Kabbalah and Eros

Moshe Idel

View Inside Price: $69.00


August 22, 2005
384 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300108323
Cloth

In this book, the world’s foremost scholar of Kabbalah explores the understanding of erotic love in Jewish mystical thought. Encompassing Jewish mystical literatures from those of late antiquity to works of Polish Hasidism, Moshe Idel highlights the diversity of Kabbalistic views on eros and distinguishes between the major forms of eroticism.

The author traces the main developments of a religious formula that reflects the union between a masculine divine attribute and a feminine divine attribute, and he asks why such an “erotic formula” was incorporated into the Jewish prayer book. Idel shows how Kabbalistic literature was influenced not only by rabbinic literature but also by Greek thought that helped introduce a wider understanding of eros. Addressing topics ranging from cosmic eros and androgyneity to the affinity between C. J. Jung and Kabbalah to feminist thought, Idel’s deeply learned study will be of consuming interest to scholars of religion, Judaism, and feminism.

MOSHE IDEL is Max Cooper Professor of Jewish Thought, Hebrew University, and senior researcher at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem. He is the author of Absorbing Perfections (winner of the Koret Prize for Jewish Thought), Kabbalah, and Messianic Mystics, all published by Yale University Press.

"Idel, with the brilliance and learning we have come to expect, has illuminated what went into 'the culture of eros' among a large cast of rabbbinic and kabbalistic authors. His book makes for surprising and fascinating reading."—Geoffrey Hartman, Yale University

"This is another masterful study by Idel that all libraries serving religion and Judaica programs need to purchase. Highly recommended."—Choice

Finalist for the 2005 National Jewish Book Awards in the Scholarship category given by the Jewish Book Council
Kabbalah
New Perspectives

Moshe Idel

View details
Absorbing Perfections
Kabbalah and Interpretation

Moshe Idel; Foreword by Harold Bloom

View details
Kabbalah
A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences

Shahar Arzy and Moshe Idel

View details