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The Convergence of Judaism and IslamReligious, Scientific, and Cultural Dimensions$
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Michael M. Laskier and Yaacov Lev

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036496

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036496.001.0001

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Jewish Mysticism in the Lands of the Ishmaelites

Jewish Mysticism in the Lands of the Ishmaelites

A Re-Orientation

Chapter:
(p.147) 9 Jewish Mysticism in the Lands of the Ishmaelites
Source:
The Convergence of Judaism and Islam
Author(s):

Ronald C. Kiener

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813036496.003.0009

This chapter is an attempt to rewrite the history of Jewish mysticism by examining its geographical origins and focusing on its medieval and premodern manifestations. It is also an effort to wrest the account of Jewish mysticism from its Eurocentric focus and place it instead in the context of Islamic culture. The chapter elaborates at length on the ways in which Islamic culture helped shape mysticism among the Jews beginning in ninth-century Baghdad and continuing with such currents as the Sufi-tinged Jewish pietist movement of thirteenth-century medieval Egypt, the ecstatic Kabbalah movement founded by Abraham Abulafia, and the origins of the so-called Spanish Kabbalah. The main thesis here is that based on recent research the centrality of Islamic culture cannot be ignored in developing a historical account of the evolution of Jewish mysticism.

Keywords:   mysticism, Kabalah, Sefer ha-Zohar, Hadith, Tafsir, Sufi, Maimonides, Abulafia

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