Absorbing Perfections. Kabbalah and Interpretation by Moshe Idel
By Moshe Idel
In this wide-ranging dialogue of Kabbalah -- from the magical traits of medieval Judaism to trendy Hasidism -- one of many world's most desirable students considers diverse visions of the character of the sacred textual content and of the the right way to interpret it.
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The recognition of Kabbalah, a Jewish mystical circulation no less than 900 years outdated, has grown astonishingly in the context of the massive and ever-expanding social circulate usually known as the hot Age. This booklet is the 1st to supply a huge review of the most important developments in modern Kabbalah including in-depth discussions of significant figures and colleges.
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Extra resources for Absorbing Perfections. Kabbalah and Interpretation
Most of the works mentioned above are themselves attempts to explain, allude to, or extract secrets from the Bible, or at least to hint at their existence without revealing them, as in the case of Nahmanides. Thus, two forms of arcanization may be discerned. The primary one, which created new classics, is based on the belief that the Bible hides some secrets; however, since the medieval classics that proposed the arcane understanding of the canonical texts themselves resorted to allusive literary strategies, a second move becomes necessary, one which consists in a huge series of supercommentaries attempting to decode those secrets by elaborating on the hints included in the former writings.
The other main type of arcanization, represented by philosophical understandings of the canonical texts and the corresponding allegorical method, will involve us only tangentially, to the extent that it has been absorbed in Kabbalistic hermeneutics. The following discussions, I should like to make clear, attempt to describe hermeneutical developments in a fairly well-defined literary corpus. They do not make any ontological claims as to the nature of text in general, as some forms of philosophy of text strive for, nor do they make claims as to the structure of exegetical methods as such, as modern hermeneutics does from time to time.
The scholarly effort, which is naturally inclined to pinpoint meanings, is often thwarted by the fluidity of the interpreted texts, by the inner experiences that may reflect altered states of consciousness, or by descriptions of the dynamic nature of the divine, angelic, or demonic worlds. A very creative hermeneutical approach to the sacred texts, which are reinterpreted time and again by the same mystic in new ways, is not a good prescription for the belief in a stability of meanings in the mystical texts under scrutiny below.