Jewish mysticism can be quite a puzzle for the uninitiated. For example, does the term "mysticism" mean the same thing here as in other contexts?
Also, in what sense are the various phenomena that come under this heading really "Jewish"? In a thorough historical overview of the movements and trends in Jewish mysticism, Dutch scholar J.H. Laenen takes us step-by-step through the centuries of development to the present day, explaining how the various currents of tradition are related. We are introduced to Hekhaloth mysticism, classical Kabbalah, Lurianic Kabbalah and the messianism of Shabbetai Zevi, as well as Hasidism, and we are given explanations of the doctrine of the sefiroth, reincarnation, language mysticism, numerology, and symbolism.
Jewish Mysticism: An Introduction fills a long-standing gap in the available literature. Readers will find this accessible introduction reliably informed and authoritative. Avoiding the pitfalls common to other popular works in this fascinating field, it provides a thorough grounding in the subject and offers helpful pointers for further study.
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