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As Light Before DawnThe Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist$
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Eitan P. Fishbane

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759137

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759137.001.0001

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(p.283) Conclusion
As Light Before Dawn
Stanford University Press

This book has explored Isaac ben Samuel of Akko's intellectual persona, as well as the content and style of his literary creativity and the role of transmission and creative process in the construction of kabbalistic culture. Based on Isaac's writings, it has examined medieval Kabbalah in the context of the sociology of knowledge, the dynamics of contemplative intention, and the phenomenology of religion. In Me'irat 'Einayim and 'Ozar Hayyim, Isaac instructs his readers on the use of the sacred texts (in particular, the liturgical texts) as symbolic maps for the ascent of consciousness through the divine world. He exhorts the devotee to focus on both root and branch elements of the divine sefirotic tree, to visualize configurations of the divine name as a mandalic focal point for contemplation of Divinity itself, and to reject the physical world in order to ascend to celestial heights. These specific models and techniques for mystical contemplation were predicated on theurgy.

Keywords:   Isaac ben Samuel of Akko, literary creativity, transmission, Kabbalah, theurgy, intention, contemplation, Divinity, consciousness, religion

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