By Moshe Idel

Moshe Idel more and more is visible as having accomplished the eminence of Gershom Scholem within the research of Jewish mysticism. Ben, his publication at the suggestion of sonship in Kabbalah, is a unprecedented paintings of scholarship and inventive surmise. If an highbrow Judaism is to outlive, then Idel turns into crucial analyzing, no matter what your individual non secular allegiances.—Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities, Yale college whereas many points of sonship were analyzed in books on Judaism, this booklet, Moshe Idel's magnum opus, constitutes the 1st try to handle the class of sonship in Jewish mystical literature as an entire. Idel's target is to indicate the various circumstances the place Jewish thinkers resorted to suggestions of sonship and their conceptual backgrounds, and hence to teach the life of a large choice of understandings of hypostatic sons in Judaism. via this survey, not just can the paranormal varieties of sonship in Judaism be larger understood, however the idea of sonship in faith generally can be enriched.

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Extra info for Ben: Sonship and Jewish Mysticism (Robert & Arlene Kogod Library Judaic Studies)

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Starting with elements related to sonship, regalia and rituals as found in ancient sacred royalty, and with Enochic traditions about the topic of ascent and enthronement, whole theological edifices have been built by Christian thinkers with massive contributions from Hellenistic modes of thinking. The ancient myths of a sacred king as a Son of God were not only explicated in systematic forms but in Christianity the son also assumed a crucial role in new rituals, installing the category of sonship at the very center of a new religion.

This strategy has been described above in Philo and in other sources. Paulinian and Alexandrian forms of Christianity, as well as a variety of Gnostic ones, are to a great extent outshoots of the synthesis forged in Hellenistic Alexandria, and one more major example of a similar, though independent synthesis, will be analyzed in detail in Chapter 3. While the more personal understandings of sonship (characteristic of the historical Jesus to the extent we know something about him) are to be compared with charismatics (some of them active in GaWee) like R.

However, I shall pay special attention to questions related to the transmission of the late antiquity materials under scrutiny, which moved over considerable geographical areas, an issue that seems to me important for an understanding of Jewish esotericism in general. As I shall claim in more detail in the last paragraph of this book, at least insofar as Jewish thought is concerned, there was significant movement of material from the late antiquity Near East, to medieval European Jewish sources, and these transitions and subsequent developments triggered cultural changes in many Jewish circles: the role and conditions of this movement of knowledge requires some explanation.

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