kabbalistic revolution reimagining judaism in medieval spain

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Kabbalistic Revolution

Author : Hartley Lachter
ISBN : 9780813568768
Genre : Religion
File Size : 54. 25 MB
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The set of Jewish mystical teachings known as Kabbalah are often imagined as timeless texts, teachings that have been passed down through the millennia. Yet, as this groundbreaking new study shows, Kabbalah flourished in a specific time and place, emerging in response to the social prejudices that Jews faced. Hartley Lachter, a scholar of religion studies, transports us to medieval Spain, a place where anti-Semitic propaganda was on the rise and Jewish political power was on the wane. Kabbalistic Revolution proposes that, given this context, Kabbalah must be understood as a radically empowering political discourse. While the era’s Christian preachers claimed that Jews were blind to the true meaning of scripture and had been abandoned by God, the Kabbalists countered with a doctrine that granted Jews a uniquely privileged relationship with God. Lachter demonstrates how Kabbalah envisioned this increasingly marginalized group at the center of the universe, their mystical practices serving to maintain the harmony of the divine world. For students of Jewish mysticism, Kabbalistic Revolution provides a new approach to the development of medieval Kabbalah. Yet the book’s central questions should appeal to anyone with an interest in the relationships between religious discourses, political struggles, and ethnic pride.

The Secret Faith Of Maestre Honoratus

Author : Maud Kozodoy
ISBN : 9780812291810
Genre : History
File Size : 61. 47 MB
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Until the summer of 1391, when anti-Jewish riots spread across the Iberian peninsula, the person subsequently known as Honoratus de Bonafide, a Christian physician and astrologer at the court of King Joan I of Aragon, had been the Jew Profayt Duran of Perpignan. The precise details of Duran's conversion are lost to us. We do know, however, that like many other conversos, he began to conduct his professional and public life as a Christian even as he rejected that new identity in private. What is extraordinary in his case is that instead of quietly making his individual way, he began to write works in Hebrew—including anti-Christian polemics—that revealed his intense inner commitment to remaining a Jew. Forced to reconceptualize Judaism under the pressures of his life as a converso, Duran elevated the principle of inner "intention" above that of ritual observance as the test of Jewish identity, ultimately claiming that the end purposes of Judaism can be attained through the study, memorization, and contemplation of the Hebrew Bible. Duran also conceived of Judaism as a profoundly rational religion, with a proud heritage of scientific learning; the interplay between scientific knowledge and Jewish identity took on a central role in his works. Drawing on archival sources as well as published and unpublished manuscripts, Maud Kozodoy marshals rarely examined facts about the consumption and transmission of the sciences between the medieval and early modern periods to illuminate the thought—and the faith—of one of Jewish history's most enigmatic and fascinating figures.

Between Christian And Jew

Author : Paola Tartakoff
ISBN : 9780812206753
Genre : History
File Size : 33. 60 MB
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In 1341 in Aragon, a Jewish convert to Christianity was sentenced to death, only to be pulled from the burning stake and into a formal religious interrogation. His confession was as astonishing to his inquisitors as his brush with mortality is to us: the condemned man described a Jewish conspiracy to persuade recent converts to denounce their newfound Christian faith. His claims were corroborated by witnesses and became the catalyst for a series of trials that unfolded over the course of the next twenty months. Between Christian and Jew closely analyzes these events, which Paola Tartakoff considers paradigmatic of inquisitorial proceedings against Jews in the period. The trials also serve as the backbone of her nuanced consideration of Jewish conversion to Christianity—and the unwelcoming Christian response to Jewish conversions—during a period that is usually celebrated as a time of relative interfaith harmony. The book lays bare the intensity of the mutual hostility between Christians and Jews in medieval Spain. Tartakoff's research reveals that the majority of Jewish converts of the period turned to baptism in order to escape personal difficulties, such as poverty, conflict with other Jews, or unhappy marriages. They often met with a chilly reception from their new Christian brethren, making it difficult to integrate into Christian society. Tartakoff explores Jewish antagonism toward Christians and Christianity by examining the aims and techniques of Jews who sought to re-Judaize apostates as well as the Jewish responses to inquisitorial prosecution during an actual investigation. Prosecutions such as the 1341 trial were understood by papal inquisitors to be in defense of Christianity against perceived Jewish attacks, although Tartakoff shows that Christian fears about Jewish hostility were often exaggerated. Drawing together the accounts of Jews, Jewish converts, and inquisitors, this cultural history offers a broad study of interfaith relations in medieval Iberia.

The Scandal Of Kabbalah

Author : Yaacob Dweck
ISBN : 9781400840007
Genre : Religion
File Size : 23. 45 MB
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The Scandal of Kabbalah is the first book about the origins of a culture war that began in early modern Europe and continues to this day: the debate between kabbalists and their critics on the nature of Judaism and the meaning of religious tradition. From its medieval beginnings as an esoteric form of Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah spread throughout the early modern world and became a central feature of Jewish life. Scholars have long studied the revolutionary impact of Kabbalah, but, as Yaacob Dweck argues, they have misunderstood the character and timing of opposition to it. Drawing on a range of previously unexamined sources, this book tells the story of the first criticism of Kabbalah, Ari Nohem, written by Leon Modena in Venice in 1639. In this scathing indictment of Venetian Jews who had embraced Kabbalah as an authentic form of ancient esotericism, Modena proved the recent origins of Kabbalah and sought to convince his readers to return to the spiritualized rationalism of Maimonides. The Scandal of Kabbalah examines the hallmarks of Jewish modernity displayed by Modena's attack--a critical analysis of sacred texts, skepticism about religious truths, and self-consciousness about the past--and shows how these qualities and the later history of his polemic challenge conventional understandings of the relationship between Kabbalah and modernity. Dweck argues that Kabbalah was the subject of critical inquiry in the very period it came to dominate Jewish life rather than centuries later as most scholars have thought. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Medieval Philosophy As Transcendental Thought

Author : Jan Aertsen
ISBN : 9789004225848
Genre : History
File Size : 67. 15 MB
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The origin of transcendental thought is to be sought in medieval philosophy. This book provides for the first time a complete history of the doctrine of the transcendentals and shows its importance for the understanding of philosophy in the Middle Ages.


Author : Moshe Halbertal
ISBN : 0674443136
Genre : Religion
File Size : 78. 99 MB
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"You shall have no other gods besides Me." This injunction, handed down through Moses three thousand years ago, marks one of the most decisive shifts in Western culture: away from polytheism toward monotheism. Ranging with authority from the Talmud to Maimonides, from Marx to Nietzsche and on to G.E. Moore, this brilliant account of a subject central to our culture also has much to say about metaphor, myth, and the application of philosophical analysis to religious concepts and sensibilities. Its insights into pluralism and intolerance, into the logic and illogic of the arguments religions aim at each other, make Idolatry especially timely and valuable in these days of dark and implacable religious difference.

The Witch Of Cologne

Author : Tobsha Learner
ISBN : 9780730491101
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 58. 39 MB
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From the author of the sensational and erotic bestseller Quiver comes an epic love story from the 17th century. this is the story of Ruth bas Elazar Saul, a Jewish midwife who returns to her home of Deutz, outside Cologne in Germany. Imbued with the radical ideas of Spinoza and with the ancient Hebrew Kabbalism, Ruth's revolutionary methods of dealing with illness lead to accusations of witchcraft and imprisonment. Her love affair with Detleff von tennen, a local Catholic bishop, may save her in the short term, but at a time of brutal repression and religious persecution there are few options for those who break taboos. Set against the backdrop of emerging Enlightenment Europe, this is a fast-paced, meticulously researched and beautifully written story.

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