:Trance and the Nomian

in Shamanic Trance in Modern Kabbalah

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780226282077
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226282060 | DOI:
:Trance and the Nomian

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This chapter argues that shamanic trance often seems in contexts of a markedly nomian nature. The Hasidic movement can be shown as a prime example of the intimate link between trance experience and nomian practice. The placement of trance within a graduated path explains the prevalence of the rabbinic ladder of ethical and nomian progression in Kabbalistic texts on trance. The nomian practice of immersion should be demonstrated as a crucial aspect of the daily mystical regimen of the central Hasidic figures, and that of other kabbalists, such as the Sephardic masters. It is immersion that differentiates the identity of the Hasidic path from antinomian mystical deviations such as Sabbateanism. The cultural determination of trance and other shamanic moments in mystical life reinforces the “contextual” school in the understanding of mystical experience, without negating the value of comparative study.

Keywords: shamanic trance; nomian; Hasidic movement; Kabbalistic texts; Hasidic figures; Sabbateanism; kabbalists

Chapter.  10105 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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