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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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Eschatological Themes and Divine Names in Abulafia's Kabbalah

Eschatological Themes and Divine Names in Abulafia's Kabbalah

(p.77) 6 Eschatological Themes and Divine Names in Abulafia's Kabbalah
Kabbalah in Italy, 1280-1510

Moshe Idel

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses Abulafia's focus on manipulations of language and divine names; he believed that redemption consisted in the application of the linguistic techniques on a much broader scale. The new age—historical or psychological—was to be ushered in, according to Abulafia's view of eschatology, by a change of names, both divine and human. The theme of the divine name as pivotal for the changes at the end of time is ubiquitous in Abulafia's writings. This chapter presents some examples that emphasize the importance of this theme. One of these is the Sefer ha-'Ot, probably the most apocalyptic among Abulafia's prophetic books. Here, the author conceives himself as the revealer of the great Tetragrammaton, apparently assumed to have been unknown beforehand. Elsewhere in the same book, the plene writing of the Tetragrammaton is sufficient for those who know how to attain a spiritual life for themselves, because it is the source of eternal life.

Keywords:   divine names, language, redemption, linguistic techniques, eschatology

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