By Robert J. Sagerman

Abraham Abulafia (1240 - c. 1291) based an significantly influential department of Jewish mysticism, known as the prophetic or ecstatic kabbalah. This publication, from numerous views, explores the impression of Christianity upon Abulafia. His copious writings evince an extreme fascination with Christian subject matters, but Abulafia's widespread diatribes opposed to Jesus and Christianity demonstrate him to be deeply conflicted in his dating to his southern ecu non secular pals. This ebook undertakes a cautious examine of Abulafia's writings, suggesting that the popularity of an internal dynamic of allure and revulsion towards the forbidden different presents a vital key to knowing Abulafia's mystical hermeneutic and his meditative perform. It additionally demonstrates that Abulafia's uneasy dating to Christianity formed the very middle of his mystical doctrine.

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Extra info for The Serpent Kills or the Serpent Gives Life: The Kabbalist Abraham Abulafia's Response to Christianity (Supplements to the Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy)

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Although Abulafia’s mysticism, Chazan observes, was naturally disposed to a messianic element and although he was to a certain degree simply a participant in the messianic fervor of the day, “Abulafia also may have been reacting to the new challenges posed by a militant missionizing Christianity . ,” as may have been the case for the theosophic kabbalists in Spain as well. Barcelona and Beyond, pp. 190–191. Lasker suggests that the translation of the Jewish polemical work Sefer Nestor ha-Komer into Hebrew from Arabic in Spain sometime before 1170 already suggests its need; that is, Christians were already beginning to increasingly apply religious pressures to the Jews at this date.

Abulafia and alterity: the other in the self 21 I will make no effort to discuss Abulafia’s psychological state in terms of the childhood developmental model against which Brickman cautions. And it appears to me that, at least in this case, it is possible to make productive use of the oedipal model without recourse to particular developmental assertions. Nevertheless, I grant that my observations concerning Abulafia’s psychological state carry with them implications concerning Abulafia’s childhood or concerning his relationships with his parents.

27–28. Writes Green, “All this was seen by the Jews, who could not but have been aware of this new outgrowth of pious devotion among their Christian neighbors. While they might have been theologically offended by what seemed like worship of an admittedly human woman . . ” See Idel, Kabbalah and Eros, p. 46, for the perspective that the marian cult could have been influenced by much older Jewish conceptions of the Shekhinah. 17 Burns, Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the Crusader Kingdom of Valencia, p.

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