Time and eternity are concepts that have occupied an important place within Jewish mystical thought. This present volume gives pride of place to these concepts, and is one of the first works to bring together diverse voices on the subject. It offers a multivalent picture of the topic of time and eternity, not only by including contributions from an array of academics who are leaders in their fields, but by proposing six diverse approaches to time and eternity in Jewish mysticism: the theoretical approach to temporality, philosophical definitions, the idea of time and pre-existence, the idea of historical time, the idea of experiential time, and finally, the idea of eternity beyond time. This multivocal treatment of Jewish mysticism and time as based on variant academic approaches is novel, and it should lay the groundwork for further discussion and exploration.
Brian Ogren is the Anna Smith Fine Assistant Professor of Judaism in the Religion Department at Rice University. He has published widely on Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah, including Renaissance and Rebirth: Reincarnation in Early Modern Italian Kabbalah (Brill, 2009).
List of Contributors
Introduction Brian Ogren PART ONE: SETTING THE THEORETICAL STAGE
Retroactive Not Yet: Linear Circularity and Kabbalistic Temporality, Elliot R. Wolfson PART TWO: PHILOSOPHICAL DEFINITIONS OF MYSTICAL TIME
Neoplatonic Time in Isaac Israeli: On the Beginning of the End of Love [as the Beginning of the Beginning of Love], Sarah Pessin Solomon Maimon’s Philosophical Exegesis of Mystical Representations of Time and Temporal Consciousness, Dustin N. Atlas PART THREE: ON TIME AND PRE-EXISTENCE
Chaotic Beginnings: Yohanan Alemanno on the Time of Creation, Brian Ogren The Case of Jewish Arianism: The Pre-existence of the Zaddik in Early Hasidism, Shaul Magid PART FOUR: HISTORICAL TIME
The Ritualization of Messianic Time in Early Jewish Mysticism: The Apocalypse of Abraham as a Test Case, Andrei A. Orlov The Notion of Time as History in Kabbalistic Treatises from Renaissance Italy, Fabrizio Lelli The Mitnagdim and the Rabbinic Era as the Age of Reason, Eliyahu Stern PART FIVE: EXPERIENTIAL SOUL TIME
Soul Time in Modern Kabbalah, Jonathan Garb Time, Eternity and Mystical Experience in Kabbalah, Adam Afterman PART SIX: CONCLUSION BEYOND TIME
“Higher than Time”: Observations on Some Concepts of Time in Kabbalah and Hasidism, Moshe Idel Bibliography
All interested in Jewish mysticism and esotericism, and all interested in Jewish treatments of the philosophical, historical and phenomenological topics of time and eternity.