Past Events

Past EventsSunday, February 19

Scandal of Kaballah

Yaacob Dweck

The Scandal of Kabbalah is the first book about the origins of a culture war that began in early modern Europe and continues to this day: the debate between kabbalists and their critics on the nature of Judaism and the meaning of religious tradition. Drawing on a range of previously unexamined sources, Dweck told the story of the first criticism of Kabbalah, Ari Nohem, written by Leon of Modena in Venice in 1639.  Dweck argued that Kabbalah was the subject of critical inquiry in the very period it came to dominate Jewish life rather than centuries later as most scholars have thought.

Yaacob Dweck, a fellow at Princeton University, has published English translations of modern Hebrew fiction by Haim Sabato and S. Yizhar, traced the mutating historical status of the Kabalah, and is engaged in a study of Jewish attitudes towards death in early modern Europe.

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