A Scholar Getting Religion

Spirituality and religion are an essential part of all of us. Deeply transformed by the modern world, religion and spirituality need to be restored to their proper place in human life and history.

I have devoted my PhD and entire academic career to understanding how religious, spiritual thought and experience may be a catalyst for change and a better life.

I have studied with some of the greatest religion specialists in both United States and European universities. I have also learned from a vast range of spiritual teachers in Judaism and Catholicism, where I hold ordination.

It is now an honor to share my knowledge with you.

Dr. Boaz is a religious guide and spiritual director for Christians, Catholics searching for God and faith
I am rooted in three spiritual traditions: Roman Religion, Judaism and Catholicism. I live and share them from an open, interspiritual approach.

MY STORY

My spiritual journey is rooted in three traditions: Roman Religion, Judaism and Catholicism. I grew up in a religious but heterodox environment, with both Christian and Græco-Roman education. Vergil’s Æneid and the Bible were important spiritual references in my upbringing.

Through my Swiss Jewish American stepfather, I was introduced to Judaism and his incredible heritage. Yet, during my early twenties, I became closer to Catholicism to the point of becoming clergy.

My Catholic years coincided with the preparation of my PhD in Paris. During this time, I learned not only from top French scholars in religion, but also from renowned Catholic leaders. Mons. Agostinho da Costa Borges or Cardinal Jorge María Mejía, to name a few, have been my spiritual masters. Through monastic retreats all over Europe and America, I became enamored with liturgy and the Lectio Divina meditation.

Even though I have been ordained Catholic priest, my stepfather’s dual Jewish-Catholic identity brought me to Judaism—and to great American and Israeli rabbis as my teachers. Without never abandoning some spiritual teachings and practices I received from my religious tradition and masters, I decided to have a Jewish conversion. In my traditional understanding of religion, I chose Orthodox Judaism.

Today I cultivate and preserve everything I have gathered from my three religious traditions—like a syncretic treasure in life.

MY STORY

My spiritual journey is rooted in three traditions: Roman Religion, Judaism and Catholicism. I grew up in a religious but heterodox environment, with both Christian and Græco-Roman education. Vergil’s Æneid and the Bible were important spiritual references in my upbringing.

Through my Swiss Jewish American stepfather, I was introduced to Judaism and his incredible heritage. Yet, during my early twenties, I became closer to Catholicism to the point of becoming clergy.

My Catholic years coincided with the preparation of my PhD in Paris. During this time, I learned not only from top French scholars in religion, but also from renowned Catholic leaders. Mons. Agostinho da Costa Borges or Cardinal Jorge María Mejía, to name a few, have been my spiritual masters. Through monastic retreats all over Europe and America, I became enamored with liturgy and the Lectio Divina meditation.

Dr. Boaz is a religious guide and spiritual director for Christians, Catholics searching for God and faith

Even though I have been ordained Catholic priest, my stepfather’s dual Jewish-Catholic identity brought me to Judaism—and to great American and Israeli rabbis as my teachers. Without never abandoning some spiritual teachings and practices I received from my religious tradition and masters, I decided to have a Jewish conversion. In my traditional understanding of religion, I chose Orthodox Judaism.

Today I cultivate and preserve everything I have gathered from my three religious traditions—like a syncretic treasure in life.

MY ACADEMIC RESEARCH

Dr. Boaz has spent 9 years conducting research in history of religion in leading French and American institutions. After the completion of the PhD at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) when he was 26, Dr. Boaz stayed in Paris as associate research fellow at the EHESS. In 2014, with the generous support of the Tikvah Fund, he started his postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, where he worked under the guidance of Professors Samuel Moyn and Mark Lilla. There, he devised his current research project focusing on how Catholics engaged in a modernization crusade during the nineteenth century, and entirely transformed Catholic dogma and pious practices.

In 2015, Dr. Boaz joined the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at New York University. During his time at NYU, Boaz began devoting more time to his journalism activities and to the publishing business. After leaving NYU in 2017, Dr. Boaz decided to have a hiatus, before rejoining Columbia University in 2018, with a position at the Department of Classics.

Dr. Boaz decided not to renew with Columbia University and in 2019, he and his wife moved out from New York. They now live back to the land, off the grid, in the countryside.