Language, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination

Language, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination

by Elliot R. Wolfson
     
 

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This long-awaited, magisterial study-an unparalleled blend of philosophy, poetry, and philology-draws on theories of sexuality, phenomenology, comparative religion, philological writings on Kabbalah, Russian formalism, Wittgenstein, Rosenzweig, William Blake, and the very physics of the time-space continuum to establish what will surely be a highwater mark in work on…  See more details below

Overview

This long-awaited, magisterial study-an unparalleled blend of philosophy, poetry, and philology-draws on theories of sexuality, phenomenology, comparative religion, philological writings on Kabbalah, Russian formalism, Wittgenstein, Rosenzweig, William Blake, and the very physics of the time-space continuum to establish what will surely be a highwater mark in work on Kabbalah. Not only a study of texts, Language, Eros, Being is perhaps the fullest confrontation of the body in Jewish studies, if not in religious studies as a whole.Elliot R. Wolfson explores the complex gender symbolism that permeates Kabbalistic literature. Focusing on the nexus of asceticism and eroticism, he seeks to define the role of symbolic and poetically charged language in the erotically configured visionary imagination of the medieval Kabbalists. He demonstrates that the traditional Kabbalistic view of gender was a monolithic and androcentric one, in which the feminine was conceived as being derived from the masculine. He does not shrink from the negative implications of this doctrine, but seeks to make an honest acknowledgment of it as the first step toward the redemption of an ancient wisdom.Comparisons with other mystical traditions-including those in Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam-are a remarkable feature throughout the book. They will make it important well beyond Jewish studies, indeed, a must for historians of comparative religion, in particular of comparative mysticism.Praise for Elliot R. Wolfson:Through a Speculum That Shines is an important and provocative contribution to the study of Jewish mysticism by one of the major scholars now working in this field.-Speculum

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823224203
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
Publication date:
08/25/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
792
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

ELLIOT R.WOLFSON is the Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. Among Wolfson's many books, Fordham has published Language, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination, winner of the 2005 National Jewish Book Award for Scholarship. Wolfson had earlier won this award, as well as the American Academy of Religion Award for the Best Book in category of Historical Studies, for his Through a Speculum That Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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