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Shamanic Trance in Modern Kabbalah
by Jonathan Garb
University of Chicago Press, 2011
eISBN: 978-0-226-28206-0 | Cloth: 978-0-226-28207-7
Library of Congress Classification BM526.G373 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 296.16

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

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 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.


See other books on: Cabala | Garb, Jonathan | Kabbalah & Mysticism | Modern Kabbalah | Shamanism
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