University of Muri
The University of Muri is the fictional creation of critic and metaphysician Walter Benjamin, and historian of Jewish mysticism and Philosopher Gershom Scholem. It is presumed to be located in Muri, Switzerland and though it was shut down by Benjamin and Scholem a number of times it is, or was at last report, still "open." In his essay Walter Benjamin and his Angel Scholem writes, "The guardian angel of the Kabbalah from the year 1921 has become the guardian angel of the University of Muri, in whose Transactions a "philosopher" and a "kabbalist"—who in a traditional sense were neither a philosopher nor a kabbalist—made the traditional university and its scholars the object of their derision."
While a complete course offering was never really available, Scholem does report that he and Benjamin mutually agreed to put Robert Eisler in charge of a course titled, "Ladies' coats and Beach Cabanas in light of the History of Religion."
- The bulk of the information for this imaginary institution comes from the book edited by Gershom Scholem called "Walter Benjamin: The story of a Friendship." The longest sustained discussion of the topic is on pg.58. [The first book is the 1980 Schocken edition, the second is the 1981 JPS edition.]
- "Walter Benjamin and his Angel" is an essay in the collection by Gerschom Scholem called "Jews and Judaism in Crisis," Schocken Books, 1976, p.212.
- Scholem, Gershom, "From Berlin to Jerusalem: Memories of my youth," p. 129.