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Through a Speculum That Shines

By Elliot R. Wolfson
  • ISBN Code: : 069121509X
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Pages :
  • Category : History
  • Reads : 517
  • Book Compatibility : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Pdf : through-a-speculum-that-shines.pdf

Book Excerpt :

A comprehensive treatment of visionary experience in some of the main texts of Jewish mysticism, this book reveals the overwhelmingly visual nature of religious experience in Jewish spirituality from antiquity through the late Middle Ages. Using phenomenological and critical historical tools, Wolfson examines Jewish mystical texts from late antiquity, pre-kabbalistic sources from the tenth to the twelfth centuries, and twelfth- and thirteenth-century kabbalistic literature. His work demonstrates that the sense of sight assumes an epistemic priority in these writings, reflecting and building upon those scriptural passages that affirm the visual nature of revelatory experience. Moreover, the author reveals an androcentric eroticism in the scopic mentality of Jewish mystics, which placed the externalized and representable form, the phallus, at the center of the visual encounter. In the visionary experience, as Wolfson describes it, imagination serves a primary function, transmuting sensory data and rational concepts into symbols of those things beyond sense and reason. In this view, the experience of a vision is inseparable from the process of interpretation. Fundamentally challenging the conventional distinction between experience and exegesis, revelation and interpretation, Wolfson argues that for the mystics themselves, the study of texts occasioned a visual experience of the divine located in the imagination of the mystical interpreter. Thus he shows how Jewish mystics preserved the invisible transcendence of God without doing away with the visual dimension of belief.

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Read and download full book Paradise Now

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Why does the Torah begin with the letter beit, the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet? In seeking answers to this question, Michael J. Alter has gathered a wealth of material drawing from the Oral Law (Mishnah and Talmud), the Midrash, anonymous kabbalistic texts, and the works of many prominent rabbis, scribes, and writers spanning the past 2,000 years.

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This work critically engages the hermeneutical methods used to analyse the New Testament writings, so that the lenses through which studies of the texts have been traditionally viewed can be revised. Jeremy Hultin contributes an article on the rhetorical use of the chosen citations by Jewish rabbis in their commentary on scripture, while Mark Gignilliat writes on the potential implications for viewing Old Testament Scripture in the manner of the early Church exegetes and theologians. With these two contributions providing a frame for the other chapters, the essays explore a range of topics including the significance of the number 42 in Matthew; the study of Wisdom in Matthew, the extent to which the four gospels are underlined by Hebrew material, if any; the use of Hebrew material in shaping New Testament writings; and the uses of Scripture in the letters of Paul and the letters to the Hebrews. Read separately, these articles provide fascinating insights and revisions to established ideas on intertextuality between the Old/Hebrew Bible and the New Testament writings. Taken together, the collection presents a solid argument for the fundamental revision of our current hermeneutical practice in Biblical Studies.

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  • Pdf File: becoming-male-in-the-middle-ages.pdf

Book Short Summary:

First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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  • Pdf File: gregory-of-nyssa-s-tabernacle-imagery-in-its-jewish-and-christian-contexts.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Integrating patristics and early Jewish mysticism, this book examines Gregory of Nyssa's tabernacle imagery, as found in Life of Moses 2. 170-201. Previous scholarship has often focused on Gregory's interpretation of the darkness on Mount Sinai as divine incomprehensibility. However, true to Exodus, Gregory continues with Moses's vision of the tabernacle 'not made with hands' received within that darkness. This innovative methodology of heuristic comparison doesn't strive to prove influence, but to use heavenly ascent texts as a foil, in order to shed new light on Gregory's imagery. Ann Conway-Jones presents a well-rounded, nuanced understanding of Gregory's exegesis, in which mysticism, theology, and politics are intertwined. Heavenly ascent texts use descriptions of religious experience to claim authoritative knowledge. For Gregory, the high point of Moses's ascent into the darkness of Mount Sinai is the mystery of Christian doctrine. The heavenly tabernacle is a type of the heavenly Christ. This mystery is beyond intellectual comprehension, it can only be grasped by faith; and only the select few, destined for positions of responsibility, should even attempt to do so.

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  • Members : 903
  • Pdf File: mysticism-and-madness.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Two hundred years since Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav's demise, his philosophical writings and literary creation remain lively and provocative materials in both Jewish culture and the New-Age movement. Key elements of Rabbi Nachman`s magic and magnetic force are illuminated in this research, which presents Bratslavian mysticism as a unique link in the history of Jewish mysticism. The mystical worldview is the axis of this book, but its branches stretch out to key issues in the Bratslavian world such as belief and imagination, dreams and the land of Israel, melodies and song.

Mystical Bodies, Mystical Meals

By Joel Hecker
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Wayne State University Press
  • Book Code : 0814340032
  • Total of Pages : 296
  • Category : Religion
  • Members : 313
  • Pdf File: mystical-bodies-mystical-meals.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Mystical Bodies, Mystical Meals is the first book-length study of mystical eating practices and experiences in the kabbalah. Focusing on the Jewish mystical literature of late-thirteenth-century Spain, author Joel Hecker analyzes the ways in which the Zohar and other contemporaneous literature represent mystical attainment in their homilies about eating. What emerges is not only consideration of eating practices but, more broadly, the effects such practices and experiences have on the bodies of its practitioners.

Nahmanides

By Moshe Halbertal
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Yale University Press
  • Book Code : 0300257015
  • Total of Pages : 456
  • Category : Religion
  • Members : 270
  • Pdf File: nahmanides.pdf

Book Short Summary:

A broad, systematic account of one of the most original and creative kabbalists, biblical interpreters, and Talmudic scholars the Jewish tradition has ever produced Rabbi Moses b. Nahman (1194–1270), known in English as Nahmanides, was the greatest Talmudic scholar of the thirteenth century and one of the deepest and most original biblical interpreters. Beyond his monumental scholastic achievements, Nahmanides was a distinguished kabbalist and mystic, and in his commentary on the Torah he dispensed esoteric kabbalistic teachings that he termed “By Way of Truth.” This broad, systematic account of Nahmanides’s thought explores his conception of halakhah and his approach to the central concerns of medieval Jewish thought, including notions of God, history, revelation, and the reasons for the commandments. The relationship between Nahmanides’s kabbalah and mysticism and the existential religious drive that nourishes them, as well as the legal and exoteric aspects of his thinking, are at the center of Moshe Halbertal’s portrayal of Nahmanides as a complex and transformative thinker.

Between Text and Text

By Michaela Bauks,Wayne Horowitz,Bernd Hene
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
  • Book Code : 3647550256
  • Total of Pages : 365
  • Category : Religion
  • Members : 876
  • Pdf File: between-text-and-text.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Die Intertextualitätsforschung an antiken Texte und ihrer mittelalterlichen und modernen Rezeption ist in diesem Band folgenden Aspekten gewidmet: 1) Was ist ein Text, was ist ein Intertext? Hier stechen die verschiedenen materialen Textformen hervor, wie sie in Architektur, Ikonographie, Lexikographie, Listenwissenschaft etc. nachweisbar sind. 2) Formen der Intertextualität – Zum Verhältnis von Schriftlichkeit und Mündlichkeit untersucht, wie im Zuge der Verschriftlichung mündliche Texte »verdinglicht« und zu einem fixierten Sprechakt werden (K. Ehlich), in dem Wissen, dass gerade antike Textwelten von der steten Vernetzung mündlicher und schriftlicher Traditionen geprägt sind. 3) Was ist in der altorientalischen und antiken Literatur unter »Tradition« und »Überlieferung« zu verstehen? Dies wird unter Hinzuziehung der Sprachen, der historischen Wirklichkeit und des antiken Denkens untersucht, wobei deutlich wird, dass Traditionstransfers nicht nur innerhalb eines geschlossenen Kulturkreises, sondern zudem im Austausch mit Nachbarkulturen über größere zeitliche wie geographische Abstände hinaus stattfanden. 4) Zum Verhältnis von Intertextualität und Kanon: Hier widmen sich einige Beiträge dem Aspekt der permanenten auslegungsgeschichtlichen Fortschreibung, wie sie gerade für kulturell bindende, »kanonisierte« Texte durchaus üblich und – im Zuge ihrer Aktualisierung – sogar nötig ist.Mit Beiträgen von: M. Bauks, A. Lange / Z. Plese, Ph. Alexandre, S. Aufrère, M. Oeming, K. Davidowicz, A. Wagner, G. Selz, M.F. Meyer, L. Roig Lanzillotta, M. Dimitrova, F. Waldman, W. Horowitz, M. Risch, J. van Ruiten, L. Bormann, A. Miltenova, J. Taschner, G. Brooke, G. Dorival, A. Harder und S. Alkier.

Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah

By Frederick E. Greenspahn
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : NYU Press
  • Book Code : 9780814733363
  • Total of Pages : 272
  • Category : Religion
  • Members : 744
  • Pdf File: jewish-mysticism-and-kabbalah.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Over the past generation, scholars have devoted increasing attention to the diverse forms that Jewish mysticism has taken both in the past and today: what was once called “nonsense” by Jewish scholars has generated important research and attention both within the academy and beyond, as demonstrated by the popular fascination with figures such as Madonna and Demi Moore and the growing interest in spirituality. In Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, leading experts introduce the history of this scholarship as well as the most recent insights and debates that currently animate the field in a way that is accessible to a broad audience. From mystical outpourings in ancient Palestine to the Kabbalah Centre, and from attitudes towards gender to mystical contributions to Jewish messianic movements, this volume explores the various expressions of Jewish mysticism from antiquity to the present day in an engaging style appropriate for students and non-specialists alike.

Maimonides' Confrontation with Mysticism

By Menachem Kellner
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Liverpool University Press
  • Book Code : 190982108X
  • Total of Pages : 364
  • Category : Religion
  • Members : 606
  • Pdf File: maimonides-confrontation-with-mysticism.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Many books on Maimonides have been written and still more will appear. Few present Maimonides, as Menachem Kellner does against the actual religious background that informed his many innovative and influential choices. He not only analyses the thought of the great religious thinker but contextualizes it in terms of the ‘proto-kabbalistic’ Judaism that preceded him. Kellner shows how the Judaism that Maimonides knew had come to conceptualize the world as an enchanted universe, governed by occult affinities. He shows why Maimonides rejected this and how he went about doing it. Kellner argues that Maimonides’ attempted reformation failed, the clearest proof of that being the success of the kabbalistic counter-reformation which his writings provoked. Kellner shows how Maimonides rethought Judaism in different ways. It is in highlighting this and identifying Maimonides as a religious reformer that this book makes its key contribution. Maimonides created a new Judaism, ‘disenchanted’, depersonalized, and challenging; a religion that is at the same time elitist and universalist. Kellner’s analysis also shows the deep configuration of Judaism in a new light. If, as Moshe Idel says in his Foreword, Maimonides was able to ‘reform so many aspects of rabbinic Judaism single-handedly, to enrich it by importing such dramatically different concepts, it shows that the profound structures of this religion are flexible enough to allow the emergence and success of astonishing reforms. The fact that, great as Maimonides was, he did not overcome the traditional forms of proto-kabbalism shows that the dynamic of religion is much more complex than subscribing to authorities, however widely accepted.’