Messianic Mystics

Messianic Mystics

by Moshe Idel
     
 

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In this book, one of the world's leading scholars of Jewish thought examines the long tradition of Jewish messianism and mystical experience. Moshe Idel calls upon his profound knowledge of ancient and medieval texts and of Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Eastern sources to uncover new perspectives on the nature and development of Jewish messianism. He shows that,… See more details below

Overview

In this book, one of the world's leading scholars of Jewish thought examines the long tradition of Jewish messianism and mystical experience. Moshe Idel calls upon his profound knowledge of ancient and medieval texts and of Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Eastern sources to uncover new perspectives on the nature and development of Jewish messianism. He shows that, contrary to Gershom Scholem's view that mysticism and messianism are incompatible religious tendencies, they are in fact closely related spiritual phenomena. Messianism regularly emerges from mystical experiences, Idel contends.

Editorial Reviews

John Dorfman
[An] arresting new study, Moshe Idel argues that messianism deserves a central place in Jewish intellectual history. More than that, he insists that there are close ties between messianism and the Kabbalah. -- Lingua Franca Book Review
Library Journal
This relatively compact book covers the spectrum of Jewish mystic tradition, from pre-Kabbalistic messianism to some of its modern reverberations. After Gershom Scholem's Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (Schocken, 1995. reprint), this is the next all-embracing critical compendium. The author does not repeat Scholem's work but rather gives his own approach to every period and teaching. The book is highly innovative, reworking the structure of Jewish mysticism in its relations to history and philosophy. Idel (Jewish thought, Hebrew Univ.; Kabbalah: New Perspectives, LJ 3/1/88) shows the steps in the development of mystic traditions, sometimes completely overturning Scholem's ideas. Though writing at a high academic level, Idel uses clear and popular language; he doesn't overload the book with technicalities in describing the essence and meaning of the teachings. Highly recommended for both general and specialized collections; suitable for beginners in Jewish studies as well as readers already familiar with Jewish mysticism.--Hayim Y. Sheynin, Gratz Coll. Lib., Melrose Park, PA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300068405
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
11/28/1998
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

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David Ruderman
Messianic Mystics offers a refreshingly novel perspective on a fundamental theme of Jewish thought and historical experience.

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