By Ithamar Gruenwald
It is a new and revised variation of the booklet first released 1980. It includes new introductory and concluding chapters in addition to a Bibliography and up to date Index. moreover, monstrous corrections, updates, and alterations were made within the unique textual content. The alterations hindrance concerns of language and magnificence, they nuance the road of argumentation, they usually replace the dialogue of significant concerns. the hot chapters fill a number of scholarly gaps that experience opened because the preliminary ebook of this booklet in 1980. the hot Introductory bankruptcy explores new venues and matters within the research and overview of the Hekhalot literature and proper passages in apocalyptic literature, and this in mild of epistemological and ontological issues. The Concluding bankruptcy discusses the ritual praxis of the adventure of the Hekhalot mystics and its affitnity to magic, and this by way of new ways to ritual conception.
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Extra resources for Apocalyptic and Merkavah Mysticism (2nd Edition)
40 chapter 1 G At this point, there is room for adding a new perspective to our discussion. I shall refer the reader to an example taken from Porphyry’s The Life of Plotinus. I do so because I think that details in The Life are relevant to the study of the Hekhalot hymns and their cultural dating. ”89 No details are given of the contents of the poem and its unique title “The Sacred Marriage”. The Hekhalot writings do not include any features that resemble a “sacred marriage”. However, Plotinus told Porphyry that he had shown himself “at once poet, philosopher, and expounder of sacred mysteries”.
In the context of Merkavah Mysticism, Shir Ha-Shirim (“The Song of Songs”) used to play a major role. See S. Lieberman in Appendix D (“Mishnat Shir Ha-Shirim”) in G. G. Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition (New York: The Jewish Theological Seminary of America [Second, Revised Edition, 1965]), pp. 118–126. See also the references to this issue in B. McGinn, The Foundations of Mysticism: Origins to the Fifth Century, Vol. I (New York: Crossroad, 1991), p. 21. I refer to this work, because it contains an impressive survey of methodological issues.
M. Kugel, “Topics in the History of Spirituality of the Psalm”, in A. ), Jewish Spirituality From the Bible Through the Middle Ages (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986), pp. 113–144. Among other things, one may find in Kugel’s study a balanced attempt to contextualize Mowinckel’s theory in modern research of The Book of Psalms. See the references to Davila and Morray-Jones above, footnote 56. 64 However, for practical reasons I shall skip a detailed discourse of this aspect of comparative study.