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Essential Papers on Kabbalah (Essential Papers on Jewish Studies)by Lawrence Fine
Synopses & Reviews
As recently as 1915, when the legendary scholar of Jewish mysticism Gershom Scholem sought to find someone—anyone—to teach him Kabbalah, the study of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah was largely neglected and treated with disdain. Today, this field has ripened to the point that it occupies a central place in the agenda of contemporary Judaic studies.
While there are many definitions of Kabbalah, this volume focuses on the discrete body of literature which developed between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries. The basis for most of this kabbalistic literature is the concept of the ten sefirot, the complex schema depicting the divine persona, and speculation about the inner life of God. It maintains the conviction that all human action reverberates in the world of the sefirot, and thus influences the life of divinity. Proper action helps to restore harmony and unity to the world of God, while improper action reinforces the breach within God brought about originally through human transgression.
Collected here in one volume are some of the most central essays published on the subject. The selections provide the reader with a sense of the historical range of Kabbalah, as well as examples of various kinds of approaches, including those of intellectual and social history, history and phenomenology of religions, motif studies, ritual studies, and women's studies. Sections discuss mystical motifs and theological ideas, mystical leadership and personalities, and devotional practices and mystical experiences.
Book News Annotation:
Concentrating on the theosophical/theurgical trend of Kabbalah, 15 essays, reprinted from academic journals and often translated from Hebrew, examine the body of literature that grew up between the 12th and 18th centuries from several approaches. They cover mystical motifs and theological ideas, mystical leadership and personalities, and devotional practices and mystical experience.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A flurry of best-selling works has recently urged us to rescue and protect boys. They have described how boys are failing at school, acting out, or shutting down emotionally. Lost in much of the ensuing public conversation are the boys themselves—the texture of their lives and the ways in which they resist stereotypical representations of them.
Most of this work on boys is based primarily on middle class, white boys. Yet boys from poor and working class families as well as those from African American, Latino, and Asian American backgrounds need to be understood in their own terms and not just as a contrast to white or middle class boys. Adolescent Boys brings together the most up-to-date empirical research focused on understanding the development of boys from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The authors show how the contexts of boys' lives, such as the schools they attend shape their identities and relationships. The research in this book will help professionals and parents understand the diversity and richness of boys' experiences.
While there are many definitions of Kabbalah, this volume focuses on the discrete body of literature that developed between the 12th and 17th centuries. Collected here in one volume are some of the most central essays published on the subject, which provide the reader with a sense of the historical range of Kabbalah, as well as examples of recent approaches.
About the Author
Lawrence Fineis the Irene Kaplan Leiwant Chair of Jewish Studies at Mount Holyoke College.
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