Ben: Sonship and Jewish Mysticism

Sonship and Jewish Mysticism

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“Moshe Idel increasingly is seen as having achieved the eminence of Gershom Scholem in the study of Jewish mysticism. Ben, his book on the concept of sonship in Kabbalah, is an extraordinary work of scholarship and imaginative surmise. If an intellectual Judaism is to survive, then Idel becomes essential reading, whatever your own spiritual allegiances.”-Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities, Yale University While many aspects of sonship have been analyzed in books on Judaism, this book, Moshe Idel’s magnum opus, constitutes the first attempt to address the category of sonship in Jewish mystical literature as a whole. Idel’s aim is to point out the many instances where Jewish thinkers resorted to concepts of sonship and their conceptual backgrounds, and thus to show the existence of a wide variety of understandings of hypostatic sons in Judaism. Through this survey, not only can the mystical forms of sonship in Judaism be better understood, but the concept of sonship in religion in general can also be enriched.

“Moshe Idel increasingly is seen as having achieved the eminence of Gershom Scholem in the study of Jewish mysticism. Ben, his book on the concept of Sonship in Kabbalah, is an extraordinary work of scholarship and imaginative surmise. If an intellectual Judaism is to survive, then Idel becomes essential reading, whatever your own spiritual allegiances.”
Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities, Yale University, USA

“With impressive scholarship and penetrating insight Moshe Idel, the foremost expert on Jewish mysticism, has excavated a long-neglected dimension of Jewish mysticism: the theme of divine sonship. Ranging from the Hebrew Bible to Freud and beyond, Idel’s monumental work analyzes the distinctive character of Jewish mystical ideas of sonship, as well as their relation to Christian understandings of the incarnational sonship of Jesus. Ben: Sonship and Jewish Mysticism is a tour-de-force of intellectual history, important for both the story of Jewish mysticism and for inter-religious dialogue.”
Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus, Divinity School, University of Chicago, USA