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A History of Kabbalah
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Book description

Jonathan Garb's A History of Kabbalah: From the Early Modern Period to the Present Day is a lucid and sophisticated account of the multifaceted nature of Jewish mysticism, focusing on its development from the spiritual revolution that took place in Safed in the sixteenth century until the present. Opening the secrets of the kabbalah to a wider audience, Garb judiciously argued that how important the mystical and esoteric tradition has been in Jewish history and in the cultural and intellectual life of Europe more generally. One of the more methodologically innovative aspects of Garb's book is his contention that kabbalah became a major factor in the religious life of Jews in the modern age due to print and others forms of rapid communication, a process that has magnified significantly in recent years due to the digital revolution. Informative and provocative, A History of Kabbalah will surely be of interest to a wide readership.

Reviews

'While the study of Kabbalah in both scholarly and popular circles remains vibrant, until now there has not been a history of Modern Kabbalah stretching from the sixteenth century. With his usual deep learning, conceptual rigor, and lucidity, Jonathan Garb offers a broad and creative rendering of how Jewish Kabbalah developed from the Lurianic circle to New Age Religion and the late modern commodification of mysticism. Garb deftly navigates through the early period to draw out the threads that will become emblematic in modernity. A major contribution to the study of Kabbalah and the History of Religions more generally.'

Shaul Magid - Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College

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