Origins of the Kabbalah Page 11...

Gershom Scholem opened up a once esoteric world of Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah, to concerned students of religion: a tradition of repeated attempts to achieve and portray direct experiences of God. A history of the Kabbalah before the Zohar, this book analyzes the leading ideas of Jewish mysticism up to the period of its classical formulation.

Editor’s Preface It is idle to question which of a great scholar’s great works is his greatest. In the case of Gershom Scholem, also the opera minora, articles, and essays were “ great.” But three works stand out not only by virtue of their size, but also by virtue of their impact. Each ex-hibits different qualities. Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism ( 1st ed. 1941) is the first great and still classic attempt to view the whole history of Jewish mysticism in one wide sweep, combining synthetic power with analytical precision and attention to philological detail. Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah ( original Hebrew ed. 1956; re-vised English version 1973) became a best seller not only because of the fascination with its exotic subject matter. Rarely before had such erudition, quantity and breadth of the sources, minute textual analy-sis, and profound historical insight been brought to bear on a rela-tively short— but nevertheless bizarre, spectacular, and, withal, sig-nificant— episode in Jewish history ( and the history of messianic movements in general for that matter). Yet in many ways Ursprung und Anfänge der Kabbalah ( 1962) is the most impressive of all, for here Scholem dealt with a major yet enigmatic phenomenon in the history of Jewish spirituality. The very specific form of Jewish mysti-cism ( or mystical theosophy) known as Kabbalah appeared suddenly, as if out of the blue, in the late Middle Ages. What were its anteced-   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

Origins of the Kabbalah


About Book Origins of the Kabbalah

FRONT MATTERTitle PageCopyrightContentsSourcesEditor's PrefaceAuthor's Preface to the First (German) EditionORIGINS OF THE KABBALAHINDEX
origins kabbalah page https publishersrow ebookshuk books jewish hebrew ebooks gershom scholem opened once esoteric world mysticism concerned students religion tradition repeated attempts achieve portray direct experiences history before zohar this book analyzes leading ideas period classical formulation
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