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Mirror of His Beauty
Author: Peter Schafer

ISBN: 9780691119809
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 12 September 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9
Description:


In this beautifully realized study, Peter Schafer investigates the origins of a female manifestation of God in Jewish mysticism. The search itself is a fascinating exploration of the idea of a feminine divinity. And Schafer's surprising but persuasive conclusions yield deeper understanding of the complex but frequently intimate relationship between Christianity and Judaism--and of the development of religious concepts more generally.


Toward the end of the twelfth century, a small book titled the Bahir (Light) appeared in Provence. The first document of Judaism's emerging kabbalistic movement, it introduced a completely new view of God, one that included a divine potency that was essentially female. This female divinity was portrayed both as a mediator between Jews and God and as part of the Godhead itself. Examining Judaic history from the biblical Wisdom tradition to the Middle Ages, Schafer finds some precedents for the Kabbalah's feminine divinity. But he cannot account for her forceful appearance in twelfth-century southern France without reference to the immediate Christian environment, particularly the flourishing veneration of ...

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