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Concealment and Revelation: Esotericism in Jewish Thought and Its Philosophical Implications

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, great new trends of Jewish thought emerged whose widely varied representatives--Kabbalists, philosophers, and astrologers--each claimed that their particular understanding revealed the actual secret of the Torah. They presented their own readings in a coded fashion that has come to be regarded by many as the very essence of esotericism.Concealment and Revelationtakes us on a fascinating journey to the depths of the esoteric imagination. Carefully tracing the rise of esotericism and its function in medieval Jewish thought, Moshe Halbertal's richly detailed historical and cultural analysis gradually builds conceptual-philosophical force to culminate in a masterful phenomenological taxonomy of esotericism and its paradoxes. Among the questions addressed: What are the internal justifications that esoteric traditions provide for their own existence, especially in the Jewish world, in which the spread of knowledge was of great importance? How do esoteric teachings coexist with the revealed tradition, and what is the relationship between the various esoteric teachings that compete with that revealed tradition? Halbertal concludes that, through the medium of the concealed, Jewish thinkers integrated into the heart of the Jewish tradition diverse cultural influences such as Aristotelianism, Neoplatonism, and Hermeticisims. And the creation of an added concealed layer, unregulated and open-ended, became the source of the most daring and radical interpretations of the tradition.

Synopsis:

Moshe Halbertal is professor of philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, and the Gruss Professor at New York University Law School. He is the author of "People of the Book" and the coauthor (with Avishai Margalit) of "Idolatry".

Synopsis:

Carefully tracing the rise of esotericism and its function in medieval Jewish thought, Moshe Halbertal's richly detailed historical and cultural analysis gradually builds conceptual-philosophical force to culminate in a masterful phenomenological taxonomy of esotericism and its paradoxes.

Table of Contents

The paradox of esotericism : "and not on the chariot alone" — The hidden and the sublime : vision and restriction in the Bible and in the Talmudic literature — The ethics of vision : the attitude of early Jewish mysticism towards gazing at the chariot — Concealment and power : magic and esotericism in the hekhalot literature — Esotericism and commentary : Ibn Ezra and the exegetical layer — Concealment and heresy : astrology and the secret of the Torah — Double language and the divided public in the guide of the perplexed — The breaching of the limits of the esoteric : concealment and disclosure in Maimonidean esotericism — From transmission to writing : hinting, leaking and orthodoxy in early Kabbalah — Open knowledge and closed knowledge : the Kabbalists of Gerona Rabbi Azriel and Rabbi Yaakov Bar Sheshet — Tradition, closed knowledge and the esoteric : secrecy and hinting in Nahmanides' Kabbalah — From tradition to literature : Shem Tov Ibn Gaon and the critique of Kabbalistic literature — "The widening of the apertures of the showpiece" : Shmuel Ibn Tibon and the end of the era of esotericism — Esotericism, sermons and curricula : Ya'akov Anatoli and the dissemination of the secret — The ambivalence of secrecy : the dispute over philosophy in the early 14th century — Esotericism, discontent and co-existence — Taxonomy and paradoxes of esotericism : conceptual conclusion.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400827961
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Subject:
Religion : Philosophy
Translator:
Feldman, Jackie
Author:
Halbertal, Moshe
Author:
Moshe Halbertal
Subject:
Jewish studies
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Mysticism
Subject:
Judaism
Subject:
Judaism - Rituals & Practice
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Cabala -- History.
Subject:
Mysticism -- Judaism.
Subject:
Judaism-Rituals and Practice
Subject:
Religion Eastern-Philosophy General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Subject:
Social Science : Jewish Studies
Publication Date:
August 2007
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » Jewish Studies
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Philosophy General
Religion » Judaism » History
Religion » Judaism » Kabbalah and Mysticism
Religion » Judaism » Rituals and Practice
Religion » Judaism » Sacred Writings

Concealment and Revelation: Esotericism in Jewish Thought and Its Philosophical Implications
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Product details pages Princeton University Press - English 9781400827961 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Moshe Halbertal is professor of philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, and the Gruss Professor at New York University Law School. He is the author of "People of the Book" and the coauthor (with Avishai Margalit) of "Idolatry".
"Synopsis" by , Carefully tracing the rise of esotericism and its function in medieval Jewish thought, Moshe Halbertal's richly detailed historical and cultural analysis gradually builds conceptual-philosophical force to culminate in a masterful phenomenological taxonomy of esotericism and its paradoxes.
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