am studying philosophical works of Martin Buber in an attempt to understand to what degree Buber’s thought was influenced by his engagement with Chinese philosophy and literature. In addition, I edit a volume of articles assessing connections between the phenomena of the strange and divination.

סופיה כץ
Accordion Title Research


  1.     Chinese thought of Song-Ming era (11th - 17th century), focusing on the philosophical and religious views of Shao Yong, Chen Xianzhang, Zhan Ruoshui, Gao Panlong and Wang Fuzhi.
  2.  Philosophical and religious dimensions of Confucianism. 
  3.   Comparative philosophy and Comparative study of religions (emphasis on comparisons between Confucianism and Abrahamic religions).
  4.  Chinese literature (especially philosophical poetry).
Accordion Title Teaching


“Introduction to Traditional Chinese History” (2013-2014)

“Elementary Chinese” (2013-2014, 2017-2022)

“Advanced Chinese” (2014-2022)

“Modern Chinese 3: Grammar, Reading, Speaking” (2016-2020)

“Traditional Chinese Literature” (2014-2015)

“Masterworks of Chinese Literature” (2015-2017)

“Religion and Society in China” (2014-2016)

"Society in Traditional China" (2015-2016)

Accordion Title Awards


Katz, S. “Tradition of Ruist Unrestrainedness: Zeng Dian, Shao Yong and Chen Xianzhang (6th c. BCE – 15th c. CE),” in Raoul D. Findeisen, Gad C. Isay, Amira Katz-Goehr, Yuri Pines and Lihi Yariv-Laor, eds., At Home in Many Worlds: Reading, Writing, and Translating from Chinese and Jewish Cultures. Essays in Honour of Irene Eber. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2009, pp. 69-79.  

כץ, סופיה. "שירת טאנג" ו-"נספח: אמנות השירה הסינית," בתוך: יורי פינס וגדעון שלח (יצחק שיחור עורך ראשי), כל אשר מתחת לשמיים: תולדות הקיסרות הסינית, כרך ב, רעננה: האוניברסיטה הפתוחה, תשע''ד (2013), 480-470.

Katz, S. “From Observing to Listening: The Intellectual/Spiritual Path of Shao Yong as Reflected in the Yichuan jirangji,” Monumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies, Vol. 61 (2013): 141-182.

Katz, S.  “The Way of Silent Realization: Ineffability and Rationality in the Philosophical Mysticisms of Śankara and Zhan Ruoshui,” in Ithamar Theodor and Zhihua Yao, eds. Brahman and Dao: Comparative Studies of Indian and Chinese Philosophy and Religion. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2014, pp. 35-52.

כץ, סופיה. "מבוא," בתוך: חיים תדמון, "הלבנה והרוח: מבחר מן הקלאסיקה הסינית" (תל אביב, דחק, 2016).

Ke Shufei  柯书斐 (Katz, S.), “jingwu yu moshi zhi dao,” 静悟与默识之道 [The Way of Quiet Enlightenment and Silent Knowledge], in 伊萨玛·泰奥多 姚治华 (Ithamar Theodor and Yao Zhihua), ed., 叶首德 (Ye Shoude, trans.), fan yu dao: yinzhong zhexue he zongjiao bijiao yanjiu  《梵与道:印中哲学和宗教比较研究》[Brahman and Dao: Comparative Studies of Indian and Chinese Philosophy and Religion], Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chuban she (Religious Culture Publishing House), 2017, pp. 42-64.

Katz, S. “Free to Obey: Gao Panlong and Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Selflessness, Fate, and Freedom,” Ching Feng: A Journal on Christianity and Chinese Religion and Culture, vol. 16, no. 1-2 (2017): 173-197.

Katz, S. "Structure and Numbers: Shao Yong on the Order of Reality," Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part A, Vol. 81 (2020): 16-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2019.10.002

Katz, S. “In the Beginning was Observing: Shao Yong on the Sagely Self, Observing and Poeting,” Asian Studies. Vol. 10, no. 2 (2022).  https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2022.10.2.333-352

Katz, S. “An Ongoing Revolution: Cosmic Canticle, Changing, and the Problem of Broken Harmony,” Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (June/July 2019), published May 2022. To be published in Paschalis Nikolaou, Richard Smith, Chen Shangzhen, ed. A Companion to Richard Berengarten’s Changing (Shearsman Books, Sidcup, UK., forthcoming 2022). An Ongoing Revolution – Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (asiancha.com)

Accordion Title Presentations


(since 2014)

February 2014:

“Confucian Mysticism in Comparative Perspective” (in Hebrew). East-Asian Studies Conference, Tel-Hai College.

March 2014:

“True Self” and the Ultimate Knowledge: Philosophical Mysticism in the Thought of Sankara and Zhan Ruoshui (in Hebrew). Workshop “China and India: Comparative Issues in Asian Thought and Politics,” Frieberg Center, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

May 2014:

“The Image of a Diviner in Traditional Chinese Literature” (in Hebrew). 12th Biannual Conference of Asian Studies in Israel, The University of Haifa.

January 2015:

“Between Bialik and Pu Songling: History of the Strange in the Jewish and Chinese Traditions” (in Hebrew). Conference “East Asia, Judaism and Israel,” Tel-Hai College.

May 2015:

 “Inspired by Martin Buber: The World of the Strange and Wonderful in the Chinese and Jewish Traditions.” The 7th Israeli Conference for Contemporary Religion and Spirituality, Tel-Aviv University.

October 2015:

"Fate and Divination in the Liaozhai zhiyi.”

Workshop “Divination and the Strange in Pre- and Early Modern East Asia and Europe” (organizer), IKGF Erlangen, Germany. For the report, see Fate (Newsletter of the IKGF Erlangen), Issue 11 (Dec. 2016), 17-21.

December 2015:

“When you look at me – far away”: Thoughts on Dialogical Thinking and Chinese Philosophy” (in Hebrew). Workshop in honor of Prof. Irene Eber “China, Judaism and Jewish Communities – Contacts between Cultures,” The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

April 2016:

“Fate and Freedom in the Jewish and Chinese Traditions” (in Hebrew). The Fourth Jewish-Asian Conference, Bar-Ilan University.

May 2016:

“Does Heaven Speak? Speech, Hearing and Connection to the Ultimate in Confucianism” (in Hebrew). The Thirteenth Biannual Conference of Asian Studies in Israel, Tel-Hai College.

September 2016:

"Cultural Interactions by Means of Chinese, Hebrew and Yiddish Translations" (Poster presentation). Humboldt Colloquium “Bridges to the Future: German-Israeli Scientific Relations,” Tel-Aviv University.

October 2016:

“’He Who Knows Does Not Speak’? Speech, Silence and the Ultimate Knowledge in Advaita Vedanta and Confucianism.” KHK Bochum, Germany.

December 2016:

“‘A Vehicle for the Way’? Secondary Language Hebrew and Yiddish Translations of Chinese Poetry.” The Second Israeli Conference on Language, Culture and Society in Asia, The University of Haifa.

January 2017:

"Meeting in Dialogue: Martin Buber's Thought in China." Martin Buber Symposium: Dialogue and Impact, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva. 

November 2017:

“Heaven, Structure and Numbers: Shao Yong on the Order of Reality.” International Workshop "Law and Order: The Status of Natural Regularities before the Scientific Revolution" (Tel-Hai College).

December 2018:

“Beyond Fascination: Philosophical Dialogue between Chinese and Jewish Thought.” (China Cultural Center, Tel-Aviv). 

January 2020:

“Keep Calm and 学中文 [Study Chinese]: Challenges of Teaching Chinese in a Changing World.” International Workshop “Teaching and Learning Chinese as a Foreign Language in 21st Century: Challenges and Solutions”, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv.

February 2020:

“Confucian Mysticism? The Case of Shao Yong (1012-1077)." CERES, University of Bochum, Germany

May 2022: 

"'In Praise of the Virtue of Wine': Alcoholic Drinks and Spiritual Enlightenment in Chinese Literature" (in Hebrew), International Conference "Food in Asia: Journey in Space and Time," Tel-Hai College, Israel. 

May 2022:

"Diviners and Mediators in the Strange Tales of Liaozhai" (in Hebrew), 5th Annual Conference of the Israeli Association for the Study of Religions "Borders in Religions", Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.