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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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Ecstatic Kabbalah as an Experiential Lore

Ecstatic Kabbalah as an Experiential Lore

(p.52) 4 Ecstatic Kabbalah as an Experiential Lore
Kabbalah in Italy, 1280-1510

Moshe Idel

Yale University Press

This chapter describes how some modern scholars have focused their attention on theosophical-theurgical Kabbalah, a preeminently Spanish type of Kabbalah, and how they have pointed out the “casuistical” nature of Kabbalah as a whole. Part of this evaluation has to do with the marginalization of Abulafia's Kabbalah in the scholarship after the mid-1950s, despite Gershom Scholem's characterization of ecstatic Kabbalah as a major trend. This marginalization is part of a larger phenomenon that can be described as a more theological approach to Kabbalah, which was conceived of more as a speculative system than as a full-fledged form of mysticism. This trend especially affected the writings of Abulafia, some of which were dedicated to describing mystical techniques.

Keywords:   modern scholars, theosophical-theurgical Kabbalah, casuistical nature, Abulafia, ecstatic Kabbalah

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