Les kabbalistes chrétiens de la Renaissance

The Christian Kabbalah and 15th Century Humanism.

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Kabbale Diffusion Rosicrucienne

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Les kabbalistes chrétiens de la Renaissance

Les kabbalistes chrétiens de la Renaissance

The Christian Kabbalah and 15th Century Humanism.

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As a significant expression of esoteric Judaism, the Kabbalah was also studied by the Christian authors of the Renaissance, the point at which a true Christian Kabbalah came into being. Having presented the Spanish origins of this movement, François Secret studies the relationships between Pic de la Mirandole and the Jewish Kabbalists who taught him Hebrew and the rudiments of this esoteric mysticism. On the Germanic side, Jean Reuchlin (1455-1522) took an interest in this science in Italy and in 1517 published what came to be seen as “the Christian Kabbalah Bible“, On the art of the Kabbalah. Offering a Christian reading of the anthropology and theology of the Kabbalists, Jean Reuchlin also establishes a Christian esotericism. A true “golden age of the Christian Kabbalah” was then to follow, which led numerous authors to rediscover proof of the existence of the Trinity, of the divinity of Christ in Kabbalist theories. Some among them also presented millenarian theories announcing the end of days. The best-known among Christian Kabbalists is Cardinal Giles of Viterbo: his treatise on the Shekina represents “the most remarkable effort to assimilate the Kabbalah into our world of humanist Christians”. In a Germanic context of reform, Conrad Pellican (1478-1556) dedicated himself to the role of translator and philologist without actually producing a personal Kabbalist work. In France, the pivotal figure is Guillaume Postel (1510-1581) who experienced a far from normal and singular existence over the course of which he attempted to create the Universal Concord by means of a powerful syncretism. He translated the Zohar adding annotations to it and conveyed his passion for the Kabbalah to his disciples. As for England, it would remain a stranger to Kabbalist writers until the 1580s. This work, illustrated with documents taken from manuscripts or particularly rare texts, highlights the key themes cherished by Christian Kabbalists.


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