Chapter

Hekhalot Literature and the Origins of Jewish Mysticism

PETER SCHÄFER

in Rabbinic Texts and the History of Late-Roman Palestine

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264744
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734663 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264744.003.0016

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Hekhalot Literature and the Origins of Jewish Mysticism

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This chapter examines the origins of Jewish mysticism and the Hekhalot liteature. The findings do not confirm the trend in modern scholarship which locates the origins of Jewish mysticism in the Qumran literature and wishes to see an unbroken chain of distinctly mystical ideas leading from Qumran through rabbinic Judaism to the Hekhalot literature. The result also suggests that the category of mysticism has proved to be a dubious one mainly because of scholars' tendency to insert the notion of unio mystica into the ancient texts.

Keywords: Jewish mysticism; Hekhalot literature; Qumran literature; rabbinic Judaism; unio mystica

Chapter.  6864 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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