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AR21 Major Trends in Ashkenazi Kabbalah

With the mystical movement of Hasidei Ashkenaz from 1150 to 1250, spearheaded by the Kalonymus family of the French and German Rhineland, Kabbalah became a vital preoccupation of Ashkenazi rabbis. Various trends in Jewish mysticism was developed by the sages of Provence and Languedoc in southern France in the latter 1100s, and the school of Isaac the Blind (12th cent.), etc.. The Maharal of Prague and the Shelah HaKadosh of Prague (16th cent.) translated kabbalistic ideas into more exoteric language. And with the Baal Shem Tov (18th cent.), Hasidism became a major populist movement grounded in Kabbalistic language and ideas. This course takes up major themes in Ashkenazi kabbalistic literature, considers their impact on the daily life of European Jews, and also examines the way that kabbalistic ideas influenced various Christian thinkers like Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and other since the Italian Renaissance.

Course Specifications
Type: Elective
Lesson type: Lecture
Hours: 28 (5 credits)
Requirement: 1 essay
Instructor: Prof. ELLIOT R. WOLFSON
Status: The course will be available in 2024.
Course Readings1
  Scholem Gershom, The Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (Schocken, 1941)