Aspects of Jewish Metarational Thought

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iUniverse, 2005 - Religion - 186 pages
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Judaism has always had adherents that, driven by both awe and love of God, strove to penetrate the mystery of divine wisdom and grasp what the philosopher deemed to be beyond the reach of man's rational faculty, as well as to explore other mysteries that seem to leap out from the pages of Scripture.

These metarational leaps of intellect and imagination generally fit into the categories of the exoteric and the esoteric, referring to teachings traditionally considered suitable for public instruction and those deemed inappropriate for such purpose. The exoteric includes those attempts at intellectually and spiritually bridging the gap between God and man, that one finds strewn throughout the pages of the classical literature of Judaism. The esoteric includes those speculations and practices that have been more or less systematized and formulated and presented as mystical doctrines, that have been characterized since the Middle Ages as Kabbalah.

The opening chapters of Aspects of Jewish Metarational Thought consider the question of the relationship between finite man and the unknowable God, and how the divine-human communication essential to that relationship takes place. Other chapters consider the purpose behind human existence and the critical aspects of the biblical account of the creation, issues relating to the idea of a visionary ascent to the celestial realm, the influence of metarational considerations on normative Jewish religious practice, and the special attributes believed to inhere in the Hebrew language and the role that these have played in metarational biblical interpretation from antiquity to the present.

 

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Contents

Knowing the Unknowable God
1
Communications between God and Man
15
Communications between Man and God
28
The Purpose of Creation
42
The Biblical Account of Creation
55
Man at the Center
85
The Mysteries of the Celestial Realm
100
The Mysteries of the Fringes
119
The Mysteries of the Hebrew Language
126
References
143
About the Author
161
Endnotes
163
Back Cover
189
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

MARTIN SICKER is a private consultant and lecturer who has served as a senior executive in the U.S. government and has taught at American University and The George Washington University. Dr. Sicker has written extensively in the field of political science and international affairs. He is the author of 22 earlier books, including "The Pre-Islamic Middle East" (Praeger, 2000) and "Between Rome and Jerusalem: 300 Years of Roman-Judaean Relations" (Praeger, 2001).

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