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Printing and the Career of the Slavonic Text

Printing and the Career of the Slavonic Text

Chapter:
(p.132) Chapter Ten Printing and the Career of the Slavonic Text
Source:
All the Names of the Lord
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226388724.003.0011

Given the scant documentation, any speculation about the specific channels by which the Jewish Kabbalah may have influenced Christian communities prior to the European Renaissance remains conjectural. What it knows for certain is that the teachings of the Kabbalah and, by extension, the theory of the Name of seventy two, became known to the Christian world no earlier than the end of the fifteenth century. That period coincided with the Kabbalah's internal transformation from an esoteric system into an exoteric teaching, when, in the words of Moshe Idel, it “became more a lore that promoted the production of secrets, than a custodian of secret lore.” The enthusiasm with which Europe embraced the opportunity to dabble in the Kabbalistic secrets, however, was conditioned by phenomena that had little to do with the Kabbalah itself.

Keywords:   Jewish Kabbalah, Christian communities, Renaissance, Name, seventy two, exoteric teaching, Moshe Idel

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