By Ithamar Gruenwald
This can be a new and revised version of the ebook first released 1980. It comprises new introductory and concluding chapters in addition to a Bibliography and up to date Index. in addition, immense corrections, updates, and adjustments were made within the unique textual content. The alterations hindrance concerns of language and magnificence, they nuance the road of argumentation, they usually replace the dialogue of significant matters. the hot chapters fill a number of scholarly gaps that experience opened because the preliminary ebook of this publication in 1980. the recent Introductory bankruptcy explores new venues and concerns within the learn and evaluation of the Hekhalot literature and proper passages in apocalyptic literature, and this in mild of epistemological and ontological concerns. The Concluding bankruptcy discusses the ritual praxis of the event of the Hekhalot mystics and its affitnity to magic, and this when it comes to new techniques to ritual conception.
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Additional resources for Apocalyptic and Merkavah Mysticism (2nd Edition)
Two factors, which cast light on the religious background of the Hekhalot literature and its hymnic components still have to be brought to the foreground. They are (a) the “cultic songs of praise” ritually performed in the context of what Sigmund Mowinckel called “Enthronement Psalms”,62 and (b) recent studies in religious techniques used in entering alternate states of consciousness. 63 There 61 62 63 enactment of the “shem‘a” prayer. It is clearly preferred to a silent meditation on the words.
Dodds concerning old Greek poetry holds special relevance in this connection. ”37 In a wider sense, the view that the prophetic vision is “given” is the ultimate guarantee of the truth contained in it. Matters may therefore be different in the case of procured visionary experiences known from apocalyptic and particularly the Hekhalot literature. When visionaries engage in a ritual that initiates them into their respective experiences, they move, in the terms used by Dodds, from the “given” to the “chosen”.
E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964), p. 80. G. W. Bowersock, Fiction as History: Nero to Julian (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), p. 77. The Quest for the Mystical Reality 21 used in Bowersock’s characterization requires qualification. In the first place, it signifies the physical environment and the ways of life routinely experienced by the dreamer. For those working in the field of psychodynamics or psychoanalysis, it is the emotional inventory of mostly suppressed experiences.