Non-Fiction Books:

The Origins of Jewish Mysticism

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Paperback / softback

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The Origins of Jewish Mysticism by Peter Schafer
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Description

The Origins of Jewish Mysticism offers the first in-depth look at the history of Jewish mysticism from the book of Ezekiel to the Merkavah mysticism of late antiquity. The Merkavah movement is widely recognized as the first full-fledged expression of Jewish mysticism, one that had important ramifications for classical rabbinic Judaism and the emergence of the Kabbalah in twelfth-century Europe. Yet until now, the origins and development of still earlier forms of Jewish mysticism have been largely overlooked. In this book, Peter Schafer sheds new light on Ezekiel's tantalizing vision, the apocalyptic literature of Enoch, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the writings of the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo, the rabbinical writings of the Talmudic period, and the esotericism of the Merkavah mystics. Schafer questions whether we can accurately speak of Jewish mysticism as a uniform, coherent phenomenon with origins in Judaism's mythical past. Rather than imposing preconceived notions about "mysticism" on a great variety of writings that arose from different cultural, religious, and historical settings, he reveals what these writings seek to tell us about the age-old human desire to get close to and communicate with God.

Author Biography

Peter Schafer is the Ronald O. Perelman Professor of Jewish Studies and professor of religion at Princeton University. His books include "Jesus in the Talmud" and "Mirror of His Beauty: Feminine Images of God from the Bible to the Early Kabbalah" (both Princeton). He received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2007.
Release date NZ
February 13th, 2011
Author
Country of Publication
United States
Imprint
Princeton University Press
Pages
416
Dimensions
152x229x22
ISBN-13
9780691142159
Product ID
8700225

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