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Re: What is the definition of a Gnostic Jew?

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  • ernststrohregenmantelrad
    ... Scholem s book is indeed Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism and Talmudic Tradition. There also a chapter on Jewish Gnosticism in his Major Trends
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 24, 2003
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Terje Bergersen" <terje@b...>
      wrote:

      > I think it is _Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah, Mysticism and
      > Talmudic Tradition_ (KTAV Publishing House; ; (June 1986))
      > you mean. I remember reading it many years ago,
      > to me personally it was somewhat of an disappointment. You see,
      > the evidence for a tradition of the Merkabah, seen with sobriety and
      > an amount of guarded enthusiasm - which is the trademark of Scholem,
      > by the way (which is why a lot of the esoterics just ignore his
      > contributions on the theme of Merkabah and Kabbalah)...

      Scholem's book is indeed "Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism and
      Talmudic Tradition." There also a chapter on 'Jewish Gnosticism" in
      his
      "Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism and Encyclopaedia Judaica. Take
      note,
      however, that the term "Jewish" Gnosticism is a missnormer termed by
      Scholem that the recent scholarship since Scholem has more or less
      came to conclusion that there wern't really historical connection (up
      to
      date) between Gnosticism and Hehalot and Merkabah and that Scholem
      named Merkabah and Hehalot as "gnostic" only due to simmiar *
      topological* characteristics. More up to date infomation could be
      obtain
      by works of Itmar Gruenwald who is more in line with Scholem's thesis
      and
      Joseph Dan who is less. Both men are so called successor to Scholem
      (along with Moshe Idel) in Hebrew University.

      > Anyways, I find the speculatios,exegesis and practices associated
      > with the Lurian tradition of Kabbalah
      > (http://www.kheper.net/topics/Kabbalah/LurianicKabbalah.htm)
      > more "gnostic" than the suggested
      > predecessors of Kabbalah.

      Is there a "historical" connection there? Lunianic Kabbalah does
      looks
      "typologically" more "gnostic"; however, can we rightly call it as
      "gnostic' just based upon the typology? We are after all dealing with
      the
      different traditions here.

      Cabala,Qaballah etc. is non-jewish and born
      > out of early renaissance usage of the term in connection with
      Christian
      > neo-platonists and scholastics attempts at proving the primacy of
      Christ
      > with the help of the canonical Old Testament and its language,
      Hebrew.
      > A few of them bothered to learn Kabbalistical terminology, some
      > methodology and fewer still actually studied it under Hebrew
      masters.
      >


      Cabala is mainly the term used by Renaissance Hermetists such as Pico
      della Mirandora. Qabala is the term used by Post-Englightement
      Occultists such as those of the Golden Dawn. It is true that these
      people
      doesn't know the "Jewish" (so one would say "real" ) Kabbalah much
      less
      the Hebrew language (although some Renaissance humanists knew
      Hebrew) and Jewish legends and customs (which one must know in order
      to study Kabbah propery) It is so called Cabala Chratienne where
      Godhead
      is explained in Trinity. On the side note some Cabalists did use it
      to
      persuade some Jews to join Christianity and some Jewish converts did
      bring in Kabbalastic elements into Christianity (especially
      Frankists)
      Qabala, on the other hand is secularized Christian Cabala so it is
      devoid of
      its original concept. Many New Agers when they speak of "Qabala' it
      is
      this one.
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