By Diana Lobel

ISBN-10: 0791444511

ISBN-13: 9780791444511

A revealing research of this crucial medieval Jewish poet and his relation to Islamic concept. Judah Ha-Levi (1075-1141), a medieval Jewish poet, mystic, and complex critic of the rationalistic culture in Judaism, is the point of interest of this ground-breaking learn. Diana Lobel examines his influential philosophical discussion, Sefer ha-Kuzari, written in Arabic and later translated into Hebrew, which broke spiritual and philosophical conference by way of infusing Sufi phrases for non secular event with a brand new Jewish theological imaginative and prescient. Intellectually enticing, transparent, and available, among Mysticism and Philosophy is an essential source for a person attracted to the intertwined worlds of Jewish and Islamic philosophy, faith, and tradition.

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Extra resources for Between Mysticism and Philosophy: Sufi Language of Religious Experience in Judah Ha-Levi's Kuzari (S U N Y Series in Jewish Philosophy)

Example text

It is both thinker and thought12 . . 14 Avicenna’s language of union cannot be wholly ascribed to NeoPlatonic philosophy, however. He and other medieval thinkers were also seeking to make sense of claims to religious experience by Sufis in their midst. Avicenna devotes a section of his Book of Directives and Remarks (Kit a¯ b al-ish¯ar¯at wa-l-tanb¯ıh¯at) to a phenomenological description of the path of the Sufis. 15 The fact that there was already an ecstatic component to the philosophical model of ittiÓsa¯ l, and that the term was current in medieval Neo-Platonic texts, solidified the bridge to Sufi thought.

He therefore makes intellectual perfection, rather than mystical union, the goal of his quest. 26 Part One Moral virtues are crucial for the philosophical path, Ha-Levi’s philosopher teaches, both as an aid to intellectual perfection and as a fruit of union with the Active Intellect. The philosopher’s moral vocabulary also carries Sufi overtones; he associates the philosophical path of moderation (“the most just and balanced of ways”)21 with central Sufi virtues of contentment, quietism, and humility.

Beyond this specifically Christian claim, however, the Christian in Ha-Levi’s text has also introduced the broader notion of ittiÓsa¯ l as God’s providential relationship with the people of Israel. In attesting to God’s specific connection with the people of Israel and describing it as ittiÓsa¯ l, the Christian prepares the reader for Ha-Levi’s new twist. The Haver Ó will expand upon the Christian’s words by tracing the entire history of the Jewish people as a history of ittiÓsa¯ l. In summary, Ha-Levi’s philosopher uses the term ittiÓsa¯ l in the standard medieval philosophical sense, to describe conjunction of the Active Intellect with the perfected intellect of the individual philosopher.

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Between Mysticism and Philosophy: Sufi Language of Religious Experience in Judah Ha-Levi's Kuzari (S U N Y Series in Jewish Philosophy) by Diana Lobel


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