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Through a Speculum That Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism
     

Through a Speculum That Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism

by Elliot R. Wolfson
 
A comprehensive treatment of visionary experience in some of the main texts of Jewish mysticism, this book reveals the overwhelmingly visual nature of religious experience in Jewish spirituality from antiquity through the late Middle Ages. Using phenomenological and critical historical tools, Elliot Wolfson examines Jewish mystical texts from late antiquity,

Overview

A comprehensive treatment of visionary experience in some of the main texts of Jewish mysticism, this book reveals the overwhelmingly visual nature of religious experience in Jewish spirituality from antiquity through the late Middle Ages. Using phenomenological and critical historical tools, Elliot Wolfson examines Jewish mystical texts from late antiquity, pre-kabbalistic sources from the tenth to the twelfth centuries, and twelfth- and thirteenth- century kabbalistic literature."Massive, magisterial.... Wolfson has amassed an impressive array of texts to establish the foundational importance of seeing God for Jewish mysticism ... and his book formulates many questions that will undoubtedly occupy subsequent investigators as they grapple with the significance of its findings.... This book comprises a manifold contribution to our appreciation of Jewish mysticism and Jewish intellectual history in the Middle Ages."--Jeremy Cohen, American Historical Review"Energy and excitement ... burst forth from page after page of this remarkably wide-ranging yet tightly argued work.... Wolfson's work is scholarship in the grand tradition--sweeping in scope and references, precise in analysis and argumentation."--Everett Gendler, Theological Studies

Editorial Reviews

Jewish Book World
The impressive study explores the mystical texts and demonstrates that there is an intrinsic visual aspect to religious experience from pre-kabbalistic sources through thirteenth century kabbalistic literature.
American Historical Review
Massive, magisterial. . . . Wolfson has amassed an impressive array of texts to establish the foundational importance of seeing God for Jewish mysticism . . . and his book formulates many questions that will undoubtedly occupy subsequent investigators as they grapple with the significance of its findings. . . . This book comprises a manifold contribution to our appreciation of Jewish mysticism and Jewish intellectual history in the Middle Ages.
— Jeremy Cohen
Menorah Review
A learned, authoritative and scrupulously documented study of visionary experiences among medieval Jewish prophets and mystics.
— Earle J. Coleman
Choice
Arguing that kabalistic experience is first and foremost a visual rather than an aural experience . . . Wolfson traces the subject in rich detail, from its biblical origins through the mystical sources of the talmudic and posttalmudic era. . . . With the publication of this major study, Wolfson has confirmed his position as one of the leading students of medieval Jewish mysticism.
Theological Studies
Energy and excitement . . . burst forth from page after page of this remarkably wide-ranging yet tightly argued work. . . . Wolfson's work is scholarship in the grand tradition—sweeping in scope and references, precise in analysis and argumentation.
— Everett Gendler
American Historical Review - Jeremy Cohen
Massive, magisterial. . . . Wolfson has amassed an impressive array of texts to establish the foundational importance of seeing God for Jewish mysticism . . . and his book formulates many questions that will undoubtedly occupy subsequent investigators as they grapple with the significance of its findings. . . . This book comprises a manifold contribution to our appreciation of Jewish mysticism and Jewish intellectual history in the Middle Ages.
Theological Studies - Everett Gendler
Energy and excitement . . . burst forth from page after page of this remarkably wide-ranging yet tightly argued work. . . . Wolfson's work is scholarship in the grand tradition—sweeping in scope and references, precise in analysis and argumentation.
Menorah Review - Earle J. Coleman
A learned, authoritative and scrupulously documented study of visionary experiences among medieval Jewish prophets and mystics.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 1995 Sarah H. and Julius Kushner Award, National Jewish Book Council

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1995

Winner of the 1994 Excellence in Book Publishing Award, American Academy of Religion

"Massive, magisterial. . . . Wolfson has amassed an impressive array of texts to establish the foundational importance of seeing God for Jewish mysticism . . . and his book formulates many questions that will undoubtedly occupy subsequent investigators as they grapple with the significance of its findings. . . . This book comprises a manifold contribution to our appreciation of Jewish mysticism and Jewish intellectual history in the Middle Ages."—Jeremy Cohen,American Historical Review

"Energy and excitement . . . burst forth from page after page of this remarkably wide-ranging yet tightly argued work. . . . Wolfson's work is scholarship in the grand tradition—sweeping in scope and references, precise in analysis and argumentation."—Everett Gendler, Theological Studies

"A learned, authoritative and scrupulously documented study of visionary experiences among medieval Jewish prophets and mystics."—Earle J. Coleman, Menorah Review

"Arguing that kabalistic experience is first and foremost a visual rather than an aural experience . . . Wolfson traces the subject in rich detail, from its biblical origins through the mystical sources of the talmudic and posttalmudic era. . . . With the publication of this major study, Wolfson has confirmed his position as one of the leading students of medieval Jewish mysticism."Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691073439
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/29/1994
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
9.45(w) x 6.30(h) x (d)

What People are Saying About This

Elliot Ginsburg
The book is a dazzling accomplishment, a landmark study from one of our most gifted scholars.
Elliot Ginsburg, University of Michigan

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