By Moshe Idel
This sweeping survey of the historical past of Kabbalah in Italy represents a massive contribution from one of many world's optimum Kabbalah students. the 1st to concentration consciousness on a particular heart of Kabbalah, Moshe Idel charts the ways in which Kabbalistic concept and literature constructed in Italy and the way its distinct geographical scenario facilitated the coming of either Spanish and Byzantine Kabbalah.Idel analyzes the paintings of 3 significant Kabbalists—Abraham Abulafia, Menahem Recanati, and Yohanan Alemanno—who characterize assorted colleges of proposal: the ecstatic, the theosophical-theurgical, and the astromagical. Directing specific awareness to the interactions and tensions between those varieties of Jewish Kabbalah and the nascent Christian Kabbalah, Idel brings to mild the wealthy historical past of Kabbalah in Italy and the strong impact of this crucial middle at the emergence of Christian Kabbalah and eu occultism quite often.
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Extra info for Kabbalah in Italy, 1280-1510: A Survey
79 He converted from Judaism in 1481, made a career as a humanist, and became a ﬁgure in the Christian ecclesiastical hierarchy. ”85 Although he was one of the greatest experts in matters of Kabbalah in the ﬁfteenth century, Mithridates does not present Pythagoras here as having extracted his knowledge from Kabbalah; instead he sees the Jews as part of a more general religious agreement. However, what he did not say in 1481, before he began the translation projects that involved both Pythagoras and Kabbalah, became known among Jewish and Christian Kabbalists at the end of the 1480s, as seen above: Pythagoras was inspired by Kabbalists.
Shem Tov] nor his master [R. Moses]. And in Medinat Shalom [I had] two [students], one of them R. Shemuel the Prophet, who received from me a few traditions, and the second R. 8 This passage is unique not only in the kabbalistic literature, but also in the entire literature dealing with the dissemination of the Guide. No philosopher traveled so much and was continuously involved for so long in spreading the views of Maimonides. I assume that Abulaﬁa was involved in teaching the Guide for at least seven years, during which he composed three commentaries on this book in a wide range of places: Catalonia, Castile, Greece, Italy, and Sicily.
17 The combination between the philosophical description of prophecy in Aristotelian terms and the Ashkenazi techniques and mystical aims, which is a very complex and not always harmonious task, is the main achievement of Abulaﬁa as a mystical thinker. However, his studies of the Guide of the Perplexed took place in Capua, near Rome, with the Italian thinker R. 21 In proposing a synthesis between the views of the most important Jewish philosopher, who lived in Egypt, and some of the views of Hasidei Ashkenaz of northern Europe in order to create a form of Kabbalah, Abulaﬁa performed an audacious move that had scarcely any organic connection to prevailing Spanish visions of Kabbalah.