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Kabbalah in Italy, 1280-1510A Survey$
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Moshe Idel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780300126266

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300126266.001.0001

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Astromagical Pneumatic Anthropoids from Medieval Spain to Renaissance Italy

Astromagical Pneumatic Anthropoids from Medieval Spain to Renaissance Italy

(p.269) 21 Astromagical Pneumatic Anthropoids from Medieval Spain to Renaissance Italy
Kabbalah in Italy, 1280-1510

Moshe Idel

Yale University Press

This chapter shows that magic was part of many forms of Judaism for centuries despite attempts to attenuate it, especially in the philosophically-oriented circle leaning towards Maimonides's thought. Jewish magic in the first stages of Jewish mysticism, the Heikhalot literature and its reverberations, including its repercussions in southern Italy from the tenth to twelfth centuries, and in Ashkenazi esoteric literatures emphasized mainly the linguistic aspects of magic, namely letters, names, seals, prayers, and incantations. These strategies were conceived of as extensions of the divine creative speech and of the divine names. Other forms of magic, which were based upon a certain type of order in reality and which used nonlinguistic aspects of reality to operate, were less widely accepted in Judaism, although they, too, found a place in some medieval schools of Jewish thought.

Keywords:   magic, Maimonides, Jewish magic, linguistic aspects, divine creative speech, divine names

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