Bringing to light a hidden chapter in the history of modern Judaism,Shamanic Trance in Modern Kabbalah explores the shamanic dimensions of Jewish mysticism. Jonathan Garb integrates methods and models from the social sciences, comparative religion, and Jewish studies to...
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Bringing to light a hidden chapter in the history of modern Judaism,Shamanic Trance in Modern Kabbalahexplores the shamanic dimensions of Jewish mysticism. Jonathan Garb integrates methods and models from the social sciences, comparative religion, and Jewish studies to offer a fresh view of the early modern kabbalists and their social and psychological contexts.
Through close readings of numerous texts-some translated here for the first time-Garb draws a more complete picture of the kabbalists than previous depictions, revealing them to be as concerned with deeper states of consciousness as they were with study and ritual. Garb discovers that they developed physical and mental methods to induce trance states, visions of heavenly mountains, and transformations into animals or bodies of light. To gain a deeper understanding of the kabbalists' shamanic practices, Garb compares their experiences with those of mystics from other traditions as well as with those recorded by psychologists such as Milton Erickson and Carl Jung. Finally, Garb examines the kabbalists' relations with the wider Jewish community, uncovering the role of kabbalistic shamanism in the renewal of Jewish tradition as it contended with modernity.
GARRY WILLS, a distinguished historian and critic, is the author of numerous books, including the Pulitzer Prize?winning Lincoln at Gettysburg, Saint Augustine, and the best-selling Why I Am a Catholic. A regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, he has won many awards, among them two National Book Critics Circle Awards and the 1998 National Medal for the Humanities. He is a history professor emeritus at Northwestern University. C