Kabbalah and Eros Moshe Idel

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
22 Aug 2005
ISBN:
9780300108323
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
384 pages: 235 x 156mm

In this book, the world’s foremost scholar of Kabbalah explores the understanding of erotic love in Jewish mystical thought. Encompassing Jewish mystical literatures from those of late antiquity to works of Polish Hasidism, Moshe Idel highlights the diversity of Kabbalistic views on eros and distinguishes between the major forms of eroticism.

The author traces the main developments of a religious formula that reflects the union between a masculine divine attribute and a feminine divine attribute, and he asks why such an “erotic formula” was incorporated into the Jewish prayer book. Idel shows how Kabbalistic literature was influenced not only by rabbinic literature but also by Greek thought that helped introduce a wider understanding of eros. Addressing topics ranging from cosmic eros and androgyneity to the affinity between C. J. Jung and Kabbalah to feminist thought, Idel’s deeply learned study will be of consuming interest to scholars of religion, Judaism, and feminism.

MOSHE IDEL is Max Cooper Professor of Jewish Thought, Hebrew University, and senior researcher at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem. He is the author of Absorbing Perfections (winner of the Koret Prize for Jewish Thought), Kabbalah, and Messianic Mystics, all published by Yale University Press.

'...brilliant...' - Jeremy Adler,