Jewish Mysticism: An Introduction

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Westminster John Knox Press, 2001 - Religion - 292 pages
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Jewish mysticism can be quite a puzzle to the uninitiated. For example, does the term "mysticism" mean the same thing here as in other contexts? Also, in what sense are the various phenomena that come under this heading really "Jewish"? In a thorough historical overview of the movements and trends in Jewish mysticism, Dutch scholar J.H. Laenen takes us step by step through the centuries of development to the present day, explaining how the various currents of tradition are related. We are introduced to Hekhaloth mysticism, classical Kabbalah, Lurianic Kabbalah, and the messianism of Shabbetai Zevi, as well as Hasidism, and we are given explanations of the Doctrine of the Sephiroth, reincarnation, language mysticism, numerology, and symbolism.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
ANCIENT JEWISH MYSTICISM
18
CLASSICAL KABBALAH
45
Historical overview of the movements
84
LURIANIC KABBALAH
143
THE KABBALAH OF SHABBETAI ZEVI
189
HASIDISM
215
LANGUAGE MYSTICISM
251
POPULAR LITERATURE ON KABBALAH
263
BIBLIOGRAPHY
273
INDEX
285
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Page 277 - Das Ringen zwischen dem biblischen Gott und dem Gott Plotins in der alten Kabbalah" and "Schopfung aus Nichts und Selbsverschrankung Gottes," shed much light on the relations of the monotheistic religions to ancient philosophy.

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About the author (2001)

J. H. Laenen is a specialist in Jewish mysticism. Along with his qualifications in Semitic languages and cultures from the University of Leiden, he also has a degree in Spanish language and literature from the University of Utrecht.

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