From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala
From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala

From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala

by Shaul Magid

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In From Metaphysics to Midrash, Shaul Magid explores the exegetical tradition of Isaac Luria and his followers within the historical context in 16th-century Safed, a unique community that brought practitioners of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam into close contact with one another. Luria's scripture became a theater in which kabbalists redrew boundaries of difference in areas of ethnicity, gender, and the human relation to the divine. Magid investigates how cultural influences altered scriptural exegesis of Lurianic Kabbala in its philosophical, hermeneutical, and historical perspectives. He suggests that Luria and his followers were far from cloistered. They used their considerable skills to weigh in on important matters of the day, offering, at times, some surprising solutions to perennial theological problems.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253000378
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 07/09/2008
Series: Indiana Series in Biblical Literature
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Shaul Magid is Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Chair in Jewish Studies and Professor in Religious Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
List of Abbreviations     xi
Introduction: Kabbala, New Historicism, and the Question of Boundaries     1
The Lurianic Myth: A Playbill     16
Genesis: "And Adam's Sin Was (Very) Great": Original Sin in Lurianic Exegesis     34
Exodus: The "Other" Israel: The 'Erev Rav (Mixed Multitude) as Conversos     75
Leviticus: The Sin of Becoming a Woman: Male Homosexuality and the Castration Complex     111
Numbers: Balaam, Moses, and the Prophecy of the "Other": A Lurianic Vision for the Erasure of Difference     143
Deuteronomy: The Human and/as God: Divine Incarnation and the "Image of God"     196
Conclusion     222
Notes     229
Bibliography     321
Index     347

What People are Saying About This

Jewish Theological Seminary - Alan Cooper

A pioneering foray into Lurianic biblical exegesis; nothing like it has been attempted in English before.

New York University - Elliot R. Wolfson

Shaul Magid's From Metaphysics to Midrash is a theoretically sophisticated and textually nuanced exploration of what is unquestionably the most complex body of Jewish mystical literature. . . . The author is to be congratulated for producing a study of a 16th—century phenomenon that will resonate deeply with scholars who have explored the issues of alterity, identity and difference, gender construction, and the problem of embodiment.

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