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Table of Contents Preface Introduction 1. Studying Religion: Eight Approaches 2. Eight Approaches to Religion 3. Perspectivism: An Additional Approach 4. Kabbalah as Symbolic Theology according to Modern Scholarship Notes Chapter 1: On Diverse Forms of Living Ascent on High in Jewish Sources 1. Introduction 2. Heikhalot Literature: Precedents and Offshoots 3. Nousanodia: The Neoaristotelian Spiritualization of the Ascent 4. Neoplatonic Cases of Psychanodia 5. The Ascent through the Ten Sefirot 6. "As If" and Imaginary Ascents 7. Ascension and Angelization 8. Astral Psychanodia in Jewish Sources Notes Chapter 2: On Cosmic Pillars in Jewish Sources 1. The Pillar in the Work of Mircea Eliade and Ioan P. Culianu 2. The Cosmic Pillar in Rabbinic Texts 3. The Pillar in the Book of Bahir 4. The Pillar in Early Kabbalah 5. The Pillar and Enoch-Metatron in Ashkenazi Esotericism 6. The Zohar and the Luminous Pillar 7. The Human Righteous as a Pillar in the Zohar Notes Chapter 3: The Eschatological Pillar of the Souls in Zoharic Literature 1. The Pillar and the Two Paradises 2. The Eschatological Inter-Paradisiacal Pillar 3. The Pillar in the Pseudo-Midrash Seder Gan Eden and Its Zoharic Parallels 4. Worship of the Pillar 5. The Pillar as a Vehicle 6. The Pillar as Conductor to the Divine Realm 7. The Pillar and the Judgment 8. Contemplating a Supernal Secret 9. Later Repercussions of the Zoharic Stances 10. Pillar, Performance and the Righteous 11. The Timing of Posthumous Psychanodia 12. The Manichean Pillar of Light and Glory 13. Symbolic Interpretations of Zoharic Paradisiacal Architecture 14. Concluding Remarks Notes Chapter 4: Psychanodia and Metamorphoses of Pillars in Eighteenth-Century Hasidism 1. The Besht and the Epistle of the Ascent of the Soul 2. The Besht as an Iatromant 3. On Shamanism in the Carpathian Mountains 4. The Besht and the Eschatological Pillar 5. The Tzaddiq as the Present Pillar in Hasidism 6. Hasidic Semantics 7. Some Methodological Issues Related to the Besht's Epistle Notes Chapter 5: The Neoplatonic Path for Dead Souls: Medieval Philosophy, Kabbalah and Renaissance 1. The Universal Soul and Median Line in Arabic Texts 2. The Median Line in Kabbalah 3. Al-Batalyawsi, Yohanan Alemanno and Pico della Mirandola 4. The Ladder, Natura and Aurea Catena 5. Some Conclusions Notes Concluding Remarks 1. Pillars, Paradises and Gestalt-Coherence 2. Pillars and Some Semantic Observations 3. Between Literature and Experience 4. On the Pillar and Mircea Eliade's Views on Judaism 5. Organism, Organization and the Spectrum between Them 6. Time, Ritual, Technique Notes Index
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
Cabala -- History.
Ascension of the soul.
Columns -- Religious aspects -- Judaism.
Mysticism -- Judaism.