What do the physics of modern cosmology and esoteric Jewish thought have to say to each other? A lot more than you’d imagine, according to Dr. Howard Smith. Smith is a Harvard astrophysicist, the former chair of the astronomy department at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, and an expert on the mystical doctrines of the kabbalah. In the interview below, he points out the surprising connections between ancient speculations and cutting-edge scientific discoveries and what they reveal about space, time, and the effort to reconcile the religious and scientific worldviews.
Octavian Report: The great Jewish thinker Maimonides says in his The Guide of the Perplexed that one must master the physical sciences before understanding the divine ones. Do you have any thoughts on that vis-à-vis your own career?
Howard Smith is a lecturer in the astronomy department of Harvard University and the author of Let There Be Light.