Language, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination by Elliot  R. WolfsonLanguage, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination by Elliot  R. Wolfson

Language, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination

byElliot R. Wolfson

Paperback | December 1, 2004

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This long-awaited, magisterial study-an unparalleled blend of philosophy, poetry, and philology-draws on theories of sexuality, phenomenology, comparative religion, philological writings on Kabbalah, Russian formalism, Wittgenstein, Rosenzweig, William Blake, and the very physics of the time-space continuum to establish what will surely be a highwater mark in work on Kabbalah. Not only a study of texts, Language, Eros, Being is perhaps the fullest confrontation of the body in Jewish studies, if not in religious studies as a whole.

Elliot R. Wolfson explores the complex gender symbolism that permeates Kabbalistic literature. Focusing on the nexus of asceticism and eroticism, he seeks to define the role of symbolic and poetically charged language in the erotically configured visionary imagination of the medieval Kabbalists. He demonstrates that the traditional Kabbalistic view of gender was a monolithic and androcentric one, in which the feminine was conceived as being derived from the masculine. He does not shrink from the negative implications of this doctrine, but seeks to make an honest acknowledgment of it as the first step toward the redemption of
an ancient wisdom.

Comparisons with other mystical traditions-including those in Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam-are a remarkable feature throughout the book. They will make it important well beyond Jewish studies, indeed, a must for historians of comparative religion, in particular of comparative mysticism.

Praise for Elliot R. Wolfson:
"Through a Speculum That Shines is an important and provocative contribution
to the study of Jewish mysticism by one of the major scholars now working in this field."-Speculum

Elliot R. Wolfson is the Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew Studies at New York University. This book is the sequel to Wolfson's award-winning Through a Speculum That Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism.
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Title:Language, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic ImaginationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:792 pages, 10.25 × 7.25 × 0.02 inPublished:December 1, 2004Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0823224198

ISBN - 13:9780823224197

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Editorial Reviews

Elliot Wolfson's new volume is massive in every respect: it is massive in scope, in intellectual reach, in methodological range, and in thematic sweep. Readers will be especially interested in his formulation of a poetics of Jewish mystical language, and in the new and strong articulation of his insights into the topics of gender and the dialectics of absence and presence in the sources. This is a major work that will certainly stimulate much discussion and interest.